Kosovo is one of the newest nations in Europe gaining it's independence after a very bloody war. Kosovo suffered mass bombings and a number of massacres at the hands of the Serbians during the Kosovo war. I traveled to Kosovo in 2012 and spent time in the city of Pec on Kosovo's western boarder with Montenegro. Slowly but surely the area is recovering from the war and building it's economy as an independent nation.

Kosovo was originally part of the Bulgarian Empire in the 800's CE. It was conquered by the Byzantine Empire in 1018 then became part of the Serbian Empire in 1180. In 1455, the Ottoman Turks conquered the area and Kosovo not only became part of the Ottoman Empire, but many of it's inhabitants were converted to Islam. Furthermore, a number of Ethnic Albanians moved into the area in the 1600's as a number of Orthodox Serbians moved north. The region remained under Ottoman control until the Balkan War of 1912, when it reverted back to Serbian control. At the end of World War I, the whole region became part of the new nation of Yugoslavia. Kosovo was then considered part of Serbia, even though many of it's inhabitants wanted to be united with Albania. After years of fighting and arguing with Yugoslav authorities, Kosovo finally was made an Autonomous province in 1974. In the early 1990's, five of the main republic's declared independence and Yugoslavia broke up after a bitter war. In 1998, ethnic Albanians in Kosovo declared independence and the Kosovo war began. One of the main results of the war was ethnic cleansing of a number of Muslim Albanians which eventually brought NATO into the war. After NATO's bombing of Serbia, the Serbs withdrew from Kosovo. After years of strife, the Kosovo Parliament officially declared independence in 2008. Currently, most of the worlds nations recognize Kosovo's independence, but Serbia and Russia do not.

The road to Pristinia and Pristina (Prishtine) 2012

Pristinia and the road to Pec (Peje) 2012

City of Pec (Peje) 2012