|Municipality and city|
|District||District of Gjakova|
|• Mayor||Mimoza Kusari Lila|
|• Municipality and city||586.91 km2 (226.61 sq mi)|
|• Municipality and city||94,557 (municipality)|
|• Density||160.5/km2 (416/sq mi)|
|• Metro||40,8,270 City|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Area code(s)||+381 390|
|Website||Municipality of Gjakova|
Gjakova or Đakovica (Albanian: Gjakova/ Gjakovë, Serbian: Đakovica/ Ђаковица, Turkish: Yakova) (see names) is a city and municipality in western Kosovo.[a] It is also the administrative centre of the homonymous district. The municipality's population in 2011 stood at 94,556. The city is located at .
- 1 Names
- 2 History
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Geography and population
- 6 Culture
- 7 Sport
- 8 International relations
- 9 Notable people from Gjakova or descending from Gjakovan families
- 10 Gallery
- 11 Notes and references
- 12 References
The name 'Đakovica' is Serbian, which can be easily distinguished by the -vica suffix, which means "little". The Albanian name for the town is Gjakova. It is hard to tell which of the two names influenced the other. There are a number of theories concerning the name of the town: that it derives from the Serbian word đak (pupil) from earlier d(i)jak; or that it derives from the Albanian word for "blood" (gjak). Around 1594 or 1595, Hadum Suleiman Aga Hadum Efendia-built mosque[vague], which also bears the name of the donor-sponsors of the facility in town. Hadum Mosque, according to tradition, was built in property of Jakë Vula, a landlord with obviously an Albanian name and surname, hence the name would become the city – Jakovë. Furthermore, it is also plausible to conclude that the initial town name, Jakovë, may in fact represent an Albanian way of pronouncing the otherwise south Slavic (Serbian) genitive case 'Jakova', as in "(zemlja) Jakova", meaning "(the land) of Jakov", as is the case with many other place names in Kosovo, including the word Kosovë itself (the defintite article form being Kosova). which might easily have been one word within a full name - polje kosova (the field of blackbirds).
Gjakova suffered greatly from the Serbian and Montenegrin armies during the First Balkan War. The New York Times reported in 1912, citing Austro-Hungarian sources, that people on the gallows hung on both sides of the road, and that the way to Gjakova became a "gallows alley." In the region of Gjakova, the Montenegrin police-military formed the Royal Gendarmerie Corps (Kraljevski žandarmerijski kor), known as krilaši, committed much abuse and violence against the non-Christian population.
The town was badly affected by the Kosovo war, suffering great physical destruction and large-scale human losses and human rights abuses. Yugoslav units were stationed in and near the town in two barracks due to the risk of an attack by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) from across the border in Albania. In one incident, NATO aircraft misidentified a convoy of Albanian refugees and attacked it.
Actions on the ground had a devastating effect on the town. According to the ICTY, OSCE, and international human rights organisations, about 75% of the population was expelled by Serbian police and paramilitaries as well as Yugoslav forces, while many civilians were killed in the process. Large areas of the town were destroyed, chiefly through arson and looting but also in the course of localised fighting between government security forces and members of the KLA. The actions of the government forces in Gjakova formed a major part of the United Nations war crimes indictment of the then-President Slobodan Milošević.  In 2011, several dozen corpses were identified and returned to their families, though the number is relatively small compared to the figures of those who are still missing. As a result, any reference to the return of the former Kosovo Serb population remains highly sensitive.
Aftermath of Kosovo war
Most of the Albanian population returned following the end of the war. In 2001 free elections were held, with a majority won by LDK. Thousands of new stores were rebuilt. Qarshia e Madhe is a good example where hundreds of stores were destroyed during the war; in 2001 as many were rebuilt as they had been before the war. New television and radio media were launched such as Radio Gjakova, Radio Pandora, Radio Amadeus, and TV Syri. Local businesses set up manufacturing enterprises such as the IMN brick factory was one of these.
According to the 2011 census, resident population in Gjakova in 2011 was 94,556 of which urban 40,827 and rural 53,729 and male 47,226 and female 47,330. The ethnicities were Albanian 87,672, Egyptian 5,117, Roma 738, Ashkali 613, Bosnian 73, Serb 17, Turk 16, Gorani 13 and others.
Of those that answered, Muslim were 77,299, Catholic 16,296, Christian Orthodox 22, Other 142, no religion 129.
Gjakova built an economy based on farming and agriculture, lower trade and some types of manufacturing workshops which mainly produce for the needs of city-based products as imported cases. After World War II, Gjakova has built an economy based on industry and agriculture but also in the service sector. Nowadays, these subsequent shifts in transitional societies are escorted with shifts in the economic structure of the city. Therefore, Gjakova has an economic structure that is based on two pillars: in the private business sector and social business sector which is currently being privatized. Private business sector is in expansion and the main indicators qualify it as the main component of Gjakova’s economy.
According to official sources identified in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, by the end of 2005 there were about 3,200 registered businesses that exercise activity in different areas of Gjakova, such as enterprise manufacturing, construction, service, trade, catering, craft, transportation, information technology, etc. Social economy in 1989 has counted 45 companies that have employed 18,640 workers. In non-economic activities (education, health, culture, government institutions, banks, etc.) there were employed 4000 workers. Furthermore, they also developed the private economy – where in 2010 approximately 920 employees were registered in the business entities. The economy of the municipality of Gjakova suffered mostly during the economic sanctions and the mass violence done by Serbian forces during the war. The situation further during NATO’s intervention as a result of the destructive actions of multiple military and police forces, which have stood and operated in the economic enterprise facilities. This meant that during their withdrawal, these Serbian forces robbed, looted and destroyed most of the assets, inventories, transportation machines, etc. The losses that were done in the social economy as a result of the war were approximately 190 million DEM, whereas in the private economy around 100 million DEM.
Damages during the wartime
According to the report “Damages of the War in the Economy of Gjakova”, written by the Provisional Government of Gjakova (Department of Economy, Finance and Inspection jobs), it is explained how on August 1999 on the financial damages reached the amount of DEM 170,252,772. This seems to be specified directly to the sector of social economy.
|No.||Social Enterprise||Damage in the buildings and equipment ( DEM * )|
|1.||Metal industry - " Metallic "||5,716,600|
|2.||Gorenje " Electric motor "||781,500|
|3.||Production of vessels " EMAL "||8,000|
|4.||Production of Teflon " ENA "||128,220|
|5.||Holding Korporacy " Deva "||1,075,000|
|6.||Rubber Industry " Keys "||45,000|
|7.||Textile Industry " Emin Duraku "||3,905,900|
|8.||Enterprise " JATEX "||3,261,100|
|9.||Enterprise " Model "||292,000|
|10.||Industry bread and flour||2,000,000|
|11.||Food company " BUJETA "||47,700|
|12.||Construction material industry||1,200,000|
|13.||Enterprise " MEAT "||400,000|
|14.||Industrial Agricultural Combine " Ereniku "||113,348,916|
|15.||Agricultural Cooperative " Beci "||27,918,089|
|16.||Agricultural Cooperative " Cermjan "||289,850|
|17.||Agricultural Cooperative " DAMJAN "||572,000|
|18.||Dairy " Golaj "||53,500|
|19.||Agricultural Cooperative " Skivjan "||927,736|
|20.||Hydro " Radoniq "||1,000,000|
|21.||Enterprise " Kosovatrans "||4,066,661|
|22.||Enterprise " DUKAGJINI "||521,000|
|23.||Enterprise "Dawn "||1,461,000|
|24.||Enterprise Hotel " Pashtriku "||550,000|
|25.||Municipal Enterprise " ÇABRATI "||269,000|
|26.||Construction enterprise " November 9||414,000|
Past war economy
According to official data, in 2006, there were 581 registered small and medium enterprises, in 2008 there were 3120 such registered businesses, while in 2012 their number had reached 4120. Gjakova has 12,000 people employed, on both the public and private sector, but most work in the private sector. Even though this number is still small, it has seen a gradual increase over the years. In 2009 there were a total of 8,000 people employed in Gjakova. According to data from the Kosovo Ministry of Work and Social Wellbeing, this municipality has seen a decrease in the number of the unemployed. According to statistics from this ministry, in 2010, 40,000 people were registered as unemployed, while in 2011 this number decreased to 30,000 and in 2012, this number fell to 15,000. Thirty thousand people in Gjakova receive social assistance. This category includes poor families, people with disabilities, families of war veterans/victims and retirees.
Potential industry sectors in the municipality of Gjakova are:
- Metal industry which produces metal ropes, nails, galvanized pipes, profiles of metal adhesive bandages. The existing industry also the production of electro motors for washing machines, engines for industrial applications, motors for hermetic compressors, finger jointed and Teflon containers, chimneys, elbows, enameled pots, technical gases, and chrome concentrate.
- The textile industry which produced cotton spinning, cotton fabrics, artificial leather, underwear, lingerie costume for men, and different types of fabric (specifically jeans), etc.
- Chemical industry involves production of the shampoo for domestic and industrial use and other chemical products which are used for household hygiene.
- Food industry is mainly known with the production of flour, bread, eggs, pasta, chocolate, high quality wines, and fresh meat.
- Gjakova is also known for its construction materials industry, which involves the production of bricks, blocks, tiles, doors and windows, briquette, wooden cottages in the global level (log Houses ) and also the production of asphalt, fresh concrete, concrete slabs, and concrete pipes.
The municipal budget of Gjakova was subsided by donations from USAID, CDF, Austrian Office in Kosovo, the European Commission and others, which over the past four years have done capital investments to the amount of 25 Million euro.
2010: 5,400,000 EURO
2011: 6,300,000 EURO
2012: 6,700,000 EURO
2013: 6,600,000 EURO
The capital investments in the municipality of Gjakova are mainly focused on the regulation of roads including the rehabilitation, pavement and partially their lighting. However, investments for the expansion of the sewage system and the regulation of the canalization remain insufficient. The total amount of funds that are available to the municipality of Gjakova during a year for capital investments lies somewhere over 6 million euros.
Dominated by small family businesses, retail stores, cafeterias and providers of basic services, the private sector of Gjakova remains weak. It makes up only 5.5 percent of all businesses registered in Kosovo. According to the Tax Administration Office in Gjakova, 88 to 93 percent of active businesses are businesses with a single owner, five to ten percent are businesses with limited liability and the remaining two percent are large businesses. As in any other place in Kosovo, more than 90 percent of the sector consists of small family businesses which cannot create growth with added value. Only 2 out of 53 studied businesses in the centre of Gjakova declared not having employed any relative.
Gjakova’s private sector, as in other places of Kosovo, is dominated by small businesses which hire 1-5 employees in activities with small added value, such as wholesale and retail, or other service activities such as restaurants and hotels. Wholesale and retail represent 50.5 percent of registered businesses. Other sectors include hotels and restaurants (10.2 percent), production (9.7 percent), transport and communication (7.8 percent), construction (4.2 percent) and agriculture (1.7 percent) among others.
Outside of the city’s centre, Gjakova’s private sector is characterized by ex-social ventures. Only one of the 15 privatized social ventures and one of the two ventures with common shares are completely functional. Both ventures have to do with construction. One of them is "Dukagjini" with 109 employees, which is one of the biggest private employers in Gjakova today. The other venture is "NIKI-S" which at present has 279 employees and is considered the biggest company in Gjakova’s municipality.
Geography and population
The municipality covers an area of 521 km2, including the town of Gjakova and 84 villages. As of October 2007, the population is estimated to be of approximately 158,000 people, out of which 100,000 (60%) live in the town and 58,000 (40%) reside in the surrounding villages. The Kosovo Albanians constitute about 95% of the population), while some 7060 Muslims by nationality, Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians making up ca. 4.7% represent the main minority communities.
According to OSCE estimations, before the Kosovo War of 1999 the municipality had a population of about 145,000, of which 93% were Kosovo Albanians and 7% non-majority communities, including some 3,000 Kosovo Serbs, who mostly lived in the main town.
Gjakova has been populated since the prehistoric era. During the medieval period, in 1485, Gjakova is mentioned as a village, concretely as a market place.
Gjakova served as a trading center on the route between Shkodra and Istanbul.
The old town of Gjakova was one of the most developed trade centers during the rule of the Ottoman Empire in Balkans. A testimony to this period is the Grand Shopping area (çarshia e madhe) located in the center of the old town, containing many preserved and restored shops and residential buildings. Shopping was developed around the Hadum Mosque, built in 1594-95 as a donation by Hadum Sylejman Efendia (known as Hadum Aga), who simultaneously donated funds for other public facilities in the town, including some of the first shops in the old marketplace.
Gjakova is mentioned as a city for the first time in 1662, by the Ottoman Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi, who described it as a flourishing and attractive town consisting of 2,000 houses, all built of stone with roofs and gardens. Public buildings were suited on a broad plain and included two richly-adorned congregational mosques, several prayer-houses, some khans with leaden roofs, a delightful bathhouse, and about 300 shops like nightingale-nests.
The forms of denominating the city had changed during the centuries. The oldest form “Jakova” originates from the base “Jak” anthroponym dispersed among vendor Albanians and the Ottoman suffix “ovasi” that means a field. Therefore “Jak ovasi” means Jak’s field, because Jak Vula, according to the tradition, allowed Hadum Aga to build the mosque and the above-mentioned objects with the condition that the city to be build will carry his name.
Historical monuments in Gjakova are divided into three main categories based on their cultural, religious and social context. Gjakova was initially named "Jakova" - a term deriving from the name of a rich merchant, Jak Vula. In 1574, the Hadum Mosque was built on his property, laying the foundation of the city. The core part of the town was created between the Krena River to the east and Cabrati hill to the west. Around the cornerstone of the town, the Old Bazaar - the center of trade and craftsmanship - was created. By 1900, the bazaar housed around 1000 enterprises. Numerous bridges were built to enable the journey of trade caravans across the neighboring rivers. With the fast development of trade in the city, several inns were built to host the many visitors. Because of its ancient origins and fast economic development, Gjakova has become of great historical importance.
The Hadum Mosque in Gjakova was built in the last decade of the 16th century (1594/95) by the architect Mimar Sinan. Its building was financed by Hadum Sylejman Efendia – Hadum Aga, which explains the name of the mosque. The mosque was built on the property of Jakë Vula and is located in the Old Bazaar. A rectangular, dome-covered structure, it belongs to the classic forms of mosque of the Islamic-Kosovar style. Around the mosque there are tombs with sculpted decorations and engraved with epithets in the old Ottoman language. The tombs belonged to the most respected families in Gjakova. There also used to be a "hamam", but it was destroyed during World War II. The entrances are covered with floral paintings, geometrical shapes, citations from the Qur'an and arabesques. In 1999, the surrounding complex was burned to the ground and only the mosque and the minaret along with some damaged arabesques survived.
The Old Bazaar in Gjakova is the oldest bazaar in Kosovo (also known as Çarshia e Madhe (Grand Bazaar) or Dakovica. Mëhalla e Hadumit, the historical neighborhood where it is located also houses the city's oldest mosque, the Hadum Mosque (Xhamia e Hadumit), which dates from the fifteenth century.
The Grand Bazaar (from the Turkish: Çarşı meaning marketplace Albanian: Çarshia e Vjetër) was the heart of the economy in Gjakova, a city of trade and merchandise which served the villages around the municipality of Gjakova, the Junik zone and Gjakova’s highlands (Malësia e Gjakovës) on the border between Kosovo and Albania. The Old Bazaar was burnt and destroyed and then it was reconstructed after suffering damage during the 1999 war (the last war in Kosovo).
Around the mosque lie the graves with sculpted decorations, with inscriptions engraved in the old Ottoman language. In the past, it was used to bury members of the popular families in Gjakova. Within the mosque’s complex were the hamam (Turkish bath) which was destroyed in 2008, the building of the old library, from 1671 (burnt by Serbian forces during the war of 1999 and totally ruined in 2000) and also meytepi from 1777.
The Bazaar is linked to the city centre, just five minutes away via the IslamBegu Bridge. The bazaar covers an area of about 35,000 m2 (380,000 sq ft) and the length of its main road is 1 km, with about 500 shops situated along it. It is, however, still home to an active mosque, several türbes, and a clocktower.
Events and festivals
Events and festivals in Gjakova are not as much in numbers, as they are highly valued. The historic city of Gjakova, Kosovo, especially the Old Çarshia, is the hub of many outdoor and indoor festivals, cultural events and street parades. Many of them are seasonal and take place only one time, while others are organised annually for many years by various festival societies. All of them draw interest from the locals and visitors alike. Some of the events are organised by the city, some by private companies as well.
Apart from being a culture and educative center of Kosovo, Gjakova is also known as a sports center. The best example of this is the fact of having 38 clubs, which compete in all leagues over Kosovo. Gjakova's most successful team is KF Vëllaznimi which has won 9 titles of Kosovar Superliga, and 4 Kosovo Cups. "Shani Nushi" is the city's sports hall, which has a capacity of 3500 seats, while Gjakova's City Stadium has a capacity of 6000 (2000 seats).
Twin towns – Sister cities
Đakovica is twinned with:
Notable people from Gjakova or descending from Gjakovan families
- Mahmut Bakalli - 5th President of the League of Communists of Kosovo.
- Bardhyl Çaushi - Dean of law of the University of Pristina.
- Bajram Curri - A founding member of the Committee for the National Defence of Kosovo.
- Emin Duraku - Notable Yugoslav Partisan.
- Bekim Fehmiu - Actor. He was the first Eastern European actor to star in Hollywood during the Cold War.
- Fadil Hoxha - First Prime Minister of Socialist Kosovo.
- Atifete Jahjaga - President of Kosovo from 2011 onwards.
- Ardian Kozniku -Former Croatian footballer.
- Naim Kryeziu - Former footballer. Was part of the AS Roma team that won their first ever Serie A.
- Avni Mula - Famous Albanian singer, composer and musician.
- Fadil Nimani - Commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
- Dimitar Obshti - Bulgarian 19th century revolutionary.
- Ismet Peja - Singer.
- Ali Podrimja - Renowned Albanian poet.
- Aleksandar Tijanić - Journalist and former director of Radio Television of Serbia.
- Sulejman Vokshi - A leader of the League of Prizren.
- Teki Dervishi - Author, poet and founder of Bota Sot newspaper.
Notes and references
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 107 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- "Të dhënat demografike sipas komunave". Statistics Agency of Kosovo. April 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Book: Alexandru Madgearu, The Wars of the Balkan Peninsula: Their Medieval Origins
- Mirjana Detelić: Градови у хришћанској и муслиманској епици, Belgrade, 2004 ISBN 86-7179-039-8
- Malcolm, Noel; Kosovo-A Short History, Harper Perennial, 1999, ISBN 978-0-06-097775-7
- The New York Times, 31. december 1912.
- Krilaši, Istorijski leksikon Crne Gore, Daily Press, Podgorica, 2006.
- UNDER ORDERS: War Crimes in Kosovo – 6. Djakonica Municipality
- Documents Library – OSCE
- OSCE PDF, October 2007. Retrieved on 9 March 2008.
- OSCE PDF, November 2005. Retrieved on 13 November 2007.
- Gjakova City & Valbona Valley. Gjakova. 2010. ISBN 978-9951-8784-0-1.
- Elsie, Robert (2004). Historical dictionary of Kosova. 4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, Maryland 20706: Scarecrow Press, Inc. ISBN 0-8108-5309-4.
- Kuvendi i Gjakovës. Toponimia e Gjakovës me rrethinë.
- Haxhibeqiri, Fuat (2011). Krimet e luftes në Gjakovë. Gjakovë. ISBN 978-9951-585-85-9.
- "Integrated Conservation". Cultural Heritage without Borders.
- Herscher, Andrew (October 2007). The Hadum Mosque Restoration. CHwB Kosovo Cultural Heritage without Borders. ISBN 978-9951-8741-0-6.
- Redzic, H. Cinq Monuments Cous coupoles Ottomans dans la region de Kosovo et Metohija, Starina Kosova, Vol I. pp. 93–101.
- Necipoglu (2005). The Age of Sinan. Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire. Princeton University Press.
- Dranҫolli, Fejaz (2007). Hadum Mosque, Bazaar in Gjakova. Prishtina: Institute For Protection Of Monuments Of Kosova.
- Rizvanolli, Masar (2010). Gjakova city and Valbona Valley. Gjakova: Erpoprint. ISBN 978-9951-8784-0-1.
- Broshura për promovimin e Gjakovës,CBDC
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Largest cities or towns of Republic of Kosovo
Estimation of Kosovo Population 2012