The Prizren Fortress
is situated in south-east of the city of Prizren and is one of the greatest historical sites in Kosovo. Its beginnings are in the prehistory of the region, while it is first mentioned by Procopius in his book “Buildings” where among other fortifications in ancient Dardania he mentions this fortress with name of Petrizen which belongs to the today’s name of Prizren. It is situated on the hill in the eastern side of the Prizren and offers a spectacular view of the city, the Dukagjini plain and the mount Pashtrik and Koritnik.
It was used as a fortress until 1912. The fortress is visibly damaged nowdays and is listed in the “World Heritage In Danger” list.
The first excavations here were made in 1969. The first results showed the existing of the early prehistoric site from the Bronze Age (3000 B.C. – 2.300 B.C.) which continued through Iron Age (1600 B.C. – 500 B.C.) and later on was replaced by the Roman Empire which lasted here till late antiquity.
Medieval times from XI to XV century were especially rich period in the life of the fortress when it bloomed with life, trade and living. Then during Ottoman times (XV – XX century) the fortress expands with new buildings such as a mosque, hamam and buildings for army purposes. It was used as a fortress by Ottoman Empire until 1912 when it was abandoned, with what began it’s degradation.
The fortress itself played a very important role in the ancient history of the city. Excavations made on the site showed the passing of many empires and civilizations on the fortress (Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman etc.) who left their traces and findings of their material and cultural heritage. It has two main trails which lead to it, one starts from the center of the city and follows the path to the hill and takes you there in 15 min. and the other one is on the back of the hill, near Marash, a relaxing place on the suburb of town, and takes you to up the fortress in even less than 10 min.
The fortress is the trademark of our city, its citizens start coming here from the earliest age and continue to visit it until they get old. First monument you notice, and the monument that tourist visit most is the fortress. It has a great view and people love to get on the top of it just for the sake of it. It’s the icon of our city which people love very much, and it’s worldwide famous.