A view of Prizren. The Sharr Mountains are in the background,
while the Bistrica River flows through the town.
Prizren was established at a convenient locality as an important trading town, through which passed old roads towards the Adriatic coast and the interior of the Balkan peninsula.
Graves and artifacts of Illyrian Dardans were found in Prizren's vincity, which shows that the area of Prizren has been inhabited since ancient times. It was for a while the center of the Serbian Empire. During the Byzantine rule, Prizren was known as Prizdrian. The Ottomans occupied Prizren on June 21, 1455, and that is when the oriental urban development of Prizren began. From all the cities of Kosova, Prizren has best preserved the architectural physiognomy of the past.
A view of Prizren from the Kalaja
Overlooking the town, on a hill that dominates over the Prizren plateau, is the Kalaja (Fortress) of Prizren (Kalaja e Prizrenit). The fort dates from the 11th century and was built to protect Prizren from attacks. Kalaja is a true labyrinth of underground tunnels. The Ottoman Turks occupied it in 1455 and kept soldiers in it for centuries. Kalaja today fits into the old town setup.
The Bajrakli Gazi Mehmet Pasha's mosque is the oldest monument of Islamic art in Prizren. The inscription above the entrance states it was built in 1561. This mosque has a square base and numerous windows, while the main veneration niche (mihrab) and the pulpit (mimber) are made of marble.
A hexagonal mausoleum (medresa) has been built in the courtyard of the mosque which Mehmet Pasha earmarked as his grave.
Mehmet Pasha's Turkish bath in Prizren
Mehmet Pasha also built a Turkish bath in the town, which is built of cut stone and large bricks, in extremely harmonious proportions. The interior is divided into two parts: the baths for men and the baths for women.
Sinan Pasha's mosque in Prizren
Left: the house in which the Prizren League was organized. Right: the Prizren League Museum with the statues of Sami Frash'ri and Ymer Prizreni