Miners monument

Miners monument, Косовска Митровица

The city of Mitrovicë, Kosovo is mainly known for two things: that river Ibër splits the city and the country itself into the Serbian north and the Albanian south and for its mining tradition. On Serbian-controlled territory in the northeast you can find the Miniera e Trepçës or Rudnik Trepča – the largest mine for lead and zinc ore in Europe (which is additionally also gathering silver and gold). Up to 23000 workers were once employed there at the same time.

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Driving school

Electric mini cars, Mitrovicë

It’s an observation I made on the Balkans and also in the Baltic states, but nowhere else – maybe it is a tradition coming from the Eastern bloc or it’s only seen there because the regulations aren’t as strict as in western European countries: miniature electric cars for kids. On major public spaces you can find them for rental and kids cruise around having a lot of fun.

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River Ibar, Mitrovicë

Mitrovicë isn’t the most beautiful city of Kosovo. It has mountains behind like Prizren, but these are the mountains used to mine for ore. Yet it is sensible to get here because it is a place where the ethnic conflicts of the country get very visible. Kosovo (or ‘KosMet’, Kosovo i Metohija) wanted to become independent from Serbia because of its Albanian majority – but that doesn’t account for the whole area. There are cities with Turkish or Serbian majority and a lots of minorities like Roma, Ashkali, Gorani or Egyptians. Especially the north of Kosovo with the green border to Serbia has a Serbian majority.

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