Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the medieval Serbia, than conquered by the Ottoman Empire, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija (Serbian: Autonomna Pokrajina Kosovo i Metohija) within Serbia (Serbia then being one of the constituent republics of Yugoslavia, but also part of Serbia after First Balkan War and before constitution of Yugoslavia). Long-term severe ethnic tensions between Kosovo's ethnic Albanian and Serb populations have left Kosovo ethnically disunified, resulting in inter-ethnic violence, including the Kosovo War of 1999. Following the Kosovo War, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) relinquished governance of this territory, whose governance was taken over by the United Nations, Kosovo remained legally the sovereign territory of the FRY after the transfer of authority. The partially recognised Republic of Kosovo (Albanian: Republika e Kosovës; Serbian: Република Косово, Republika Kosovo), a self-declared independent state, has de facto control over most of the territory, while North Kosovo, the largest Kosovo Serb enclave, is under the control of institutions of the Republic of Serbia.Serbia does not recognise the unilateral secession of Kosovo and considers it a UN-governed entity within its sovereign territory.
Kosovo is landlocked and borders the Republic of Macedonia to the south, Albania to the west and Montenegro to the northwest. The remaining frontier belt is with the Central Serbian region which is the source of international dispute. The largest city and the capital of Kosovo is Pristina (alternatively spelled Prishtina or Priština), while other cities include Peć (Albanian: Peja), Prizren, Đakovica (Gjakova), and Kosovska Mitrovica (Mitrovica). Nominally, the name of Kosovo has come to represent a number of different entities over the centuries and its borders have subsequently altered. There have also been periods when no political entity has existed with the name of Kosovo. Today's outline dates back to 1946.
During classical antiquity, the territory roughly corresponding to present-day Kosovo was part of several tribal alliances, including that formed by the Dardani. Upon conquest, the Romans dissolved existing tribal alliances and re-integrated communities centred on Roman civitates as part of the Roman province of Moesia Superior. Subdivisions in Late Roman times created the region of "Dardania". After the collapse of Roman control, the region was contested between Avars, Sklavenes and Byzantines, and later between the Byzantines, Bulgarians and Serbs.
The name and the region Kosovo first appears as part of a newly created region within an expanded Serbian medieval state, and soon became its ecclesiastical and secular centre; the region was subsequently enshrined by Serbs as the cradle of their national identity.Following the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, it became part of the Ottoman Empire, while some parts of it remained in the Albanian Principality of Dukagjini, until the middle 15th century. During the Ottoman period the region came into close contact with the Ottoman culture. Islam was introduced to the population. During the late 19th century, Kosovo was the centre of the Albanian national awakening and the battlefield of the Albanian revolts of 1843–44, 1910 and 1912. In 1912, the Ottoman province was divided between Montenegro and Serbia, both of which became part of Yugoslavia in 1918. During World War II, the majority of Kosovo was part of Italian-occupied Albania, followed by a Nazi German Occupation before becoming an autonomous province of the SR Serbia under the 1946 Yugoslav Constitution.