Photographer's Note

This church was set alight on 17/18 March 2004 by Albanians still angry with the Serbs after the Kosovo War in 1998 / '99 & incensed with arrests of former KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) members by Serbian police in early 2004. And the Serbs were equally angry. Several mosques in Serbia were also set alight in retaliation. There were many deaths on both sides.

It is a Serbian Church under several names such as Our Lady of Levisha / Ljevis / Friday Church. It is currently protected from further arson and vandalism with razor wire. I don't think there have been any further hostilities since 2004. Some of the Albanian culprits were arrested and jailed. Here is a list of churches damaged in Prizren:

"Our Lady of Ljevi in Prizren from 1307 (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
the Church of Holy Salvation in Prizren, destroyed by vandals after German KFOR troops had left the site.
Church of St George in Prizren (the city's largest church)
Church of St George in Prizren (Runjevac)
Church of St. Kyriaki, Church of St Nicolas (Tutić Church) in Prizren
the Monastery of The Holy Archangels in Prizren as well as Prizren's Orthodox seminary of Saint Cyrillus and Methodius in Prizren"

I've added a wider view as a workshop. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you want to see the interior you have to go to St George Church across the river and ask for an escort with a key. The church dates from the time that Prizren was the old Serbian Capital in 1307 AD. Later it was converted to a mosque after the Ottoman invasions in 1371 & 1389 ad, then back to a church after the 1st Balkan War in 1912/ 1913 ad after the expulsion of the defeated Ottomans by the Balkan League.

The history is quite complex.

More information here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottoman_Serbia#Wars_for_Serbia_(1389%E2%80%931540)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo_War

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_unrest_in_Kosovo#Destroyed_churches

And here is a link showing the frescoes before and after the damage caused by the arson attack.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Ljevi%C5%A1

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Additional Photos by Chris Jules (ChrisJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 17161 W: 1065 N: 37775] (171396)
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