Monday, August 17, 2015

A Jewel: The Ethnological Museum, Prishtina

I really do think the Ethnological Museum in Prishtina, Kosovo is a jewel in Prishtina's crown -  a must see sight for visitors!  Why?  Gorgeous setting, knowledgeable tour guides and beautiful artifacts.

The museum is divided into four sections about life in Kosovo in the past: birth, life, death and intangible heritage.  Exhibits include folk art, clothing,  traditional "Oda" rooms, wedding and death rituals, folk instruments, filigree silver jewelry, carpet, weapons and religious objects.

The museum occupies the Emin Gjiku Complex of buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.  The Gjiku surname means "Little Man" in Turkish.  The property was owned by Emin Gjinolli until he and his family were exiled in the 1950's.  The complex was nationalized in 1957 and turned into a nature museum until 1990.  In 2003, the Ethnological Museum opened in the complex after conservation and renovation.

The complex is composed of four buildings: two Ottoman era town houses - a Family House and a Guest house; as well as Stables and the Stone House.  Thick stone walls surround and protect the complex while an interior wall separates Inner and Outer Courtyards.

Admission is free.  However, a €2.50 donation is suggested.  We spent an hour with a tour guide exploring the Guest House and the Family House.  The Stable & Stone House are closed to the public.

Click on my photos below to see them in high resolution on Flickr.  You can view the photos in high resolution by clicking here!

Entrance to the Ethnological Museum

The old Stone House to your left when you enter the complex was moved to the complex in 1960.  Previously a blacksmith shop, the Stone House is the only building that survives from the old Prishtina bazaar.  The building is currently rented to the Contemporary Art Center

The old Stone House, once a blacksmith shop in Prishtina's bazaar.

Once you enter the complex, you walk through two courtyards, a small Outer Courtyard and a large Inner Courtyard.  Below is a shot of the inner courtyard look

The Inner Courtyard

The Guest House features a kitchen, a wooden veranda, a bedchamber and a richly decorated room.  The wooden pieces under and above the windows in the photo below are shutters.

One story Guest House

Guest House Kitchen

Bedchamber with cradles in the Guest House

Richly decorated Guest House Room for visitors

Guest House Veranda

An Ottoman Town House known as the Family House was where the Gjinolli family lived.  It features many rooms with carved wooden paneling and two large "Oda" rooms surrounded on three sides by large windows.

Ottoman Town House style Family House where the Gjinolli family lived


Wooden bench & windows

Female & male clothing typical of the Ottoman era in Kosovo

Sleeping Room

Oda Room

Hand-carved wooden paneling

Our tour guide in the "Death Room" exhibit

We posed for a photo in the second floor Oda room

You can view the photos in high resolution by clicking here!

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