Coordinates: 42 40 N 21 13 E
Population: 564,800 (2000 est.)
Since declaring their independence from Serbia on Sunday, this little landlocked corner of the Balkans has made headlines around the world, earning praise from some countries such as the United States, and condemnation from others. By promoting itself from province to nation, Kosovo has irritated governments in Spain, China, and Sri Lanka (to name a few) that don’t particularly want to encourage separatist movements within their own borders. Assuming that the United Nations eventually recognizes the Republic of Kosovo, mapmakers will need to assign a new symbol to Priština: that of a capital city. A center of commerce, and education in addition to political administration, this ethnically Albanian municipality was actually the seat of power for Serbia in the fourteenth century.
Ben Keene is the editor of Oxford Atlas of the World. Check out some of his previous places of the week.