Byzantine historian Procopius (565 AD) calls the city Petza, which replaces the name Siparantum. When it comes to the antic city of Peć, it is known that the site of Gradina is important, as well as several other sites which indicate that it was the administrative centre of this part of the Balkans. In 12 century AD it went by the name Ždrelnik because it is located in the mouth (Serbian “ždrelo”) of Rugovska valley. In 13 century AD it is mentioned as the city of Peć, it only started to develop because the city of the Serbian Orthodox Church had just been moved from Žica to Peć. In the year 1378 AD a caravan “in novam montem pec et prizren” is mentioned.

It was the seat of Serbian Orthodox Church, which was first organized as an Archdiocese and then as a Patriarchate (from the year 1346 when Tzar Dušan proclaimed the Serbian Empire). The city had many privileges from Serbian rulers and gained numerous gifts from them and other foreign magnates. It was tied to the Archbishop (later Patriarch) and it was under his direct rule. It was also decorated by a rich and diversified architecture. Many commodities were made in Peć, starting from all kinds of foodstuff and clothing, to objects of high artistic value. At that time, the best filigree artisans, blacksmiths, tailors and others were working there. A special type of coin was made for the ruler of the Church and silk as well. The city was famous beyond the borders of the Serbian state due the growing and manufacturing of saffron, which was used as a spice and as a color for fabrics.

After the Battle of Kosovo, from 1389 AD to 1455 AD it was under the rule of the Balšić family, then it went to the Serbian Despotate. The Ottomans conquered it at the end of 14 century AD and made many changes during their rule, including the change of the name to Ipek. The first rebellion is famous, i.e. the uprising against the Ottomans of 1455, which was crushed in blood. The city was settled by numerous Turkish families, whose descendants still live in these areas to this very day. It gained a noticeable oriental look, with narrow streets, wide bazaars, houses of Balkan architectural heritage. The city also gained an Islamic character with the construction of several mosques, of which many were build on the foundations of orthodox temples, or the temples were simply changed into Islamic ones. One of them is Bajrakli mosque, which was created by the Ottomans from the church Ružica in the 15 century AD.

The 5-century rule of the Ottomans came to an end in 1912, during the First Balkan War, when the state of Montenegro conquered the city. By the end of 1915, during the First World War, it was occupied by the Austrians. After 1918 Peć became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Between 1931 and 1941 the city was under the rule of Zeta Banate. From 1945 the city is part of the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija, which itself is part of Serbia in the country of SFRY. Relations between Serbs and Albanians (who were the majority in the city in 20th century) were often very tense during the century. They came to their peak during the war in Kosovo of 1999, during which the city was badly damaged. Further damages were brought upon the city during the violent interethnic riots in March 2004.

Next to the monastery of the Patriarchate of Peć in the vicinity of the city is the monastery of Visoki Dečani which was, together with the fore mentioned monastery, placed under the protection of UNESCO. 17km from the city is also the monastery of Svetog Preobraženja from the 14th century in the village Budisavci.


Main page

Capital is Belgrade

Find out more about Belgrade and what you can see there

What you can visit

Something that might be interesting for you