Kosovo's History

Illyrian tribes occupied modern day Kosovo before Rome’s arrival around 160BC. Rome’s demise brought barbarians five centuries later and in the 6-7th Centuries Slavs settled from north western Europe. By 850BC Kosovo was part of the Bulgarian Empire and for several centuries the area was contested between Serbian, Bulgarian and Byzantine rulers until 1389 the Ottoman Turks arrived sweeping all other authority aside. The Ottomans ruled until 1912 and during this period Muslim Albanians came to dominate the region. In 1912 the Ottoman’s European empire was carved up and Serbia gained Kosovo. Following WWI Yugoslavia was formed and Kosovo remained a region of Serbia. Ethnic Serbs were encouraged to settle the region reducing the Albanian domination of Kosovo. In WWII much of Kosovo was joined to an Axis controlled Greater Albania and ethnic Serbs driven out. In 1944 Communists seized the region from the fleeing Germans and Kosovo was again absorbed into Yugoslavia.

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A visit to Prizren is a definite highlight of Kosovo. It’s a true time capsule of a now by-gone era where you visualise how life was like in Ottoman times. Don’t miss it. European Country more info

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In the 1990’s Yugoslavia began to disintegrate and calls for Kosovo’s separation were supported by armed resistance in the Kosovo Liberation Army. In 1999 Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milošević ordered the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo and the 90% Albanian majority were systematically forced out into neighbouring countries, particularly Albania and Montenegro. NATO put a stop to it by bombing Serbia and forcing their withdrawal. The Albanians returned and many Serbs fled. Kosovo remained under UN administration and declared independence in 2008. Peace now reigns in Kosovo and the country is developing its economy with tourism yet to be exploited to the potential the country’s nature and historical sites deserve.

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