(Albanian: Prizreni, Serbian: Призрен; pronounced [prîzrɛn]) is a city and municipality located in the Prizren District of Kosovo.[a] According to the 2011 census, the city of Prizren has 85,119 inhabitants, while the municipality has 177,781 inhabitants.
Prizren is a historic city located on the banks of the Prizren Bistrica river, and on the slopes of the Šar Mountains (Albanian: Malet e Sharrit) in the southern part of Kosovo. The municipality has a border with Albania and the Republic of Macedonia.
By road the city is 99 kilometres (62 miles) northwest of Skopje, 85 kilometres (53 miles) south of Pristina and 175 kilometres (109 miles) northeast of Tirana.
The town of Prizren did not suffer much during the Kosovo War but its surrounding municipality was badly affected 1998–1999. Before the war, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe estimated that the municipality's population was about 78% Kosovo Albanian, 5% Serb and 17% from other national communities. At the end of the war in June 1999, most of the Albanian population returned to Prizren. Serbian and Roma minorities fled, with the OSCE estimating that 97% of Serbs and 60% of Romani had left Prizren by October.
On March 17, 2004, during the Unrest in Kosovo some Serb cultural monuments in Prizren were damaged, burned or destroyed, such as old Orthodox Serb churches:
- Our Lady of Ljeviš from 1307 (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- the Church of Holy Salvation
- Church of St. George (the city's largest church)
- Church of St. George (Runjevac)
- Church of St. Kyriaki, Church of St. Nicolas (Tutić Church)
- the Monastery of The Holy Archangels,
- Prizren's Orthodox seminary of Saint Cyrillus and Methodius
The municipality of Prizren is still the most culturally and ethnically heterogeneous of Kosovo, retaining communities of Bosniaks, Turks, and Romani in addition to the majority Kosovo Albanian population live in Prizren. Only a small number of Kosovo Serbs remains in Prizren and area, residing in small villages, enclaves, or protected housing complexes. Furthermore, Prizren's Turkish community is socially prominent and influential, and the Turkish language is widely spoken even by non-ethnic Turks.