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Kosovo

Map of KosovoMap of KosovoKosovo is a landlocked country—not yet recognized as an independent nation by all countries—situated in the Balkan Peninsula of southeastern Europe. It is surrounded by mountains: the Šar Mountains mark the border with North Macedonia, while the Kopaonik Mountains rise in the north. The western borders with Montenegro and Albania are also mountainous. In the central region, there are two large plains—the Metohija plain in the west and the Kosovo plain in the east—separated by hills. With its continental climate, Kosovo experiences a wide annual temperature range: summer temperature highs can reach 30°C (86°F), while in winter temperatures may plunge to −10°C (14°F).


Monastery in Gracanica (1321) Monastery in Gracanica (1321)

History

Kosovo has been ruled by other powers over the course of its history. In 168 BC, it became part of the Roman Empire. In the Middle Ages, the country was conquered by the Byzantine, Bulgarian and Serbian empires. The Battle of Kosovo of 1389, in which the Serbian army fell to the invading forces the Ottoman Empire, is commemorated as a major event in Serbian history. Kosovo came under Ottoman rule from the 15th to the early 20th century, when the eastern half was handed over to Serbia, the western half to Montenegro. Both countries became part of Yugoslavia after World War I. Tensions between Kosovo's Albanian and Serb peoples simmered through the 20th century, erupting into the Kosovo War of 1998–99.


View from the top of Ostrvica MountainView from the top of Ostrvica Mountain

The Newborn Monument in PristinaThe Newborn Monument in Pristina

Independence

Kosovo is named after the Kosovo plain, or Kosovo Polje, which means "blackbird field” in the Serbian language.

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