Page 555 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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their arrival. Thus, for example, these newcomers settled, in large numbers, around the marshlands of Sazlijska and Robovačka rivers, where they had to dry out the waters, clear away the reeds, and turn the swamps into meadows, in order to make usable land for themselves to settle and live on. Consequently, instead of using the land given them by the tzar, these newcomers preferred to build their homes next to Serbian villages and did everything in their power to make the Serbs emigrate, so as to come into possession of their property, in the process of which they succeeded to a great extent. Thus the albanians simultaneously pene- trated into the Serbian villages from two sides: some came from the mountains, nearing the Sitnica river more and more, while the others came from the borders of Serbia. Today, villages without any albanian inhabitants are prac- tically non-existant, while villages in which there are no Serbs, though they had once been there, are countless. Those-ex-Serbian—villages have still retained their Serbi- an names, but no Serbian home exists in them. among these are those which are purely historic, as is Svrčin and Pauni, in which there isn’t even one Serbian home, and in which there exists the legendary common belief, among albanians as well, that the Serbs who had once inhabited that village, went to foreign lands with their patriarchs. even in the albanian villages of Bandulić, Konjsko, Gadim- nja, Glavica, Lugovo, Crnilo, Prelez, Batusi, etc., which have Serbian names, the time of their migration is still remem- bered.
along with these muhajirs, the Circassians (Čerkezi), whom the Turkish Ottoman government had had settled here after the Crimean War, came to Kosovo, from 1858 till 1862, while most recent settlements are inhabited by Bos- nian muhajirs (Muslim emigrants) which there are many of in Mitrovica and Ferizović (Uroševac), and who, likewise, have their own village (Mazgit) which they built by them- selves.
King Milutin built the Gračanica monastery on the foundations of, or at least the same site of some old un- known monastery. The scat of the Metroplitan has been in it ever since Milutin’s time. The Monastery of Gračanica was completed in the month of September, in the year 1321. Praising the glory and grace of God over its many years, then, 249 years afterwards, that is, in 1570, the monastery still flourishes, expands, and builds a large parvis. almost all the way up until those trying times, at the end of the 17th century, which began after the emigration of the patriarch and Serbian population, the Gračanica temple was a vigi- lant keeper of the faith, and a consolation to the people of Kosovo.
at the very beginning of the 17th century (1620), the Pa- triarch Pajsije from Peć, had Gračanica coated with lead, at the same time and in the same year as the Monastery of Patriarchate of Peć. according to one inscription on the southwest side of the parvis, the Bishop Sofronije is noted to have come to Gračanica in 1639. another inscription
The inhabitants of Kosovo (expulsion of the Serbs)
from 1649 can be found on the same side of the parvis, which states that this patriarch Pajsije of Peć died that year and wishes to be forever remembered. However, as early as the second half of the same century, the invasion and op- pression by the albanians, which had been the cause of the Serbs’ flight into foreign lands in search of a homeland, chased off the inhabitants of Gračanica as well, and devas- tated the Monastery itself. and so, that is how the alba- nians settled in the village of Gračanica.
 Branislav Nušić (1864–1938), one of the greatest playwrights of the Serbian theater, was also a noted novelist, story writer and essay- ist. as a diplomat, he served as consul at the Consulate of the King- dom of Serbia in Priština in 1894–1895. Those were the last years of the Ottoman rule on the territory of today’s Kosovo and Metohija and the letters of Mr. Nušić give a very clear picture what was the position and life of the Orthodox Serb population. Several years lat- er, in 1913, after the Balkan Wars, Old Serbia, comprising today’s Province of Kosovo and the Slavic Macedonia, were liberated from Ottoman rule, after almost five centuries of occupation and oppres- sion. These ancestral lands after a long period thus became the inte- gral part of the Kingdom of Serbia. Branislav Nušić’s travel book her presented in short excerpts, Kosovo, a Description of the Land and People (1902–1903) contains among other things fifty lyrical folk poems. When serving as the Serbian Consul in Priština (at the close of the last century), Nušić managed to open first Serbian Bookshop in Priština and to persuade the Ottoman authorities to permit Ste- van Mokranjac, famous Serbian composer and compiler of folk tra- dition, freedom of movement and give him authorization to tran- scribe Serbian folk songs in Kosovo.

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