Ferizaj , Kosovo
Municipality and city
Albanian: Ferizaj , Kosovo
Serbian: Урошевац / Uroševac

Ferizaj , Kosovo
Coordinates: 42°22′N 21°10′E / 42.367°N 21.167°E / 42.367; 21.167Coordinates: 42°22′N 21°10′E / 42.367°N 21.167°E / 42.367; 21.167
Country Kosovo[lower-alpha 1]
District District of Ferizaj
  Mayor Muharrem Svarqa LDK
  Municipality and city 345 km2 (133 sq mi)
  Urban 10.537 km2 (4.068 sq mi)
Elevation 500 m (1,600 ft)
Population (2014)
  Municipality and city 108,610
  Density 310/km2 (820/sq mi)
  Metro 68.000 City
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 70000
Area code(s) 0290
Car plates 05
Climate Cfb
Website Municipality of Ferizaj (Albanian)

Ferizaj in Albanian, or Uroševac in Serbian (Serbian Cyrillic: Урошевац) is a city and municipality in southern of Kosovo,[lower-alpha 1] located approximately 38 kilometers (24 mi) south of the capital Pristina. Founded and named after the local hotelier Feriz Shasivari in the 19th century, the city was renamed Uroševac when Serbia annexed it in 1913. Ferizaj is the third most populous city in Kosovo, after Pristina and Prizren, and is the administrative center of the homonymous district. The central city postal codes include 70000, 70010, 70030 and 70040.

The municipality covers an area of 345 km2 (133 sq mi) for the most part on an agricultural plain. It includes the city of Ferizaj itself as well as forty-five villages, with an estimated total population of 108,610.[1]


Main article: History of Ferizaj

The town, was named Ferızovık when it was part of the Ottoman Empire, was little more than a village until 1873, when the Belgrade-Thessaloniki railway was opened, passing through the town. The name derives from a pre-1873 hotel owned by a local named Feriz Shasivari.

Balkan Wars

When the settlement fell to Serbia during the First Balkan War, the local Albanian population offered determined resistance. According to certain reports, fighting lasted for three days.[2] The Serbian commander then ordered the population to go home and to surrender. When the survivors returned, 300–400 men were executed[2] and according to the Catholic Archbishop of Skopje, Lazër Mjeda, only three Muslim Albanians over the age of fifteen were left alive.[3] The destruction of Albanian-populated villages around Ferizovik followed.[4] Before the Treaty of London in 1913 made Ferizovik a part of the Kingdom of Serbia, the name was changed to Uroševac, after Stefan Uroš V of Serbia.[5]

Kingdom of Yugoslavia

From 1929 to 1941, Ferizaj was part of the Vardar Banovina of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.

Kosovo War

The city suffered some damage during the 1999 Kosovo War, with some of its Albanian-populated neighborhoods being shelled and burned by the Yugoslav Army. Following the war, the city has seen serious inter-communal unrest, which has resulted in almost all of the Serbians, and other non-Albanian inhabitants, either being expelled or fleeing.

Camp Bondsteel, the main base of the United States Army detachment to the KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo, is located nearby.

Camp Bondsteel in Ferizaj


Main article: Economy of Ferizaj

The US company Brown & Root, involved in building Camp Bondsteel, employs 1,500 people locally. Most of the twenty-two publicly owned enterprises have been privatized. According to Ministry of Trade and Industry statistics, more than 10,500 private small and medium-sized businesses registered in the municipality. As there is no reliable data, it is not known how many individuals are employed in the private sector.[1]



There are 38 primary schools in the municipality and 20,492 students.[1] Eight secondary schools include gymnasium and professional schools (technical, medical, music, agricultural and economics) with 6,127 students in total.[1] The school attendance of the Ashkali, Roma and Gorani children is lower than the Kosovo Albanians. There is also one kindergarten with a total of 270 children registered. The Municipal Department of Education and Science has more than 1,680 professional and support staff, including 10 minority communities representatives.[6] Ferizaj has one public library, where students also have internet access. Membership prices are reasonable.


Main article: Culture in Ferizaj

The Big Mosque of Mulla Veseli built in 1891, and the St. Uroš Orthodox Cathedral[7] in the centre of Ferizaj are considered symbolic of religious tolerance between Muslim Albanians and Christian Serbs. Because the mosque and the church are next to one another, many people like to take photos of them. The mosque was destroyed during World War II, but then rebuilt. During the Kosovo War in 1999 neither was destroyed, but in March 2004 during unrest in Kosovo, the church was attacked.

The development of art and culture in Kosovo is closely related to the cultural and artistic society (CAS). The composer Lorenc Antoni lived in Ferizaj in the early 40s, and the composer Venqenc Gjini from Ferizaj has also made many contributions to culture and is respected countrywide, especially for his creative idioms inspired by the popular fountain.[8]

Panorama of Ferizaj


Three football clubs are situated in Ferizaj: KF Ferizaj, KF Vullnetari i UÇK-së and KF Vizioni. Ferizaj is center for sports except for handball; it has one team in the top league – KH Kastrioti.


There are three TV stations and four radio stations licensed and operational in Ferizaj. All the local media are privately owned: RTV Tema, TV Liria, RTV Festina, Radio Ferizaj and Radio Furtuna.


A church foundation was unearthed in the Nikadin village, believed to date to the 5th or 6th century. There are remains of bricks and tiling from the Roman era and, most notably, a sarcophagus which was located below the floor.[9]

A neolithic site is located 2 km from Ferizaj, in the Varosh village. It includes ceramic fragments, the majority of which are of the Starčevo culture and Vinča culture. It is believed that the site was a settlement in the Roman era.[10] In 2008, a Neolithic site was discovered in the Zllatar village. There are indications it was used in the Mesolithic age, as well as more recent periods. It includes flint, stone tools, and ceramics.[11]

Ruins of a Roman-era church were discovered at Komogllava. It is believed to have been built in the 1st century BC, then rebuilt in the Byzantine era. The locality includes remnants of ancient urbanized streets, sewage, and other infrastructure. Vases, ceramic pots, coins, jewellery, items of iron and other carbonaceous substances, but also characteristic stone, believed to have been moved from coastal areas to build the sarcophagus and other items.[9][12]


The exact figure for the municipality's population can only be estimated, as the most recent census took place in 1991. However, in 2015 municipal authorities estimated the population at 108,610.[1] The majority, roughly 100,000, are Kosovo Albanians. The others were: Ashkali (3,500), Roma (200), Gorani (150), Bosniak (60), and other communities (40), including Turks.[1]

The city had a population of about 70,000 people in the 1990s but it has grown substantially because of Albanian migration from the countryside and from parts of southern Serbia.[5]

In 1998, before the Kosovo War in 1999, the population was recorded as 57,421, of whom 82.1% were Albanian, 9.4% Serb, and the remainder from various other national communities. In 2003 the town had a total population of 139,800.

Ethnic Composition, Including IDPs
Year/Population Albanian % Serb % Ashkali/Roma % Gorani/Bosniaks % Total
1991 census * 81,737 85.9 8,191 8.6 2,081 2.2 95,156
October 199992,267 95.1 26 0.0 4,700 4.8 96,967
Current est. 160,000 98.4 147 0.1 3,594 1.3 248 0.2 163,842
May 2011104,000 96.5 26 0.0 3,000 3.2 108,690
It is noted that the 1991 census was highly politicised and is thus regarded as unreliable. Ref: KK.RKS

Notable people



  1. 1 2 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. 1 2 3 4 5 6 OSCE "Mission in Kosovo: Municipal profile of Ferizaj]". Mission in Kosovo: Municipal profile of Ferizaj], September 2015. Retrieved on 9 January 2016.
  2. 1 2 "Leo Freundlich: Albania's Golgotha". Albanianhistory.net. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  3. Noel Malcolm (1998). Kosovo: A Short History. London: papermac. p. 254. ISBN 978-0-330-41224-7.
  4. "Leo Trotsky: Behind the Curtains of the Balkan Wars". Albanianhistory.net. 1912-12-23. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  5. 1 2 Elsie, Robert (2004). Historical dictionary of Kosova. Scarecrow Press. p. 58. ISBN 0-8108-5309-4.
  6. OSCE "Mission in Kosovo: Municipal profile of Ferizaj" (PDF)., October 2007. Retrieved on 10 March 2008.
    Source: Acting Director, Municipal Department of Education and Science.
  7. English Edition (2010-09-15). "Greek Kosovo Force Reopens Damaged St. Uros Cathedral, Urosevac / OrthoChristian.Com". Pravoslavie.ru. Retrieved 2014-04-17.
  8. Grup autoresh Ferizaj dhe rrethina, Beograd, 1975, page 262
  9. 1 2 KosovaPress, 07 Qershor 2012 14:01. "Mungojnë gjurmimet arkeologjike në Malin e Kishës – Arkiva". KosovaPress. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  10. "Archaeological Guide to Kosovo" (PDF). Mkrs-ks.org. Retrieved 2016-01-25.
  11. "KosovaSot". kosova-sot.info. Retrieved 2014-03-02.
  12. "Zbulimet arkeologjike, pasuri kombëtare - - Bota Sot". Botasot.info. 2009-01-21. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  13. Janićijević, Jovan (1998). The cultural treasury of Serbia. IDEA. p. 501. Retrieved 19 December 2013. It was a strategic complex along with the smaller fortress of Mali Petric some 3.5 km south of it.

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