Village in a valley in Kosovo http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arianit_Brod_image158.jpg Arianit Dobroshi
Kosovo (Albanian: Kosovë, Serbian: Косово) is a divided region, part of which is the self-declared and partially recognized Republic of Kosovo, and another part, North Kosovo, is under the control of Serbia. It covers 10,908 sq km (4,212 sq mi) and has a population of 1.74 million people (2012 estimate). The capital and largest city is Pristina.
The situation in Kosovo today is traced back to medieval times. It was part of medieval Serbia until 1455, when it became part of the Ottoman Empire. Following the First Balkan War of 1912, it was incorporated into Serbia, and later into Yugoslavia. It was made the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia.
Within Kosovo itself there has been ethnic tensions between the ethnic Albanian population and the Serb population that goes back through the centuries. When Yugoslavia began to disintegrate, the self declared Kosovo parliament declared it a republic within Yugoslavia on 2 July, 1990. Then on 22 September 1991, it declared iself the Republic of Kosova, an independent country that was not recognized by any other states except Albania.
Mountain landscape of Kosovo http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arianit_Brod_image167.jpg Arianit Dobroshi
Kosovo Museum, Pristina http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kosovo_Museum.jpg DIMSFIKAS
Inter-ethnic violence erupted into the Kosovo War in 1999. As a result, Yugoslavia relinquished governance of the largely ethnic Albanian territories to the United Nation. The transitional UN administration led to the declared independence of Republic of Kosovo on 17 February 2008. Since then, 88 countries have recognized it including its immediate neighbors Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia, as well as the United States, Turkey, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Australia and Poland. Serbia is the only immediate neighbor that has strongly opposed its creation. So far Kosovo has not applied to join the United Nations yet.
Waterfall at Mirusha Canyon, Kosovo http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ujevara_e_Mirushes.JPG Mejtim Bytyçi
Planning your visit to Kosovo, Country
Nationals not needing a visa to visit Kosovo include those of Albania, Australia, Croatia, the European Union, CIS, Lebanon, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and Turkey, for visits of not more than 90 days. Any evidence of visiting Kosovo will make it troublesome for visiting Serbia. If you are planning to visit both, you should do Serbia first.
There are flights to Pristina International Airport (PRN) from Basel/Mulhouse, Berlin-Schönefelf, Brussels, Cologne/Bonn, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Friedrichshafen, Geneva, Hamburg, Hanover, Istanbul, Liège, London-Gatwick, Ljubljana, Milan, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Venice, Verona, Vienna, Zagreb and Zurich.
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