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Kosovo Architecture Festival took place for the first time last year as a derivative of the Prishtina Architecture Week and is a member of Future Architecture Platform. During the architecture festival and year-round Bekim and his team organize tours around Prishtina, which vary depending on what visitors are interested in seeing, be it the Ottoman or Socialist buildings. 

Here he takes us on a tour around Pristina:

Although I grew up in Prishtina I still discover interesting sites & buildings when walking around the city. One can always go to the Ethnological Museum and see how houses in the old center of Prishtina used to look like. But if you walk around the old part of the city, behind tall walls and new buildings you can still discover hidden gems, although they are fast disappearing.

If there is one building that made me interested in architecture its this one. I was around 5 or 6 years old when with a couple of friends we saw the building for the first time from the "sunny hill", I still remember the discussion we had was it alien! Apart from having this amazing history and meaning, in my mind it also has the best rooftop view in the city.   

Kosovo National Library / Architect: Andrija Mutnjakovic / Year: 1983

If one wants to get a crash course on the local ethnic traditions, rites and culture, this is the place to visit. Apart from that you get to see how a rich local merchant family used to live. The ticket for a personal tour of the two buildings in the compound is only 2 euros! 

Emin Gjiku Ethnological Museum / Muzeu Etnologjik Emin Gjiku / Architect: unknown / Century: 19th century

The hotel was designed by Bashkim Fehmiu who was at that time the most renowned local architect. The popular story behind the design & construction of the hotel is that at one point Tito (ex-Yugoslav leader) visited Prishtina and stayed at "Bozur Hotel". Because we was not impressed by the modesty of the hotel he was staying he asked the local Communist leaders to construct a Grand Hotel for his next visit. The hotel is an amazing place to go and visit some great art works by local artists from the 70's which were commissioned for the hotel. 

Grand Hotel / Architect: Bashkim Fehmiu & Dragan Kovacevic / Year: 1978

The building used to be a shopping mall and after it was constructed it was a favourite with the kids, mainly due to fact that it was the only place in town in the 80's that had escalator!  

Germia Mall / Shtepia e Mallrave Germia / Architect: Liljana Babic / Year: 1970's

This is one of my favourite structures in the city. As a kid I remember going to the square and being overwhelmed by the scale, of course as a kid everything looks big. The locals also know it as the symbol of the local TV. Although there was an outcry from many, just recently the Prishtina Mayor decided to redesign the square.

The Brotherhood and Unity Monument / Monumenti i Bashkim Vllaznimit / Author: Miodrag Zivkovic / Year: 1959

This is one of my favourite structures in the city. As a kid I remember going to the square and being overwhelmed by the scale, of course as a kid everything looks big. The locals also know it as the symbol of the local TV. Although there was an outcry from many, just recently the Prishtina Mayor decided to redesign the square.

The Bazaar Mosque / Xhamia e Carshise / Architect: unknown / Century: 14'th century
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