Prizren (Albanian: Prizren, definite form: Prizreni; Serbian Cyrillic: Призрен) is a city in Kosovo[lower-alpha 1] and the seat of the eponymous municipality and district. As of the constitution of Kosovo, the city is designated as the historical capital.[2]

From top, left to right: The old town of Prizren, the fortress, Stone Bridge, Sinan Pasha Mosque, League of Prizren building, Shadervan Square, Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Gazi Mehmet Pasha Hammam, Our Lady of Ljeviš and the city by night.
Coordinates: 42°13′N 20°44′E
CountryKosovo[lower-alpha 1]
  MayorMytaher Haskuka (Vetëvendosje)
  City22.39 km2 (8.64 sq mi)
640 km2 (250 sq mi)
450 m (1,480 ft)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)+383 (0)29
Vehicle registration04

According to the 2011 census, the city of Prizren has 85,119 inhabitants, while the municipality has 177,781 inhabitants.[3] Prizren is located on the banks of the Bistrica river and on the slopes of the Šar Mountains (Albanian: Malet e Sharrit) in southern Kosovo. The municipality has a border with Albania and North Macedonia.[4]

Prizren is one of the oldest settlements in Kosovo and the western Balkans. Archaeological excavations in Prizren Fortress indicate that its fortress area has seen habitation and use since the Bronze Age (ca. 2000 BCE). Prizren has been traditionally identified with the settlement of Theranda in Roman Dardania, although other locations have been suggested in recent research. In late antiquity it was part of the defensive fortification system in western Dardania and the fort was reconstructed in the era of eastern Roman Emperor Justinian. Byzantine rule in the region ended definitively in 1219-20 as the Serbian Nemanjić dynasty controlled the fort and the town until 1371. Since 1371, a series of regional feudal rulers came to control Prizren: the Balšić, the Dukagjini, the Hrebeljanović and finally the Branković, often with Ottoman support. The Ottoman Empire assumed direct control after 1450. Prizren first developed in the area below the fortress which overlooks the Bistrica river on its left bank. Since the 16th century, economic development fueled the expansion of the city's neighbourhoods to the river's right bank.