Eight years ago whilst exploring Kosovo, and trying to decide what to include on YPT’s inaugural Eurasian Adventure Tour, I got to reading about a village called Brod in what was at the time the worlds newest country, Kosovo.
Brod is a village of about 900 houses situated in the far south of Kosovo and a 2-3 hour drive from Pristina. It’s home to the Gorani people, whose 60,000 people inhabit the Gora region, a triangle that encompasses Kosovo, Macedonia, and Albania.
The Gorani are a south Slavic people that are often called Bulgarians, Bosniaks, or Macedonian Muslims, but consider themselves to be a unique people Slavic people that converted to Islam during Ottoman times.
They speak Gorani, or as they call it themselves Naslinksi, which literally means “our language”. Whilst considered to be related to Bulgarian, is not mutually intelligible. If you are traveling to Brod most people speak Serbian, there is some understanding of English, and due to the number of people that have lived and worked abroad, you will also find speakers of German, and Italian.
“In Brod, there are still buildings left untouched since they were hit during the NATO bombings of the 90’s.”
They are famous for their unique traditional clothing which is particularly beautiful on the women.
Due to their links to the Ottoman empire cultural exchanges with Turkey, they are promoted and funded from Ankara, with the two Mosques of the city being particularly well preserved.
During the Kosovo war, and despite being Muslims like the Albanians of Kosovo, The Gorani as Slavs generally supported the Serbian cause. It is alleged that during the war the Gorani were denied basic rights, such as speaking their own language so they could be presented as Albanians, with as a result up to 10,000 fleeing to Serbia “proper”. In Brod, there are still buildings left untouched since they were hit during the NATO bombings of the 90’s.
Brod has been made famous by its beautiful mountain scenery, hiking, and nature with there being one major hotel here which is popular particularly with Italians during the summer months.
Young Pioneer Tours have now been taking tourists to Brod for the last 8 years as part of our Eurasian Adventure Tour, as it marks a great day out and contrast to our travels in Pristina, and over 8 years we have made a lot of friends here, such as our good friend Erdan, also known as the Borat of Kosovo who meets us like clockwork every year with his two horses, the now ageing Yamaha, and Kawasaki.
If you are interested to travel to Brod, check our our Soviet tours, or get in touch for more details.