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This article is about the city and municipality in Kosovo[a]. For the monastery, see Visoki Dečani. For the architectural term, see Decani.
Deçan / Deçani
Dečani / Дечани
Deçan is located in Kosovo
Location in the Republic of Kosovo
Coordinates: 42°32′N 20°17′E / 42.533°N 20.283°E / 42.533; 20.283Coordinates: 42°32′N 20°17′E / 42.533°N 20.283°E / 42.533; 20.283
Country Kosovo[a]
District District of Gjakova
Municipalities Deçan
 • Mayor Rasim Selmanaj
 • Total 297 km2 (115 sq mi)
Elevation 550 m (1,800 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Total 40,847
 • Density 140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 51000
Area code(s) +383 390
Car plates 03
Website Municipality of Deçan

Deçan or Dečani (Albanian: Deçan, Deçani; Serbian: Дечани, Dečani, pronounced [dɛ̌t͡ʃani]) is a town and municipality in the Gjakova district of western Kosovo[a]. It is a mountainous area which borders Montenegro and Albania. There is a total of 36 villages within the municipality. The territory of the municipality is 371 km2.

During the 1998–1999 war, Deçan was one of the strongholds of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and subsequently suffered a large amount of infrastructure destruction by the Serbian military and paramilitary forces. Much reconstruction has taken place with the assistance of the international agencies and support from the Kosovo Albanian diaspora.[citation needed] It is widely known amongst the Serbian population for the Visoki Dečani monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church.


Deçan lies in the Prokletije mountain region. It is surrounded by the Beleg Mountain.

List of settlements[edit]

Razniq / Rznić

List of settlements:[1]

Albanian language Serbo-Croatian language
Baballoq Babaloć
Carrabreg i Epërm Gornji Crnobreg
Carrabreg i Poshtem Donji Crnobreg
Drenoc Drenovce
Dubovik Dubovik
Gramaçel Gramočelj
Jasiq Jasić
Kodrali Kodralija
Lëbushë Ljubusa
Lloqan Locan
Lumbardh Bistrica
Maznik Maznik
Pobergjë Pobrđe
Papiq Papić
Pepsh Pepša
Pozhar Požar
Prelep Prilep
Rastavica Rastavica
Ratish i Epërm Gornji Ratiš
Irzniq Rznić
Beleg Beleg
Shaptej Šaptej
Sllup Slup
Strellc i Epërm Gornji Streoc
Strellc i Poshtem Donji Streoc
Voksh Vokša
Vranoc i Vogël Mali Vranovac


In 2011, the population of the municipality numbered 38,984. "Others" includes Bosniaks, Kosovo Ashkalia, Egyptians and Roma. The non-Albanian communities mainly reside in the villages of Babaloq, Dubovik, Gramaçel, Posar, Rastavica, Shaptej. There are Serbian Orthodox clergy in the Visoki Dečani monastery.


Main article: Culture of Deçan

Visoki Dečani monastery[edit]

Main article: Visoki Dečani
Dečani monastery

The Serbian Orthodox monastery Visoki Dečani near the town is 36 meters by 24 meters with a tower 29 meters high. It was built between 1327 and 1335 by the medieval king Stefan Uroš III Dečanski of Serbia, and was dedicated to the Ascension of the Lord. The monastery is situated in the valley of the Dečanska Bistrica river surrounded by the mountains and forests of the Prokletije mountain range. It is regarded as the largest and best preserved medieval monastery in Kosovo. The founding charter of the monastery is dated 1330. The following year the King Stefan Uroš III died and was buried at the monastery, which henceforth became his popular shrine. Indeed, the epithet Dečanski refers to geographical location of the king's foundation of the monastery. Construction was continued by his son Emperor Stefan Uroš IV Dušan until 1335, but the wall-painting was not completed until 1350.

Visoki Dečani was declared a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance in 1990, and was protected by the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 2004, UNESCO listed the monastery on the World Heritage List, citing its frescoes as "one of the most valued examples of the so-called Palaeologan renaissance in Byzantine painting" and "a valuable record of the life in the 14th century" and was protected by UNMIK/KFOR.

During its turbulent history the monastery was an important spiritual center renowned for its artistic and intellectual activities. Although the monastery buildings suffered damage during the Ottoman period, the church has been completely preserved complete with its 14th-century fresco paintings. Today a young brotherhood of 30 brethren lives in the monastery maintaining the traditions of the past: religious services, icon painting, wood carving, book publishing and is also active in the missionary work. The beautiful monastic services are served according to the typicon of Mount Athos.

In 2004, UNESCO listed the monastery on the World Heritage List, citing its frescoes as "one of the most valued examples of the so-called Palaeologan renaissance in Byzantine painting" and "a valuable record of the life in the 14th century". From the exterior, it is also a valued and unusual example of a successful marriage between the early Italian Renaissance and Orthodox styles of architecture.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c 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.


External links[edit]