Dečani Bistrica

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Dečani Bistrica (Дечанска Бистрица)
Bistrica e Deçanit
Манастир Високи Дечани, Метохија 7.JPG
Country Kosovo
Basin features
Main source Bogićevica mountain, Kosovo
River mouth White Drin, near Klina, Kosovo
Basin size 300 km2 (120 sq mi)
Physical characteristics
Length 53 km (33 mi)

The Dečani Bistrica (Serbo-Croatian: Dečanska Bistrica; Serbian pronunciation: [detʃani], Serbian Cyrillic: Дечанска Бистрица; Albanian: Bistrica e Deçanit or Lumbardhi i Deçanit) is a river in Kosovo. This 53 km-long right tributary to the White Drin river flows entirely within the western part of Kosovo (the Metohija region).


The name of the river, Bistrica, means "clearwater" in Serbian. The adjective Dečanska, "of Dečani", is added to distinguish it from other Bistrica rivers in the Metohija region: Peć Bistrica ("of Peć"), Prizren Bistrica ("of Prizren"), Kožnjar Bistrica ("of Kožnjar"), Loćan Bistrica ("of Loćan"), etc.

Prokletije and Gorge of Dečani[edit]

The Dečani Bistrica originates from the southern slopes of the Bogićevica mountain, a part of the massive Prokletije mountain system. The river flows north of the Đeravica peak, the highest in Kosovo (2,656 m), initially under the name of Kožnjarska Bistrica, and receives many streams from the Bogićevica, Micinat, Strečoka and Koprivnik mountains.

The river turns southeast on the northern slopes of the Koprivnik and Strečoka mountains, where it carved the deep gorge of Dečani (Dečanska klisura). The upper part of the gorge is the glacial trough of the ancient Dečani glacier on the Prokletije mountain.

Metohija region[edit]

As the river flows out of the gorge it reaches the medieval monastery of Visoki Dečani, which is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The river continues eastward, in the very densely populated area next to the small town of Dečani and the villages of Istinić, Beleg, Brdlić, Vranovac and Jablanica, before it empties into the White Drin.

In the upper course, the waters of the river are used for the Kožnjar hydroelectrical power plant (6.5 MW). In the lower parts its waters are, to some extent, used for irrigation.

The Dečani Bistrica belongs to the Adriatic Sea drainage basin, drains itself an area of 300 km², and it is not navigable.


  • Mala Prosvetina Enciklopedija, Third edition (1985); Prosveta; ISBN 86-07-00001-2
  • Jovan Đ. Marković (1990): Enciklopedijski geografski leksikon Jugoslavije; Svjetlost-Sarajevo; ISBN 86-01-02651-6

Coordinates: 42°31′N 20°33′E / 42.517°N 20.550°E / 42.517; 20.550