‘Fet’hi Mosque’ or ‘Our Lady of Ljeviš’?
“Our Lady of Ljeviš” is located in the historic centre of Prizren, built by the Serb King Stefan Milutin in 1306-1307. The restoration works were led by the well-known craftsmen of that time, Nikola and Astrapa, who enriched the church with a specific, rich architectural and artistic expression through the combination of the Byzantine and the Raska style. It was built on the site of the ruins of an earlier Byzantine church whose original name “Metera Eleousa” was preserved in Slavic as “Bogorodica Ljeviška.”
This was converted to a mosque by Second Sultan Mehmet Fatih in 1455 when the Ottomans conquered Prizren. It was a symbol of power to convert an important church into a mosque after conquering a land. Scientists say that this church was probably built on the old temple of the 5th century and dedicated to goddess of fertility Prema (also known as Premta). During the Ottoman Empire this transformed mosque was called “Juma Mosque,” a name that the locals still use today.
During the First Balkan War in 1912, this mosque was transformed again into a church. After some interventions in the 70’s and 80’s the church was transformed into a museum.
This is the only monument in the city that is included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) list “World Heritage is at Risk” from 2006.
Literature: By locals….
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Sabrije Bujari, the author of this story, was born in Prizren, and studied Medicine at the “Luciano Matroni” High School. Her hobbies and passions include photography and research.