Kosovo Polje

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kosovo Polje


An intermontane basin in southern Serbia, Yugoslavia; between the Kopaonik Range on the north and the Šar Planina on the south. Length, 84 km; width, up to 14 km; elevation, 500-700 m. It is a hilly plain, composed chiefly of ancient lacustrine and fluvial deposits. The climate is moderate continental, with 600-700 mm of precipitation annually. The basin is drained by the Sitnica River system (Morava basin). Kosovo Polje has long been known as the breadbasket of Serbia. Major crops include corn, wheat, and barley; there is horticulture and viticulture in the foothills. Lignite and magnesite are mined. The region’s major cities are Priština, Kosovska Mitrovica, and Uroševac. The Belgrade-Skopje railroad line passes through the area.

On June 15,1389, a decisive battle took place on Kosovo Polje near Priština between the united forces of the Serbs and Bosnians (15,000-20,000 men), led by the Serbian prince Lazar, and the army of the Turkish sultan Murad I (27,000-30,000 men). De-spite the heroic opposition of Lazar’s forces the battle ended in victory for the Turks. Lazar was captured and killed. Serbia became a vassal of the Ottoman Empire and later was fully incorporated into it (1459). The battle of Kosovo Polje and the Serbs’ heroic struggle against the Turks were reflected in Serbian epic poems.


Škrivanic, G. Kosovska bitka. Cetinje, 1956.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The operation, staged in pitch darkness, meant guiding an RAF chopper on to an improvised helipad on a massive grain silo in the town of Kosovo Polje.
In 1389 at the Battle of Kosovo Polje, according to Serbian culture, Serbia saved Europe from the Ottomans by "sacrificing itself to halt the Turks in Kosovo." Serbia's gaining of independence in 1878 rekindled its desire for control of Kosovo.
The banquet hall in question is decked out with red and white satin-covered chairs; it is called Restaurant Ana and is next to a petrol station in Sllatine-Fushe Kosove--otherwise known as Kosovo Polje (yes, the site of the Blackbird Field War back in 1389).
The province holds a supremely important place in the memory of the Serbian people as the spiritual center of Serbian Christianity and also as the location of the 1389 defeat at Kosovo Polje by the Ottomans.
But for Serbs, the site of the 'Field of Blackbirds', as Kosovo Polje translates and from which the nearby town takes its name, is the place where they were made a holy people, protected by God, their status the reason they are persecuted.
Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and a large Serbian delegation traveled to Kosovo on June 26-28 to commemorate the 650th anniversary of the death of King Dusan at the Holy Archangels Monastery in Prizren, and the annual Vidovdan commemoration of the defeat of the Serbs and their allies by the Turks in the Battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389.
Following the defeat of the Serbs at the battle of Kosovo Polje in 1389, it was swept into the Ottoman Empire.
Visiting Kosovo Polje, near provincial capital Pristina, to see the damage caused, Mr Solana said he was "appalled by the brutality of the violence", adding that violence was a "shortcut to nowhere, to nothing".
Captain Ronan Dillon, of the Nato-led peacekeeping force, removed the symbol left behind by Albanians to taunt locals after a riot in the town of Kosovo Polje, five miles from the capital Pristina.
These "funeral laments" invoke the presumed "historic" roots of the conflict, the Ottoman defeat of Serbian Prince Lazar and his Christian allies, including Albanians, on Kosovo Polje (the Field of Blackbirds) in 1389.
Clouds of blackbirds still do go wheeling and shrieking above Kosovo Polje, the bleak and windy site of the great Turkish victory over Serbia (and Albania) in 1389.