Gračanica or Graçanicë (Serbian Cyrillic: Грачаница, pronounced [ɡratʃǎnitsa], Albanian: Graçanicë) is a town and municipality in central Kosovo. It is a Serb enclave centered on the Gračanica monastery, located ten kilometers away from Pristina. The 1999 Kosovo War and its aftermath transformed Gračanica from a sleepy village into an administrative center serving the needs of the 75,000 Kosovo Serbs living south of the Ibar River. International banks, internet cafes, and outlets of Serbian governmental institutions are located amidst traditional farmhouses, giving Gračanica the feel of a semi-urban center dislocated into a rural community.
History of Gracanica
The village was mentioned for the first time in 1303, in a letter of Pope Benedict IX (as Grazaniza).It was mentioned in King Stefan Milutin’s Gračanica charter regarding the founding of the Gračanica monastery (1321).
The village of Gračanica is said to contain approximately 11,006 inhabitants, many of whom are Serbian refugees driven out of Pristina. Differing estimates exist for the enclave as a whole, ranging from 13,000 to 11,006 inhabitants in the 15 villages that make up the enclave, and down from 120,000 in 1999. The enclave has a roughly ten-kilometer radius in which Serbs enjoy freedom of movement and attempt to organize a meaningful life for themselves