Gazivoda Lake

Gazivoda Lake (Albanian: Liqeni i Gazivodës, Liqeni i Ujmanit), Gazivode Lake (Serbian: Језеро Газиводе / Jezero Gazivode), is an artificial lake in Kosovo[a] and Serbia.[1] Gazivoda Lake has an area of 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi) of which 9.2 km2 (3.6 sq mi) reside in North Kosovo's territory and 2.7 km2 (1.0 sq mi) in Serbia's territory. The lake is formed by the damming of the Ibar River, which flows into the lake.

Ujman / Gazivoda Lake
Gazivoda Lake
Ujman / Gazivoda Lake
Ujman / Gazivoda Lake
LocationSerbia, Kosovo
Coordinates42°57′42″N 20°34′1″E
Primary inflowsIbar River
Basin countriesSerbia
Max. length16.5 km (10.3 mi)
Max. width1.10 km (0.68 mi)
Surface area11.9 km2 (4.6 sq mi)
Average depth105 m (344 ft)
Surface elevation694 m (2,277 ft)


As a project, the damming of the Ibar for the creation of a reservoir and thus the generation of hydroelectricity existed since the 1960s to cover for the energy needs of the population and the economy of Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo which were expanding at the time. Gazivoda was created between 1973 and 1978. Some sources claim that up to 1000[2] or 230 people that lived in area were relocated.[3] The project was undertaken by Energoprojekt, the state company of Yugoslavia for the development of hydropower The main contractor was Belgrade-based company "Hidrotehnika".[4][5]

The construction of Gazivoda cost $ 90 million. Half of it was financed by the fund for infrastructure development of Yugoslavia, a fund which was paid for by taxation in all federal republics and autonomous regions. The other 50% was financed by loaning from the World Bank. The dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the proclamation of independence of Kosovo in 2008 have resulted in a dispute between the Republic of Serbia and Kosovo about the ownership of Gazivoda.[6][7] Serbian sources maintain that it should be recognized as the legal owner of the project as most loan obligations were transferred to Serbia in the post-Yugoslav era.[8] Kosovan sources maintain that the legal entity responsible for the loans by the World Bank was the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo, while Serbia as a legal entity was not involved in the financing of the project. Kosovo further asserts that indemnities to the people that were relocated both in the Autonomous Province and Kosovo and Serbia were paid solely by the institutions of Province of Kosovo.[9]

The dam is currently controlled by the Serbs from North Kosovo loyal to Serbia.[10]

Archeological findings

In the area of the Ibar basin, a Roman necropolis and the medieval court of queen consort Helen of Anjou was located in Brnjak, near Zubin Potok where she founded a vocational course for poor girls that locals have called the first school for women in the Balkans.[11][12] In the lake, tombstones, possibly medieval artifacts, Serbian Orthodox churches and 19th century houses have been found. Whether they are related to ancient and medieval periods remains unclear. A team of Russian archaeologists has undertaken the project of mapping archaeological findings in the lake and investigating any possible links to antiquity.[11][12]


a.   ^ 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. 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 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently (this note self-updates) recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.


  1. Gail Warrander; Verena Knaus (2010). Kosovo. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 279–. ISBN 978-1-84162-331-3.
  2. Serbia, RTS, Radio televizija Srbije, Radio Television of. "Istorija jezera Gazivode". Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  3. Terminski, Bogumil (2014). Development-Induced Displacement and Resettlement: Causes, Consequences, and Socio-Legal Context. Columbia University Press. p. 192. ISBN 3838267230. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  4. "Gazivode | Srbija - Hidrotehnika - Hidroenergetika a.d." Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  5. "Energoprojekt". Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  6. "Neprihvatljivo je da imovina Srbije pripadne Prištini". Danas. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  7. Stojanović, M (18 March 2017). "Seljimi: Nema razgovora sa Beogradom o imovini". Danas. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  8. Serbia, RTS, Radio televizija Srbije, Radio Television of. "Istorija jezera Gazivode". Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  9. "Ujmani, objekt strategjik: Kur e si u ndërtua?". Veriu. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  10. "Nikola Petrović: Vlada ne pristaje na preduzeće po kosovskim zakonima". Danas. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  11. "У дубинама Газивода непроцењива ризница српске културе". Politika Online. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  12. "Istoričarka Katarina Mitrović o filmu "Gazivode, putevima Jelene Anžujske"". Bašta Balkana Magazin (in Serbian). 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2020-04-03.