The idea for taking these photos around Prishtina stemmed from the desire to shed light on the beautiful landmarks of Kosovo and the Albanian culture through yoga.
The Newborn monument was unveiled on February 17th, 2008, when Kosovo declared independence. Thousands of citizens signed their names on the monument, which was originally painted in yellow. Each year, the monument is painted a different color to reflect a certain theme. On the fifth anniversary of independence, the monument was adorned with the flags of all the countries that recognized Kosovo. On another anniversary, the monument depicted a beautiful blue sky that was off limits due to barbed wire — as a metaphor of the isolation of Kosovo due to the EU visa regime.
Kosova Art Gallery
Exhibits of young and old artists give life to this wood and stone building. It’s a common hub to meet new people and discuss art over wine and crackers, while enjoying the stylishly dressed attendees.
The National Library
The National Library is home to thousands of books that have endured centuries of active effort by oppressors to do away with the Albanian language. The language was taught fervently in homes when it was banned in schools; books in Albanian were read and written behind closed doors and abroad. During the 1990s, Albanian students were banned from attending and using the University of Prishtina facilities; consequently, many Albanians who lived in diaspora at the time offered their houses, which were turned into makeshift schools and faculties. Today, we can freely go to school and speak our language on the streets.
Hotel Union is located in the middle of the newest segment of the Mother Teresa Square, dedicated and named after the deceased president Ibrahim Rugova, who fought nonviolently for independence. It is surrounded by colorful flowers, with a water fountain in the front and the parliament and the government buildings on the opposite side.
The national Albanian hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skenderbeu, proudly stands on the Ibrahim Rugova square. He is a symbol of our perseverance and fight for freedom during the rule of the Ottoman Empire for five centuries. The monument faces Hotel Union and the National Theater.
Mother Teresa Square
In the evening, the Mother Teresa Square is a gathering for all — children, young people, adults, and elderly alike — strolling peacefully up and down the granite-paved street, cherishing their time with their loved ones and friends.
The National Museum
These stairs take you to our beginnings and tell you about our ancestors and their traditions. You can marvel at the Goddess on the Throne dating all the way back to the Neolithic era four millennia BC, which has become the symbol of Prishtina. Here you can also learn about our quest for freedom and the war during the 1990s.
Doors to the Ethnological Museum
Kosovo is a secular state, yet a large number of people are practicing Muslims. Mosques dating from the Ottomans (who first introduced Islam in the region) are present throughout the city.
Mother Teresa Cathedral
Religious tolerance is a defining feature of the Albanian culture. Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews have peacefully coexisted in Albania and Kosovo for centuries. Albania was the only country in Europe, where the number of Jews increased after WWII thanks to Albanians who sheltered them from the Nazis. This is the recently constructed Mother Teresa Cathedral situated in the very heart of the city.
Sahat Kulla (Clock Tower)
The Sahat Kulla gracefully decorates the sky in the old part of Prishtina. Dating from the 19th century and located near the Sami Frasheri Gymnasium, the clock tower faced the recently renovated Turkish Hamam and the Emperor’s Mosque.
The article was originally published on MindBodyGreen
(Photos by Norik Uka and Rina Hapçiu)