Banja, Skenderaj

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Бања, Baja
Banja is located in Kosovo
Coordinates: 42°48′51″N 20°40′21″E / 42.81417°N 20.67250°E / 42.81417; 20.67250Coordinates: 42°48′51″N 20°40′21″E / 42.81417°N 20.67250°E / 42.81417; 20.67250
Country Kosovo[a]
District Kosovska Mitrovica
Municipality Skenderaj
Elevation 2,497 ft (761 m)
Population (1991)
 • Total 274
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Area code(s) +381 290
Car plates 02

Banja (Serbian Cyrillic: Бања, Albanian: Bajë) or Banja Rudnička (Бања Рудничка) is a settlement in the Skenderaj municipality in Kosovo. The rural settlement lies on a cadastral area with the same name, of 1033 hectares. The village has a Serbian majority; in the 1991 census, it had 274 inhabitants.


Banja is located circa 2 km from Rudnik, on the Peć–Kosovska Mitrovica road.[1]


Banje or Banja Rudnička is an Old Serbian settlement.[1] It is mentioned for the first time in a charter of Serbian King Stefan Uroš I (r. 1243–1276), dating to the mid-13th century, granted (metochion) to the Gračanica monastery.[1] It was then granted by King Stefan Milutin (r. 1282–1321) to the Banjska Monastery.[1] The village church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, was founded by nobleman Rodop who served Serbian Despot Đurađ Branković (r. 1427–1456), and was buried here in 1436.[2] Two bells found in its ruins are preserved in the Monastery of the Patriarchate of Peć and National Museum in Belgrade.[2] Between 1936–41 the church was renovated, but destroyed during World War II[2] by Albanian fascists.[3][need quotation to verify][4][need quotation to verify][5][need quotation to verify] In 1971 the church was reconstructed.[2] The church was used as a model for an Orthodox church in Norway.[6]

On the night of May 21, 1998, a large number of Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army members of Drenica attacked the villages of Banja and Suvo Grlo (which are inhabited by Serbs) and a military station in Rudnik, above Skenderaj. Serbs and Serbian police answered the fire, no deaths or injuries were reported by them.[7]

Demographic history
Ethnic group 1948 1953 1961 1971 1981[8] 1991
Serbs 338
Albanians 32
Total[9] 552 595 636 513 371 274


  1. ^ 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, but 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 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 111 out of 193 United Nations member states.