Ethnological Museum

If you only have time to see one place in Prishtina, let it be the Ethnological Museum. 

The museum, which is in a former 18th-century manor house that once belonged to a wealthy Albanian family during Ottoman rule, also exhibits sumptuous textiles, jewellery and furniture, and includes a birthing room as well as a death room. If the enthusiastic volunteer guides are in the mood, they’ll play you a wistful ballad on a lute as you take in the cornucopia here that thankfully survived the war, heightening the impression that before there was violence in Kosovo, there was civility, not to mention elegance.

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Set in a walled garden, the museum puts on exhibitions of local tradespeople who demonstrate their crafts, which includes woodwork, silver filigree jewellery and the traditional Albanian hat called a plis, to name a few. You might even be able to try your hand at pottery.

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If you are really lucky, you might get the chance to watch a demonstration of the painting of a brides face with is an old tradition in the region.

A tradition a thousand years old, passed on to generations in today’s remote Donje Ljubinje in the Zhupa area in south Kosovo. Today, this tradition is at the verge of extinction, as only a 65-year-old lady continues preparing young brides according to their traditions. The bride’s face is painted in many beautiful layers of colour. Three golden circles symbolising the cycles of life are tied to one another by the golden roads that one crosses over their lifetime. The inner red circles are symbols of fertility, where red and blue dots are born from, and the whole face is covered by them, wishing her a healthy and happy family.

If you would like to keep up to date with what is going on at the museum, you can get up to dat information on their Facebook page.