World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article




Municipality and town
Gjilan/ Gnjilane (Гњилане)
Mosque in Gjilan
Mosque in Gjilan
Official seal of Gjilan
Gjilan is located in Kosovo
Location in Kosovo
Country Kosovo[1]
District District of Gjilan
 • Mayor Lutfi Haziri (LDK)
 • Municipality and town 392 km2 (151 sq mi)
 • Metro 13.302 km2 (5.136 sq mi)
Elevation 508 m (1,667 ft)
Population (2014)
 • Municipality and town 87,835
 • Density 220/km2 (580/sq mi)
 • Metro 52,000
 • Metro density 3,900/km2 (10,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 60000
Area code(s) +381 280
Website Municipality of Gjilan

Gjilan (Albanian) or Gnjilane (Serbian, Гњилане) is a city and municipality in eastern Kosovo.[1] It is the administrative center of the District of Gjilan. It is famous for having recorded the lowest temperature in Kosovo with −32.5 °C (−26.5 °F) on 25 January 1963.[1]


  • Geography 1
  • Etymology 2
  • History 3
    • Middle Ages and Ottoman period 3.1
    • Modern history 3.2
  • Population 4
    • Languages 4.1
    • Education 4.2
  • Economy 5
  • Culture 6
    • Flaka e Janarit 6.1
  • Features 7
  • Sports 8
  • Gallery 9
  • Notable people 10
  • International relations 11
    • Twin towns – Sister cities 11.1
  • Annotations 12
  • References 13
    • Sources 13.1
  • External links 14


Gjilan is located in the southern Binačka Morava river basin (Binačko Pomoravlje).


Geographical position by Turkish chroniclers. In XVII century, Turkish descriptor track, Evliya Çelebi, quotes residence of Gjilan, with the name Morava, as administrative unit within the Vučitrn Albanian: "Vushtria: Sandzak. Çelebi writes that: "The seventeen day journey from Constantinople (Istanbul) to pass through Vranje Novo Brdo , Krivareka (Egridere) and Morava (Gjilan ) The etymology of Gjilan is disputed. Albanian sources claim that the town (initially a village) obtained its name from Bahti Beg Gjinolli of Gjinaj clan that ruled the region of Vučitrn (Llapi and Drenica), and populated this area in the 18th century (around 1750). However, there is no definite evidence to support that claim, and in fact no one can confirm as to who the first true inhabitants were, or when they first settled there. On the other hand, Serbian sources claim that the origin of the town name is in the Serbian word gnjio (putrid, rotten).[2]


Middle Ages and Ottoman period

In 1342, a place called Morava was visited by Serbian King Sanjak of Vučitrn up until the 18th century.[6] Gjilan became a kadiluk around 1780, and 20–25 years later a large village.[7]

Modern history

In 1915, in and around the city, the Serbian army made a futile stand against the 1st Army of Bulgaria, during the World War I Battle of Kosovo. That battle resulted in the ultimate defeat of the Serbian military, and the occupation by the forces allied with the then German Empire.

In World War II there was a significant amount of activity in and around Gjilan by the Partisans fighting against Nazi Germany and her allies. Monuments to these actions can still be found today, one of which is located in the middle of the village of Koretište.

In 1999, Camp Monteith was established outside the city as a base of operations for KFOR during Operation Joint Guardian, on the site of a destroyed Serbian military base which is handed over to Kosovo Protection Corps in 2007 after U.S. Military downsized their troops. Gjilan has also served as the regional headquarters of the UNMIK International Police task force from 1999.


Communist-era apartment complex in Gjilan.

In March 2011, the Gjilan municipality was estimated to have over 90,015 residents.[8] The vast majority of the population is Albanian, followed by Serbs, and a small number of minorities. The population density was 229.7 km2 (595 sq mi).


Albanian, Serbian and Turkish languages are official languages in the municipality.[9]

Ethnic composition
Year/Population Albanians  % Serbs  % Roma  % Others  % Total
1953 24,797 50.87 19,196 39.32 48,748
1961 29,942 57.12 18,297 34.91 735 1.50 52,415
1971 43,754 64.45 20,237 29.81 1,824 2.69 67,893
1981 59,764 71.08 19,212 22.85 3,347 3.98 1,762 2.1 84,085
1991 79,357 76.54 19,370 18.68 3,477 3.4 1,471 1.4 103,675
1998 94,218 79.4 19,481 16.4 3,568 3 1,387 1.2 118,654
2011 87,814 97,45 624 0,7 361 0,4 1,379 1,52 90,178
Source: Yugoslav Population Censuses for data through 1991,and Kosovo 2011 census.

In the municipality according to the 2011 census there are 978 Turks or 1% of the municipality population. The number of Serbs has decreased due to boycot[10] and the creation of the Serb-majority municipality of Parteš.


Education in Gjilan includes primary, secondary education, and a public university. Currently there are 23,608 Albanian students and 881 minority students enrolled in educational institutions around Gjilan.


There are 3,700 registered private businesses in the municipality employing 7,900 people. Before 1999, Gjilan was an important industrial centre in Kosovo. Still in operation are the radiator factory and tobacco factory, which has been recently privatized. The new city business incubator, supported by the European Agency for Reconstruction, was inaugurated in summer 2007.


Flaka e Janarit

An Albanian dance during "Flame's Pentagram"

Flaka e Janarit is a cultural event that starts on January 11 in Gjilan, Kosovo with symbolic opening of the flame, to keep up with various cultural activities to 31 January of each year. It gathers thousands of artists and art lovers from all the Albanian territories, who for three consecutive weeks transform the city into a cultural metropolis. The nation's martyrs are honored through values of art by this event, which began before the 10th anniversary of the assassination of writer, activist and patriot Jusuf Gërvalla, along with Kadri Zeka and Bardhosh Gërvalla. It was exactly the 10th anniversary without these three martyrs of freedom and from coincidence of these murders in a same date on 11 January, this event got this name "Flaka e Janarit". Moreover, this month has "eaten" lots of devout patriots.[11]


Gjilan is now the administrative center of the District of Gjilan of Kosovo. Since February 15, 2003, it is the headquarters of the Local Democracy Agency in Kosovo of the Council of Europe.


Gjilan is home to the basketball club Drita Gjilan, the football clubs KF Gjilani and KF Drita and volleyball club KV Drita, male and female- the most successful club in Gjilan's history.


Notable people

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Gjilan is twinned with:


  1. ^ a b Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has been recognised as an independent state by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.


  1. ^ in Gnjilane - AccuWeather Forecast for Gjilan Kosovo
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Kostić 1922, p. 126
    ГЊИЛАНЕ. ИЛИ. ГИЉАНЕ. У 14. веку помиње се неко место Морава, где се 1342. год бакио краљ Душан. Хаџи Калфа (прва половина 17. века) помиње неко место Мораву, на 17 дана од Цариграда. Јањева, Новог Брда и Кача- ...
  4. ^ Urošević/Macura 1987, p. 10
    Горња Морава се под турском управом звала само Мора- ва, а протезала се западно од линије с. Жегра — Будрига — Церница, тако да је Гњилане остајало у области Топонице, чије је обласно средиште било Ново Брдо.
  5. ^ Kalezić 2002, p. 448
    Из турског дефтера (1455) види се да је насељено Србима и да је у њему служио свештеник Божидар. Старо Гњилане налазило се у Петиковиди (Петковици) предграђу данашњег насеља које је подиг- нуто на месту
  6. ^ Urošević/Macura 1987, p. 11
  7. ^ Cvijić 1930, p. 38
    Гњилане је дакле могло постати тек после овог кадије, око 1780 године, тако да је после 20 — 25 година, на крају 18 века, могло бити велико село — варошица. При доласку Џинића у новобрдски
  8. ^ "Gjilan/Gjilan" (PDF).  
  9. ^ OSCE Implementation of the Law on the Use of Languages by Kosovo Municipalities
  10. ^ "ECMI: Minority figures in Kosovo census to be used with reservations". ECMI. 
  11. ^ Rrustemi, Sabit (2001). Cultural literary magazine "Agmia" 5: Pg.85–86. 


  • А. Урошевић: Гњилане. — Гласник Географског друштва, св. ХУП. Београд, 1931
  • А. Урошевић: Горња Морава и Изморник., Насеља и порекло становништва, књ. 28, Београд 1935

External links

  • Municipality of Gjilan
  • SOK Kosovo and its population

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.