"İpek" redirects here. For other uses, see Ipek (disambiguation) and Pec (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Pecs.
City and municipality
Albanian: Peja / Pejë
Serbian: Пећ / Peć

From top (left to right):
Peć city center, Zenel Beg Tower (Kulla), Rugova Canyon, Ethnological Museum, Old Bazaar, Bistrica River, Patriarchal Monastery of Peć and the train station of Peć.

Location in Kosovo

Coordinates: 42°39′N 20°18′E / 42.650°N 20.300°E / 42.650; 20.300Coordinates: 42°39′N 20°18′E / 42.650°N 20.300°E / 42.650; 20.300
Country Kosovo[a]
District District of Peja
  Mayor Ilir Pishtani[1]
  City and municipality 603 km2 (233 sq mi)
  Urban 14,008 km2 (5,409 sq mi)
  Metro 21 km2 (8 sq mi)
Elevation 550 m (1,800 ft)
Population (2014)
  City and municipality 97,776
  Density 160/km2 (420/sq mi)
  Metro 60,000
  As of 2009[2]
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ZIP code 30000
Area code(s) +381
Vehicle registration 03
Website Municipality of Peć

Peć or Peja (Albanian: Pejë, Serbian: Пећ) is a city in western Kosovo,[lower-alpha 1] and the administrative centre of the homonymous district. The municipality covers an area of 602 km2 (232 sq mi), including the city of Peć and 95 villages; it is divided into 28 territorial communities. As of 2014, the whole municipality has a population of approximately 97,776, of which ca. 60,000 live in the city of Peć.


In Serbian, Peć means furnace or cave and its name is probably connected with nearby caves in the Rugova Canyon which served as hermit cells for Serbian Orthodox monks.[3] In medieval Ragusan documents, the Serbian name of the city (Peć, lit. "furnace") is sometimes translated as Forno, meaning furnace in Italian. During Ottoman rule, it was known as Ottoman Turkish ايپك (İpek). The Albanian name's definite form is Peja and the indefinite Pejë. Other names of the city include the Latin Pescium, the Greek Episkion (Επισκιον), and the formerly used form Pentza.



The city in Western Kosovo near the Rugova Canyon or Gorge. Rugova is a mountainous region entered through the North-West part of the city of Peć. It is the third region of Prokletije. In 2013 it became a National Park of the Republic of Kosovo. Rugova is known for its natural beauty and access to the mountains.


The municipality covers an area of 602 km2 (232 sq mi), including the city of Peć and 95 villages; it is divided into 28 territorial communities.[2] As of 2011, the whole municipality has a population of approximately 95,723,[2] of which ca. 60,000 live in the city of Peć.[4] There are two Tourist Information offices supported by the municipality, in the city, one in the center opposite the Hotel Dukagjini and one at the entrance to the Rugova Canyon.


Climate data for Peć (1961-1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.4
Average high °C (°F) 2.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −0.5
Average low °C (°F) −3.6
Record low °C (°F) −24.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 85.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 12.0 12.3 11.3 11.5 13.0 13.2 9.9 8.7 8.1 9.5 12.3 13.3 135.1
Average relative humidity (%) 81 75 68 63 64 64 60 60 67 73 81 83 70
Mean monthly sunshine hours 69.5 93.3 143.0 172.0 207.8 257.7 274.3 264.9 206.3 152.6 86.8 55.3 1,983.5
Source: Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia[5]


Ancient and medieval history

The city is located in a strategic position on the Pećka Bistrica, a tributary of the White Drin to the east of the Prokletije. The medieval city was possibly built on the ruins of Siparant(um), a Roman municipium (town or city).[6] It was mentioned by Ptolemy in his maps as Siparantum.

Patriarchal Monastery of Peć, the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church from the 14th century when its status was upgraded into a patriarchate

By the 6th century, the Serbs arrived and settled the area, previously depopulated by the Hunnic and Gothic invasions. The Byzantine Empire and the Bulgarian empire fought for control of Peć until it finally fell under full Serbian control. Between 1180 and 1190, Serbian Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja liberated Peć with its surrounding župa (district) of Hvosno from the Byzantine Empire, thus establishing Serbian rule over the city of Peć for next 300 years.[7] In 1220, Serbian King Stefan Nemanjić donated Peć and several surrounding villages to his newly founded monastery of Žiča.[8] As Žiča was the seat of a Serbian archbishop, Peć came under direct rule of Serbian archbishops and later patriarchs who built their residences and numerous churches in the city starting with the church of Holy Apostles built by archbishop Saint Arsenije I Sremac. After the Žiča monastery was burned by the Cumans (between 1276 and 1292) the seat of Serbian archbishop was transferred to a more secure location - Monastery of Peć where it remained until the abolition of the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć in 1766.

The city became a major religious center of medieval Serbia under the Serbian Emperor Stefan Dušan, who made it the seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1346. It retained this status until 1766, when the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć was abolished. Today, Peć holds the memory of Serbian Patriarchate. The city and its surrounding area are still revered by adherents of Serbian Orthodoxy; the city is the site of the Patriarchal Monastery of Peć, which is an easy walk from the city center and consists of four fresco-decorated churches, a library, and a treasury. The 14th century Visoki Dečani monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies about 19 km (12 mi) south, in nearby Dečani.

Ottoman era

Zallç Bridge from the Ottoman era

Peć was captured by the Ottomans in 1455,[9] and underwent major changes under their rule, including a change of name to Ipek. After the Ottoman Empire captured Peć the Sanjak of İpek was established with Mahmut Pasha Dukagjini as its first sanjakbey (lord).[10] The Sanjak of Dukagjin had four kazas: Peć, Gjakova, Gusinje and Berane.[11] The city was settled by a large number of Turks, many of whose descendants still live in the area, and took on a distinctly oriental character with narrow streets and old-style Turkish houses. It also gained an Islamic character with the construction of a number of mosques, many of which still remain. One of these is the Bajrakli Mosque, built by the Ottomans in the 15th century and located in the center of the city.

The city increased its political importance through the League of Peja, established in 1899 by Albanian patriots led by Haxhi Zeka. The League inherited the traditions and character of the League of Prizren to defend the rights of the Albanians and give them autonomous status within the Ottoman Empire. After an armed conflict with the Ottoman forces in 1900 the League ended its operations.[12]


Ottoman rule came to an end in the First Balkan War of 1912-13, when Montenegro took control of the city on 28 October 1912. On 8 January 1916, during World War I, Austria-Hungary took the city. Peć was retaken in 17 October 1918. After World War I, the city became part of Yugoslavia (at first officially called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes). Between 1931 and 1941 the city was part of Zeta Banovina. During the World War II Peć was occupied by Albania. After the war, Peć again became part of Yugoslavia as part of Kosovo and Metohija, an autonomous province within the People's Republic of Serbia.

Relations between Serbs and Albanians, who were the majority population, were often tense during the 20th century. They came to a head in the Kosovo War of 1999, during which the city suffered heavy damage and mass killings.[13] More than 80 percent of the total 5280 houses in the city were heavily damaged (1590) or destroyed (2774).[14] It suffered further damage in violent inter-ethnic unrest in 2004.


Main article: Education in Peć

Education in Peć is a system with no tuition or fees, mandatory for all children between the ages of 6-18. It consists of a nine-year basic comprehensive school (starting at age six and ending at the age of fifteen) secondary general and professional education commonly known as high school and higher education at Haxhi Zeka University of Peć. It also includes non-mandatory daycare programs for babies and toddlers and a one-year "preschool". The school year runs from early September to late June of the following year. Winter break runs from late December to early January, dividing the school year into two semesters. Peć is the only city in Kosovo that offers high school education in arts and there is also a school for the visually impaired.



Home of Tahir Beg in Peć, today an ethnological museum

The architecture in Peć show different architectural styles, from the medieval Serbian, Ottoman, Yugoslav, and contemporary architecture. Because of this there are many churches, mosques, buildings which are attraction points in the city and were built by the aforementioned influences.

Notable architectural traits of Peć include:

Events and festivals


Rugova Canyon near Peć

Peć is rapidly developing a significant tourist infrastructure. You can find information and maps for the "Trail of Cultural Monuments" at the Tourist Information Office as well as maps and attractions in the Rugova Gorge/Canyon and surrounding mountains. Skiing is available at the Ski Center in Bogë nearby. One of the most exciting new attractions is the Peak of the Balkans trail. The trail wanders through 3 countries with spectacular mountain views and can be well-supported by local guides and tour companies. Pećka Banja is a township located in the municipality of Istok, Kosovo. To many people it is known with the name Ilixhe. It is a touristic-health center with services in Istok and in the region,highly developed infrastructure and every service needed for healthy living.[15]


Peć is one of the more successful cities in Kosovan sport leagues. Its premier football team is KF Besa, its basketball teams is KB Peja. KB Peja is the older and more established basketball team. Additionally the city is host to a handball team, KH Besa Famiglia, a volleyball team KV BESA, a judo team Ippon, an athletic team Besa as well as a women's basketball team KB Penza. Since June 2008 Peć has also a Taekwondo Team: Tae Kwon Do Club Peja (Klubi i Tae Kwon Do-së Peja).[16]


Peć paragliding

Peć has its aeroclub called "Aeroklub Peć", whom was founded in 1948. Last years this club is part of competitions in several countries. In June 2013 it was the organizer of "second Paragliding event" which included paragliders from Kosovo and Albania[17] In 2014 it was the organizer of an international contest called "Peja open PARAGLIDING CUP 2014".[18]


Main article: Demographics of Peć
Ethnic Composition in the municipality
Year/Population Albanians  % Serbs  % Montenegrins  % Roma (Ashkali, Egyptians)  % Bosniaks  % Others  % Total
1961 Census 41,532 62.35 8,852 13.28 12,701 19.05 728 1.09 1,397 2.1 66,656
1971 Census 63,193 70.12 9,298 10.31 11,306 12.54 433 0.48 5,203 5.77 90,124
1981 Census 79,965 71.99 7,995 7.2 9,796 8.82 3,844 3.46 8,739 7.86 111,071
1991 Census 96,441 75.5 7,815 6.11 6,960 5.44 4,442 3.5 9,875 7.72 127,796
January 1999 ~104,600 ~92 n/a n/a n/a n/a ~3,500–4,000 ~3.3 n/a n/a ~4,000–4,200~3.6 ~113,000
2011 census 87,975 91.2 332 0.4 3,836 3.9 3,786 3.9 521 0.5 96,450
Source: Yugoslav Population Censuses for data through 1991, OSCE estimates for data from 1999, and 2011 census from Kosovo Republic.[2][19]

According to the 1981 census, the city had a population of 54,497; according to the 1991 census it had grown to 68,163.[4] In 2003 the city had a population of 81,800. According to the 2011 census, around 49,000 people live in the city of Peć.[4]

The vast majority of the inhabitants are Kosovo Albanians. Most Kosovo Serbs live in the village enclaves of Goraždevac, Belo Polje and Ljevoša. There is also a large Bosniak community in the city of Peć and in Vitomirica, while significant Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities reside in urban and rural areas.[2]

International relations

Peć is twinned with Gjilan which is also in Kosovo; Tobolsk in Russia and Nilüfer in Turkey.

Notable people


  1. Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received recognition as an independent state from 110 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. "Komuna e Pejës - Komuna e Pejës". Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Archived June 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. 1 2 3 World Gazetteer: "Kosovo: largest cities and city and statistics of their population". Archived from the original on 2013-01-05.. – Retrieved on 12 May 2011.
  4. "Monthly and annual means, maximum and minimum values of meteorological elements for the period 1961-1990" (in Serbian). Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
  5. Mirko Pak; Igor Vrišer (1980), Urban and industrial geography, Inštitut za geografija univerze Edvarda Kardelja v Ljubljani, Prema tome, od gore spomenutih cinjenica mozemo pretpostaviti da je stara Pec bila municipij i da se u dardansko-rimsko doba nazivala Siparant, odnosno Slparantum.
  6. John V. A. Fine; John Van Antwerp Fine (1994), The Late Medieval Balkans: A Critical Survey from the Late Twelfth Century to the Ottoman Conquest, University of Michigan Press, p. 7, ISBN 0-472-08260-4
  7. Prilozi za orijentalnu filologiju: Revue de philologie orientale, Volume 37. Sarajevo: Orijentalni institut u Sarajevu. 1988. p. 174. Retrieved 1 August 2011. Poslije pada juznih dijelova Despotovine pod osmansku vlast 1455. godine, oba sjedista srpske patrijarsije, Peć i Ziča više nisu bili pod srpskom vlašću
  8. Altimari, Francesco; Janez Stanič (1984). Albanci (in Slovenian). Cankarjeva založba. p. 41. Retrieved 1 August 2011. Z zavzetjem Peči je bil ustanovjjen du- kagjinski sandžak s sedežem v Peči, za sandžakbega pa postavljen Mahmut paša Dukagjini.
  9. Samardžić, Radovan (1983). Istorija srpskog naroda: pt. 1. Od Berlinskog kongresa do ujedinjenja 1878–1918. Srpska knjiiževna zadruga. p. 264. Retrieved 2 August 2011. Пећки санџак је обухватао пећку, ђаковичку, гусињску и беранску (Доњи Васојевићи) казу.
  10. Bep Jubani et al., Historia e popullit shqiptar: për shkollat e mesme (Libri Shkollor: Pristina, 2002) 182-185.
  11. Mcgeary, Johanna (1999-06-28). "Crimes Of War". TIME. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  12. "UNDER ORDERS: War Crimes in Kosovo - 4. March-June 1999: An Overview". Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  14. Retrieved May 19, 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. "Aeroklub Peja organizon "Peja open PARAGLIDING CUP 2014"". Gazeta Lokale. 2014-06-15. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
  16. "Agjencia e Statistikave të Kosovës - Â". Retrieved 2016-01-13.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peć.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Peć.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 12/4/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.