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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Kosovo


Map of Kosovo showing cities, towns, and features  

Officially known as the Republic of Kosovo, KOSOVO (Albanian: Kosovë or Kosova, Serbian Cyrillic: Косово) is a partially-recognized Southeast European country proclaiming independence from Serbia since February 17th, 2008. Kosovo is located northeast of Albania, north of Macedonia, east of Montenegro, and south of Serbia. Kosovo is a landlocked country, meaning it does not have geographic access to the Mediterranean Sea. Kosovo's independence and sovereignty from Serbia is recognized by a majority of the world's countries (110, as of January 2017). Since Kosovo is a relatively recent entity, it currently does not produce and use an official currency. Despite not being an official European Union member, Kosovans use the Euro (€) — which has an ISO 4217 currency code of EUR.

Twilight sky and twinkling lights in Gjakova, Kosovo (Serbia, not Kosovo, according to some people and governments) — © Shkelzen Rexha @ Wikimedia Commons
Stunning twilight sky in the city of Gjakova, home to 95,000 people in southwestern Kosovo.
Image credit: Shkelzen Rexha @ Wikimedia Commons (↗)

People and Places
According to GeoFact of the Day's 2016 estimate, approximately 1.872 million (1,872,000) citizens live in Kosovo. With a 2016 population estimate of 220,000, the capital of Kosovo is Priština (Pristina or Prishtinë). Other cities and towns throughout Kosovo include Đakovica (Gjakova), Gjilan, Kaçanik, Leshak, Mitrovica, Muzhevinë, Obiliq, Peja (Peć, Pejë), Prizren, and Uroševac (Ferizaj). Kosovan (Kosovar) people communicate with the following languages: Albanian (official), Bosnian, Gora (Gorani), Romani, Serbian (official), and Turkish. Therefore, the society of Kosovo includes a mix of neighboring people's languages, cultures, and customs. Like with Kosovo's neighbor Albania, Islam is the country's majority religion followed by Christianity. Over 90% of Kosovans are Muslims, followed by Roman Catholic Christians at over 2% and Orthodox Christians at about 1.5%. Kosovo's literacy rate is slightly less than all neighboring countries at about 93-97%.

Land Features
Kosovo's landscape is especially dominated by relatively tall and rugged mountain ranges along its borders, in addition to central Kosovo's mostly fertile plains and undulating hills. Located on the border with Albania and near Montenegro in the Prokletije mountain range, Gjeravica (Đeravica) stands 2,656 meters and 8,714 feet above sea level as Kosovo's highest point. Other prominent mountain ranges include Kopaonik in the north, Sharr (Šar) in the south (east of Prizren city), and Skopska Crna Gora in the southeast. The longest rivers include Drini i Bardhë (White Drin), Ibar (Ibër), and Lumi Morava (South Moravia). Expanded by a human-built dam, Kosovo's largest lake is an artificial reservoir known as Gazivoda (Liqeni i Gazivodës). Four other large (and artificial) reservoir lakes include Batlava (Batllavës), Fierza, Graçanicës (Badovac), and Radoniq (Radoniqit, Radonjić).

GeoFact of the Day Blog updated this post with more info on January 3rd, 2017.
The map was added to this post on January 2nd, 2017.


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