Gjakova or Đakovica is a city and municipality in western Kosovo. It is also the administrative centre of the homonymous district. The municipality’s population in 2011 stood at 94.556.
The name “Đakovica” is Serbian, which can be easily distinguished by the -ica suffix, which means “little”. The Albanian name for the town is Gjakova. There are several theories on the origin of the village name, such as from the personal name Jakov; the Serbian word đak (pupil); or from the Albanian word for “blood” (gjak).
The “Jakov theory” derives it’s name from Jakov, a little known nobility in the service of lord Vuk Branković who founded and ruled the town, and whose coins has been found, signed “Jakov”. According to local Albanians, the name was derived from the name Jak (Jakov), with the village name meaning “Jakov’s field”. It was also wrongfully claimed by the Albanians that the name was derived from a Jak Vula, a local landlord who allegedly gave property where the Hadum Mosque was built in the 1590s. In Albanian, the name was pronounced Jakova, and not Đakova or Đakovica (1928). The “pupil theory” has it that the Serbian kings had schools here, the word đak is from earlierd(i)jak; The “blood theory” is supported by Noel Malcolm.
The municipality covers an area of 521 km2, including the town of Gjakova and 84 villages. Gjakova is situated at the Southern end of The Dinaric Alps and is approx. 100 km (62 mi) inland from the Adriatic Sea.
Deçan is a town and municipality in the Gjakova district of western Kosovo. It is a mountainous area which borders Montenegro and Albania. There is a total of 36 villages within the municipality. The territory of the municipality is 372 km2.
During the 1998–1999 war, Deçan was one of the strongholds of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and subsequently suffered a large amount of infrastructure destruction by the Serbian military and paramilitary forces. Much reconstruction has taken place with the assistance of the international agencies and support from the Kosovo Albanian diaspora.It is widely known (mainly amongst the Serbian population) for the Visoki Dečani monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Prishtina is the largest city in Kosovo, and its capital. It has around 572 square kilometers, with its 48 surrounding villages. It holds 400 thousand inhabitants within the city, while with the villages it holds around 470 thousand. After the flux, of the last ten years, it is estimated to hold between 500,000 and 600,000 inhabitants. Most of them being ethnic Albanian, however there are other minorities such as Turks, Bosnians, Roma, Serbians etc.
Prishtina can be reached via different routes, since as a capital city it has good links with the world and other cities in Kosovo.
The International Airport of Prishtina is located 18 km South of Prishtina and 3 km South of village Sllatina; however it is not more than 80 km away from any other city in Kosovo. From the airport, probably the best way from the airport is taxi service, costing 10-15 euro.
The traffic may be, occasionally, jammed due to constant reconstruction of roads and bridges. For a lower cost ties with Prishtina, one may definitely try by bus. There is no transportation linking downtown Prishtina with the Bus Station, however the distance can be easily walked in about 2 minutes. One may also use taxi services, located outside at the Bus Station.
For more information on different destinations, please call these numbers: 038 550 011 and 038 540 142. One may also travel to Prishtina by rail from Skopje, twice a day. Then from Prishtina to other cities connected to railroad. The main train station is in Fushe Kosove, 7 km West of Prishtina. The train station in Prishtina is located 1 km away from downtown Prishtina.
Peja, is a city in the west of Kosovo. Located at the foot of the impressive mountian Bjeshket e Nemuna the city has been ruled by different dominating powers throughout history, giving it a diverse cultural character.
The Orthodox influence has resulted in the construction of impressive religious sites and monasteries. Serbian UNESCO world heritage site is Peć Patriarchate, built during medieval Serbian empire. Under Ottoman rule Peja/Peć took on a more oriental character with the construction of narrow streets, old-style Turkish houses and mosques.One of these is the Bajrakli Mosque, built by the Ottomans in the 15th century, from the remains of Serbias medieval Monastery of Holy Archangels.
You can even find traces of the brief presence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the early 20th century in the shape of some handsome buildings in the city centre, as well as some massive socialist buildings and apartment blocks. The mountains bordering the city form an extraordinary background, and are a great place for all kinds of outdoor activities like hiking, skiing or rock climbing.
Peja is easy accessible, having regular traveling lines from many other cities in Kosovo. Buses to Peja start from 7:30 am till 6:30 pm, within 20 minute intervals.