Are you planning to visit Pristina this year? The capital city of Kosovo, along with its vibrant nightlife and café culture, has six great museums that you should include in your travel itinerary. Each museum has something special to share about the history of the nation, from archaeological ruins to Ottoman-era artifacts to witness accounts of the time of independence. Check out these amazing museums.
The Museum of Kosovo is the main museum of Pristina, located inside a gorgeous building built in 1889 (judging by the Austro-Hungarian style of construction). It opened as a museum in 2014. In its rooms you can admire unique pieces of art of various eras, such as Dardanian, Romanian and Illyrian. The museum, which is divided into three large departments, has a beautiful collection of archaeological pieces that were found in the surrounding Pristina area and the rest of the country. The museum is worth a visit, not just for its materials, but also because it is one of the most beautiful and majestic buildings in the capital city.
The Ethnographic Museum – Emin Gjiku – is located inside two Ottoman buildings from the eighteenth century. It is situated in Pristina’s , old town neighborhood near the spectacular Mehmet Fadiu Mosque. The palaces were owned by the Gjiku family and were just recently turned into a museum in 2006. The English-speaking guide offers a tour of both properties and explains anecdotes of the Kosovar culture. You’ll also see typical clothes, weaponry and jewelry of that time. A great way to continue the day after your visit is to walk through Pristina’s old town and admire other Ottoman-era buildings and houses.
Right in the heart of the University of Pristina’s campus is the Kosova National Art Gallery, founded in 1979. It is the most important art gallery in the country. It is not difficult to find: the gallery is just behind the majestic National Library of Kosovo Pjeter Bogdani, another place that everyone should include in their travel itinerary. The KNAG is the highest institution of visual arts in Kosovo and often hosts exhibitions of local and international artists. Also, the Kosova National Art Gallery publishes books, catalogs, monographs and brochures.
Close to the Kosovo Museum, there is the Archaeological Park, also known as a lapidarium (a lapidarium is an outdoor place where stones, fragments and historical monuments are exhibited). In the Lapidarium of Pristina you will find architectural ruins, inscriptions, images and stones portraying mythological scenes or funeral processions.
The travelling exhibition of Broken Relationships, which has a permanent collection in Zagreb, Croatia, will be open for one month in the capital city of Kosovo. The mission of this peculiar exhibit is to share heartbreaking stories and symbolic possessions. The Museum of Broken Relationships in Pristina will include items from the Zagreb’s collection, such as a positive pregnancy test from Germany and a wedding dress of a Turkish girl who lost her husband-to-be the day of their marriage in 2016 when a terrorist attack killed him at the Istanbul airport. This exhibit is a very touching way of describing human relationships and feelings.
Right opposite the Pristina Stadium, there is a small white house devoted to the former president Ibrahim Rugova (the first president of the Republic of Kosovo and one of the most important Kosovo-Albanian political leaders of all the time) and Kosovo’s independence movement. The English-speaking guide will show you the history of the independence of the country, including video footage of Rugova.