1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Prizren

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PRIZREN (also written Prisren, Prisrend, Prizrendi, Prezdra and Perzerin), the capital of the sanjak of Prizren, in the vilayet of Kossovo, Albania, European Turkey; 65 m. E. by N. of Scutari, on the river Bistritza, a left-hand tributary of the White Drin. Pop. (1905), about 30,000, chiefly Mahommedan Albanians, with a minority of Roman Catholic Albanians, Serbs and Greeks. Prizren is beautifully situated 1424 ft. above sea-level, among the northern outliers of the Shar Planina. To the north-west a fertile and undulating plain, watered by the White Drin, extends as far as Ipek (42 m.). A good road connects Prizren with the Ferisovich station on the Salonica-Mitrovitza railway (37 m.). The city is the seat of a Roman Catholic archbishop, a Greek bishop, and a Servian theological seminary. Its chief buildings are the citadel and many mosques, one of which is an ancient Byzantine basilica, originally a Servian cathedral. In its bazaars an active trade in agricultural produce, glass, pottery, saddlery, and copper and iron ware is carried on; but the manufacture of fire-arms, for which Prizren was long famous throughout European Turkey, has suffered greatly from foreign competition.

Prizren has sometimes, though on doubtful evidence, been identified with the ancient Tharendus or Theranda. In the 12th century it was the residence of the kings of Servia, and the sanjak of Prizren forms part of the region still called Old Servia (Stara Srbiya) by the Slavs. From the 13th century to the 16th Prizren had a flourishing export trade with Ragusa, and it has always been one of the principal centres of commerce and industry in Albania.