"Destroy the Old – Build the New" a (sad) story about Prishtina`s development. - SkyscraperCity
 

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Old May 2nd, 2006, 06:22 AM   #1
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"Destroy the Old – Build the New" a (sad) story about Prishtina`s development.

(I found this very interesting, and I thought to share it with you)



'Teams of volunteers did one hour of destruction, followed by fifteen minutes of folk dancing' - Prishtina Citizen (2005)


Destroy the Old – Build the New
The story of old Prishtina since 1945 is a story of destruction and wasted opportunities.


In the early communist era, this destruction of the past was the result of deliberate policy. The slogan of "urban development" in the 1950s was "destroy the old, build the new". As one book from 1959 noted proudly:

"Until the end of World War II, Prishtina was a typical Oriental town. After the Liberation following the Second World War, Pristina experienced rapid development in every respect, and it is now day-by-day developing into a modern town. Old shop fronts and other shaky old structures are quickly disappearing to make room for fine, tall, modern-style buildings." - Prishtina (1959)

At the heart of the old town there was once a bustling bazaar with more than 300 shops.

'Today Prishtina is abandoning its old memories and is departing from its past and becoming a modern city – a new socialist city.' - Prishtina (1965)

The "shaky old structures" which were demolished included the covered bazaar, one of the largest in the region; the spiritual centre of the town, comprising a mosque, the main Catholic Church and the Synagogue; an old Ottoman Hamam and a large number of Ottoman town houses.
The town grew quickly, and attracted tens of thousands of migrants.
But unlike elsewhere in Europe (including, for instance, Sarajevo or Skopje) no attempt was made to preserve the historic centre of what had for centuries been one of the most important towns in the region.

'We inherited a town without an identity' - Kosovo official (January 2006)

The Catholic Church, opposite today's Grand Hotel, has been turned into a socialist shopping center.

Llukaq Mosque near today's Union Building on Mother Theresa Street, was destroyed to make room for Hotel Iliria.


'In this city without a river
I stand as a stranger,
I take revenge on time with a glass of raki
I'm thinking of you'


('Hero of a city without a river', song by Migjen Kelmendi)

Even the natural geography of the old town was hidden. In the 1950s, Vellusha River, flowing down from the Germia hills in the East, was covered up. In the late 1970s also the Prishtina River was covered, flowing West of the old town centre. The two rivers were simply turned into a sewage system. By the late 1980s Prishtina had become a town without rivers and a town without a visible past.



Prishtina List of Monuments
In the town of Prishtina there are 21 protected cultural monuments.
  • Sultan Mehmet al-Fatih Mosque
  • Pirinaz Mosque
  • Bazaar Mosque
  • Jashar Pasha Mosque
  • St. Nicolas Iconostasis & Archbishopric Houses
  • Clock Tower
  • Fountain
  • Jewish Cemetary
  • Great Hammam
  • Kosovo Museum
  • Kosovo Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments
  • Emin Gjik Museum

You can change one city.But you never can change it`s memories...


Last edited by 13; May 2nd, 2006 at 06:28 AM.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 06:40 AM   #2
liburni
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really interesting!

Thanks alot for this 13
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 07:15 AM   #3
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Can you believe at one point in Sarajevo's history, communists wanted to destroy Bascarsija and put up some more commies? Thank God that plan was scrubbed or much or Sarajevo's current tourism would never exist.

Although I feel bad for Prishtina loosing so much of its history, I don't think it's uncommon. Most cities in the world destroyed a good amount of their historical buildings hoping to create more modern ones. It's just the typical mind-set of idiots.
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 09:28 AM   #4
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thats just sad to hear all those memories erased
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 12:55 PM   #5
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There was also a river running through the city. Now it runs under the ground. But I am glad it became capital of Kosovo, because then the old town of Prizren or Peja would have been destroyed.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpuponit
There was also a river running through the city. Now it runs under the ground. But I am glad it became capital of Kosovo, because then the old town of Prizren or Peja would have been destroyed.
Even the natural geography of the old town was hidden. In the 1950s, Vellusha River, flowing down from the Germia hills in the East, was covered up. In the late 1970s also the Prishtina River was covered, flowing West of the old town centre. The two rivers were simply turned into a sewage system. By the late 1980s Prishtina had become a town without rivers and a town without a visible past.

I agree in that. Somehow this was the prize Prishtina had to pay for being capital. I still think it is wrong thing what they did. Nothing brings back those old structures anymore.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:41 AM   #7
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you people need to grow up. the old is the past and that needs to be buried. i don't care about some fancy looking building built in ancient times. i want a modern good looking skyscraper.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 12:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakerdar123
you people need to grow up. the old is the past and that needs to be buried. i don't care about some fancy looking building built in ancient times. i want a modern good looking skyscraper.
Oh really...

Well let`s pray you never will have the power to decide about these things...


P.S: Hiq se prita kete koment tandin.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 02:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakerdar123
you people need to grow up. the old is the past and that needs to be buried. i don't care about some fancy looking building built in ancient times. i want a modern good looking skyscraper.
Let's make the whole world America. Three skyscrapers looking no different than the ones one can find all over the world, and a sea of wooden white houses looking just the same.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 02:30 AM   #10
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i didn't say all buildings should look the same so i don't understand where you got that from. modernism is the way to go, and there's only one direction thats the future not the past.

i fail to understand why you believe that i thought the whole world should turn into "America" as you say.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 04:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakerdar123
i didn't say all buildings should look the same so i don't understand where you got that from. modernism is the way to go, and there's only one direction thats the future not the past.

i fail to understand why you believe that i thought the whole world should turn into "America" as you say.
Actually, today modernism is considered a failed architecture. In the beginning it was respected because it was hated by Hitler. But, if you look at such architectural marverls as commieblocks, Brasilia, old WTC, Ford Center you see that they are just ugly box-like buildings that eliminate the public realm. Brasilia is the greatest example of modernism, and also a failed city. One of the things that modernism did not get is that it is not about the building, it is about the conglomeration of buildings and spaces and the environment they create. In Brasilia, everything was revolved around buildings, streets were eliminated, large highways built, and in the end; well, look at pictures and ask Brasilians. The same picture can be seen in the US. The greatest cities of US are not those who have skyscrapers, highways, and suburban housing with malls (modernism helped in all these by the separation of workplace and living place), but the ones who have an older vibrant core like Boston, NY, San Francisco, smaller towns, Montreal in Canada etc. All of these cities maintain a large part of their older structures.
Personally, I think that the right idea is to combine as much as it is possible older and younger structured (to be as bold as possible with these ones), without the newer ones however taking the air out olf the older ones.
Another element that you must be aware of before talking about looking at the future is globalization. It leads to uniformity, thus as good as a skyscraper looks in Prishtina, it can also be built in Beirut, Bangkok, Durres, Cape Town, Calgary, Bismarck etc. An older building however, becomes a symbol of the city, it is a monument and something that makes Prishtina Prishtina. Of course, skyscrapers can also be different, but generally cities in the BalkNS DO not have the economic ease to built something as unique as cities like NY and Dubai can.
Looking at the future is what has made Kukes look exactly like Saranda minus a sea, and Gjirokastra minues a castle, and 90's tirana divided by 10.
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Last edited by thebackdoorman; May 3rd, 2006 at 04:45 AM.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:25 AM   #12
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well thats your opinion and you infact give an excellent analysis of that however i still disagree with you. You're afraid of the cities loosing their originality. Originality however is only a temporary loss as you metioned in the last sentence that originality is due to the economic situation.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
"Until the end of World War II, Prishtina was a typical Oriental town
That's the problem, it's in Europe, it's not supposed to be Oriental. It only became oriental after the Turks took it over in the late 1300's. I think instead of crying over destroyed Turkish architecture you should cry about the pre-Turkish architecture that was destroyed by the Turks.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 06:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamino Zlato
That's the problem, it's in Europe, it's not supposed to be Oriental. It only became oriental after the Turks took it over in the late 1300's. I think instead of crying over destroyed Turkish architecture you should cry about the pre-Turkish architecture that was destroyed by the Turks.
So you think everything that looks "turkish" should be removed? I can imagine what would happen to Mostar (and many other cities). And no matter if we like it or not turks left alot in region for 500 years they were in it. Trying to reject it is trying to fake history. You never can go forward deleting the past (no matter how was it).
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 08:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamino Zlato
That's the problem, it's in Europe, it's not supposed to be Oriental. It only became oriental after the Turks took it over in the late 1300's. I think instead of crying over destroyed Turkish architecture you should cry about the pre-Turkish architecture that was destroyed by the Turks.
The Ottomans built some of the most impressive projects in history. Look at Mostar if you're interested in examples of their style. Absolutely beautiful.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:27 AM   #16
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Old and New



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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:30 AM   #17
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A political church or needed one? What should happen with it?

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Old May 29th, 2006, 05:54 AM   #18
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The quality of Ottoman architecture tends to vary from place to place, but it beats the bleak modernist/brutalist SHITE that was built instead of it every time.

Modernism as a whole has done no favours to the world, and the damage it has done both architecturally, and in the wider context of city planning, is very tangible across the globe. 'Death and Life of Great American Cities' needs to be read by just about every architecture and planning student, in order to make sure that such deluded ways of thinking will not happen again.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 06:05 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamino Zlato
That's the problem, it's in Europe, it's not supposed to be Oriental. It only became oriental after the Turks took it over in the late 1300's. I think instead of crying over destroyed Turkish architecture you should cry about the pre-Turkish architecture that was destroyed by the Turks.
An excellent point Mamino
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Old May 29th, 2006, 06:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 13
So you think everything that looks "turkish" should be removed? I can imagine what would happen to Mostar (and many other cities). And no matter if we like it or not turks left alot in region for 500 years they were in it. Trying to reject it is trying to fake history. You never can go forward deleting the past (no matter how was it).

Ottoman occupation of the Balkans was the darkest period in European History.
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