Gjilan city

Gjilan also Gjilani is a municipality in the Anamorava region of Kosovo. It is one of the largest municipalities in the country. Its geographical location provides good links to other centres of Kosovo and the region.

Gjilan Kosovo

Gjilan city - Kosovo

The exact founding year of Gjilan city has not been precisely defined. In the 17th century, Evlia mentions Elebija Gjilan, but with the name Morava, as Cadillac in the Sandzak of Vushtrri. Vlia Elebija writes, among other things, that "seventeen days' journey from Constantinople (today's Istanbul) to Novo Brdo leads through Vraja, Krivareka (Egridere) and Morava (Gjilan)." Gjilan is located in the eastern part of Kosovo and is one of the seven largest municipalities in Kosovo. Since the war in the 1990s, it has also been the centre of the region.

According to the 2011 census, the municipality of Gjilan has a population of more than 90,000. According to local old tales, Gjilan was established as a settlement much later, around 1750, and established itself as a city in 1772. The rise of Gjilan was therefore closely linked to the collapse of the mining town of Novo Brdo, which was an important commercial, economic and mining centre of the region in the Middle Ages.

Gjilan as a city developed along with the ceasing to operate of the mining cetre of Novobordo (Artana). In the Middle Ages, the cities were among the largest commercial, economic and mining centres in the Balkans. It is known that Gjilan was founded as a city by the Albanian feudal family Gjinaj, who ruled Kosovo, Drenica, Llap and Morava from 1737 until the end of the 19th century. The sultan was forced to accept the power of this family as an inherited power. Gjinaj moved its headquarters from Novo Brdo in the second half of the 19th century and built its palaces on the site where Gjilan is now located. Bahti Beg Gjinolli is known as the founder of Gjilan. In total, the municipality of Gjilan comprises 53 villages in addition to the city. The Gjilan Valley is a fertile agricultural region surrounded by mountains. South-east of the city are the mountain ranges of the Karadak, which reach heights of up to 1000 meters in the border area with North Macedonia. In the municipality there are a variety of historical buildings. The house of the Gjinolli noble family and the fortress of Pogragja, dating back to the second half of the 18th century, are a cultural attraction. The Albanian defensive towers (alb. kulla) are other sights of the city. Due to their unique construction, they are a cultural heritage of the city. These defensive towers are made entirely of stone and wood. They usually have four floors. Particularly well known are the defensive towers of the Hajdinaj and Terzijaj families, which date back to 1850. Other sights of the city include the Medrese Mosque, built in 1604, the 19th-century Grand Mosque, the now empty Catholic church of Shen Ana e Danubit from 1938, which is made entirely of stone, the town hall and the famous music school. The city and area around Gjilan are a worthwhile destination for the vacations of the culturally and historically interested traveller.

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Gjila mosque
Gjilan city
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Several European airlines offer direct flights to Prishtina International Airport. Prishtina International Airport is located 18 km southwest of Prishtina.


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Guided tours are fun! Not only will you learn a lot about the place you are visiting, but you'll also be amazed as you discover the delights of Kosovo with a good guide.



Accommodation in Kosovo is cheap, so you can even find exclusive hotels at low prices. You can save a lot if you opt for a hostel or private apartment.




392 km²

Square kilometre



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