Pristina, the capital of Kosovo. *Photo from Wikipedia
February 17 is the day Kosovo declares independence as the Republic of Kosovo.
In antiquity, Dardania covered the area, which formed part of the larger Roman province of Moesia in the 1st century AD.
In the Middle Ages, the region became part of the Bulgarian Empire, the Byzantine Empire and the Serbian medieval states. It was then conquered by the Ottoman Empire an exact 70 years after the Battle of Kosovo.
In 1913 the Kosovo Vilayet was incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbia, which in 1918 became part of Yugoslavia. Kosovo gained autonomy in 1963 under Josip Broz Tito’s direction, an autonomy which was significantly extended by Yugoslavia’s 1974 Constitution, but lost its autonomous institutions in 1990.
In 1999 UNMIK, United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo, stepped in to protect Kosovo, in response to extensive human rights abuses by Serb forces.
On February 17, 2008, Kosovo’s Parliament declared independence, as the Republic of Kosovo, with partial recognition of that declaration.
Kosovo is landlocked in the central Balkan Peninsula. With its strategical position in the Balkans, it serves as a important link in the connection between central and south Europe, the Adriatic Sea, and Black Sea.