Leaving Prizren with a bunch of good memories in the early morning, I visited Gjakovë. All the shops were still closed but the first merchants arrived to open their shops. It was a Saturday and I could imagine the crowds coming in in a few hours turning the old but rebult bazaar into a vibrant lace, just like I experienced Prizren on the evening before. I enjoyed being in Gjakovë but did not really foundwhere I was looking for: Kurt Hielscher's photo. So I moved on to the Orthodox monasteries near Deçani and Pejë before I went into the city center of Pejë with three copies from Kurt Hielscher's photobook from 1926 under my arm. It turned oud not an easy quest though also here people were very helpful and hospitable. With some 100.000 inhabitants the Pejë is the fourth city of Kosovo. With only the mountains and the Lumbardhi i Pejës river, a tributary of the Drini i Bardhë, the White Drin, to navigate, I decided this was the best spot to try to rephotograph the first photo.
Pejë, 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.
This Mosque and its neigbouring tower was another story.
Tahtali Xhami, Pejë, 17th of June 2018. Photo: Casper Molenaar.
Oh man, have I been looking for this Mosque, the Xhamia "Sahat Kullës". First, I parked the car at the wrong side of the river near another Mosque, the Xhamia e Kuqe, but it turned out to be the wrong one, which I didn't realize immediately. The prayer was about to start and attendants told me I had to be at the other side of the river.
Xhamia e Kuqe turned out to be the wrong Mosque.
Then I was directed all the way to the eastside of the citycenter to the Etnographic Museum for the "new building" as Kurt Hielscher noted below this photo in his book. Maybe the building wasn't that new anymore the 92 years later I visited Pejë? Maybe history took its toll? I did not recognize the "new building" in the Etnographic Museum. I was getting tired and had to eat something, because I did not have lunch yet and it was already 3PM. Besides that I was running out of time, because I had to get back to Skopje before sunset, because I wanted to make a photo there too. Anyway, I found myself walking around accomplishing nothing and decided I needed a pizza.
"New building", 1926. Photo: Kurt Hielscher.
The Etnographic Museum, that turned out not to be Kurt Hielscher's "new building".
I kept thinking about this Kosovar woman who told me she lived in The Netherlands for a long time, but went back to Kosovo. On my way to the Etnographic Museum, she told me in Dutch that the Mosque was still a few hundred meters to West and then on the right. Unfortunately, I took a turn to the right way too early and found another Mosque, again a wrong one: the Tahtali Xhami (see photo above).
Hotel Dukagjini, a luxury hotel in the center of Pejë, with Hotel Korzo (since 1929) in the distance.
Anyway, in the end I had a nice stroll in Pejë. The pizza was good, gathered a lot of impressions and talked to a lot of nice people. Some were of good help, others maybe less and sometimes I forgot to listen well. In restaurant King's Pizza & Pasta I was offered a coffee from the house, which I, and I still feel ashamed about that, rejected because I wanted to make it to Skopje before sunset. So the next time I'll go to Pejë, first thing I do is to go to the Xhamia Sahat Kulla which is only a few hundred meters further West alongside the river and make the photo. Then I'll eat pizza again with the coffee and I'll take some more time for it.
Memoriali Adrian Krasniqi (1972-1997), an UCK soldier.
Memorial of Mother Teresa, "happy mother".
A late lunch with pizza at King's Pizza & Pasta when I gave up finding the right Mosque that turned out only a few hundreds of meters away from the restaurant.
And back to the car and up to Skopje again.
Below: old and the new buildingis in Pejë.