To a certain extent, Prizren’s Ottoman heritage has come to overshadow its much older history. Throughout the middle ages, the city served both Byzantine and Serbian Empires, flourishing with Orthodox churches, monasteries, and an extensive fortification that now quietly crumbles on a hill.
Prizren’s most impressive medieval structure is the Our Lady of Ljevis Orthodox church, an arresting 14th century structure that houses fine frescos depicting King Milutin, Jesus Christ, and the saints – it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. Sadly, the church and numerous other Serbian monuments – along with the entire Serb quarter of the city - were burned down or heavily damaged during ethnic unrest in 2004. For Prizren, the challenge of the future will be restoring and protecting all of its historical assets without prejudice.