Difference between revisions of "Prizren"
Revision as of 22:18, 14 February 2013
Prizren, in Kosovo, is a city of mosques and monasteries dating to the 14th century.
The best way to get to Prizren is by bus from Pristina (€4). You can also take buses from Peja (€3) where the famous Serbian monasteries are located. You can also catch a bus from Skopje. Most bus companies that run from Istanbul to Pristina continue onward and terminate in Prizren. There are several direct buses from Belgrade ( 7 hours, 1 day bus & 2 night busses, run by Kosovo Albanian companies, cost about €10, stops depending on the route in Nis or Krusevac, Pristina and other towns on the road, information dates from February 2005).
From Albania, there are two good ways
The main event in the town is yearly international documentary DOKUFEST and short film festival held in August.
From the bus station everything is within walking distance
There is much more going on in Prizren during the Summer than any other time of the year. The main square in town, a stone piazza known as Shadervan, is the gathering point on most evenings. The piazza is surrounded by cafes, bars, restaurants and ice cream parlors. During the day this is an excellent place to sit and have a coffee, or have lunch and watch the town go about its business. The fountain in the center of the piazza is safe to drink from and is a central gathering point during hot summer afternoons. From about 9:30pm to midnight on almost every night in the summer the streets around Shadervan are crowded with locals walking the corso, meeting, chatting and drinking. In August the town hosts the Dokufest International Documentary and Short Film Festival www.dokufest.com. During the Festival the town is full of people and various parties go late at night in the bars.
The area around Prizren, particularly to the east and southwest is also scenic. Heading east from town toward the old Yugoslav ski resort of Brezovica takes you through the Zupa valley. There are numerous restaurants following the river along this route. The ski slopes at Brezovica are open and for skiing during the winter. The runs were once considered some of the best in Yugoslavia, and the site was a back-up for the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in 1984.
To the southwest, toward the Albanian border the landscape is also dramatic. About an hour's drive from Prizren is the mountain town of Dragash. Although there is no skiing in the mountains surrounding Dragash, the area is beautiful. Friday is market day in Dragash.
The Hammam of Prizren is an early Ottoman-era monument in which oriental and local traditions combine. It was built in the heart of the city in 1563/4 by Gazi Mehmet Pasha, at the time when he was also building the nearby mosque. The hammam has two large and nine small domes and is separated into men’s and women’s sections. As one of the most precious hammams in South-East Europe, it embodies special architectural, historical, cultural and social values. Integrated for centuries in the lives of the citizens, it has become a symbol for the spiritual and cultural heritage of Prizren and its region. The building functioned as a hammam until 1944. It then served for cheese production, as a warehouse, and later the entrance area was used for cultural events. In state protection since 1954, the hammam was repaired and maintained until 1981 when it was left at the mercy of time. After the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999, some limited measures were undertaken for the monument’s protection.
Bajrakli Mosque- the 14th century Mosque of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, can be reached on the first left street infront of The Hamam.. Bajrakli mosque dates from 1566 and is possibly the most beautiful mosque in Prizren with ornate wood work and detailed blue-and-white paintings.
The Sofi Sinan Pasha Mosque-The Mosque of Sinan Pasha is one of the most important monuments from the occupation of Ottoman Empire in this territory. According to the inscription inside themosque Sofi Sinan Pasha, built it for his co-citizens, on hijrij year 1024 (1615). The mosque was built with walls over 2 m thick, it contains more than 50 windows, and the minaret is one of the highest in the city. The mosque is very rich in ornaments of many colors and shapes. The interior of the mosque is decorated by arabesques and other decorations of flora and fauna in the baroque style. There are two layers of paintings in it, the paintings of the time when the mosque was built (17th century) and a second layer of paintings (19th century). In the entrance the mosque has a fountain, built by the founder. The mosque also used to have a madras and a library with numerous books of different contents.
The Prizren League House- old complex where Albanian political organization founded on June 10, 1878 in Prizren. Albanian Prizren League officially started with gathering of 300 representatives of all Albanian regions. In the meeting there were also Bosnians from Bosnia and Sanxhak. The aim of the meeting was to form an autonomous Albanian state that would cover the otoman regions (vilajets) of Prizren, Shkodra, Manastir and Janina. The league was the first serious effort to create united Albanian region since the failure of Skenderbeg forces in medieval.
The Catholic Church- stands at the top of the stone street that leads from the “Shadërvan Square”.
There are few traditional crafts that are still practiced in Prizren and the surrounding area. In Prishtina, there are some women's cooperatives selling carpets and embroideries, and there may be one or two in Prizren as well. Ask around and someone will be able to direct you. The most traditional craft for Prizren itself has always been filigree. Very ornate pieces are made for traditional local wedding feasts, but more simple pieces are available in any of the shops that line the road leading into town. Poke around and ask to see the older pieces.
Market day is Wednesday. The town fills up with merchants from all of the surrounding villages. In addition to crafts such as wordworks, there are also cheap mass produced tchotckas and knick-knacks.
The center of the town is full of barbeque restaurants (qebaptore). Prizren is well known in Kosovo for its barbeques as they make everything right infront of your eyes. In the dowtown or in Shadervan you can get plenty of these restaurants.
One of the best lamb and traditional pastry (flia) Restaurant Sharr above 10 mile from Prizren tore Brezoviza in National Park Sharr.
Similarly in the downtown you can get sweets such as baklava, tullumba which are traditionally made in Prizren. One of the best places for traditional sweets is Shendeti (near Shadervan), which also sells Boza (fermented cornflour drink)
Restaurant Ambienti is in the center and offers a nice view to the town. Walk east from Shadervan, and the restaurant is up a slope overlooking the river. International fare at modest prices.
Restaurant ODA offers menu food and is right next to the Stone Bridge.
New opened restaurant Pauza, with long experience in this business, offers you a really delicious food, starting from traditional food, wine, raki, picas like you never ate somewhere else, spaghetti, salads, soups and really nice tasting cafe with new interior design. In Edit Durham, contact nr.044/49 243415 or 044/49 218188, the opposite way of Kep Institution.
There are plenty of coffee shops, bars, and pubs located in the downtown Shadervan. Also, various bakeries exist in the area with the most outstanding pastries and fresh daily specials. There is a nice coffebar "La Linea" just behind the Sinan Pasha's Mosque.
There are a number of places to stay in Prizren. The most prominent was the Hotel Therande in the center of town, which as of July 2007 appears to be closed for renovations. The Prizreni is on the road toward Albania, and getting there is another option due the new highway of Albania. It had been used as a collective center for internally displaced after the 1999 conflict and does not seem to have recovered.
There is also a small hotel / pensione around the corner from the Catholic Church in the center, called Pension Oltas. Someone should be able to direct you from the church. Single rooms are €25 per night, double rooms €35. All rooms have their private bath. The price includes breakfast and laundry. The rooms are very clean and quite nice. They all have cable television, air condition, refrigerator and wireless. Also,computers with internet access are available in rooms and reception. Keep in mind that check-in is closed between midnight and 8am.
Hotel Pik-Nik is very reasonable, and the owners and staff are more than willing to cater to your every whim. Hotel Pik-Nik also has a beautiful restaurant and upstairs rotunda and seating for privacy. The restaurant menu is filled with traditional Balkan cuisine, and serves the best calzone in Prizren.
Hotel Tirana is in the downtown and it costs around €35 per night.
Only during the Film Festival Dokufest might be hard to find places in hotels.
There are mini-buses to Pristina (€4 paid on the bus) leaving from the main road out of town. To get to the main bus station take the road along the river and turn right at the traffic circle. The bus station is on the left. There are a couple of travel agents in the area. Buses are available to almost anywhere in Kosovo, usually via Pristina or Gjakova, Macedonia and Albania. Closer to summer you can also get buses to Ulcinj (Albanian name: Ulqin) in Montenegro.
The bus to Tirana stops at the kiosk outside the bus station at about 5:30 and 16:30. It is a through bus from Pristina, buy your ticket on the bus (not in the bus station).
Albania is generally considered safer than it once was, although it is not recommended to take a Taxi to Albania unless you are traveling with a known and trusted local.
Buses to Skopje at 5:30 and 9:00. Cost €5.50. Buses to Istanbul costs €50.
Get a bus to Zhupa National Park Sharr nice restaurants pretty nature. A suggested Restaurant sharr in village Mushnikova about 10 miles from Prizren one of best food in Kosovo.