Istog or Istok (definite Albanian form: Istog, Istogu, Serbian: Исток, Istok) or Burim[1] is a town and municipality located in the District of Peja of western Kosovo.[a] According to the 2011 census, the city of Istog has 5,115 inhabitants, while the municipality has 39,289 inhabitants. Based on the population estimates from the Kosovo Agency of Statistics in 2016, the municipality has 39,982 inhabitants.

Panorama of Istog
Panorama of Istog
Coat of arms of Istog
Location of the municipality of Istog within Kosovo
Location of the municipality of Istog within Kosovo
Coordinates: 42°47′N 20°29′E / 42.783°N 20.483°E / 42.783; 20.483
DistrictDistrict of Peja
 • MayorIlir Ferati (LDK)
 • Municipal454 km2 (175 sq mi)
480 m (1,570 ft)
 • Urban
 • Municipal
 • Municipal density87/km2 (220/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)+383
Car plates03


The name of the town comes from the version of the Serbian word istok (variant istek), meaning "well, water source" referring to the springs of the Istočka river, a tributary to the White Drin river.[2] The name of the nearby village of Vrela, one of the largest settlements in the municipality, also means "springs", as does the newly proposed Albanian name of the town,[citation needed] Burimi.


The Ottoman defter (tax registry; census) of 1582 registered the Ipek nahiyah as having 235 villages, of which Suho Grlo (Suvo Grlo) was located within modern Istog municipality. Suvo Grlo had three bigger mahala (neighbourhoods). One of the neighbourhoods included Muslim converts. There were several Orthodox priests in the village.[3][verification needed]

During World War II, a total of 140 Serbs were killed in 1941 and 1942 in the district of Istog and another 95 were killed in 1943 and 1944 by Albanian paramilitaries.[4] The areas in and around Istog saw much resistance against the Yugoslav Partisans in 1945. In Lipa, near Istog, Bajram Grobi and his group of 9 others were surrounded by a partisan battalion - they sustained 3 losses in total, including Bajram himself. In August, Sali Kama and Bik Pazari resisted the partisans in Bjeshka, near Istog. In March, Berlac Rogani and 7 other men were surrounded at a mountain in Binak, near Istog, by a battalion of partisans numbering to 650 Serbs and Montenegrins; after 36 hours of fighting, Rogani and his men killed 28 partisans and wounded 12 others. During the fighting, the partisans utilised women and children as human shields, but nonetheless, Rogani and his men managed to break the encirclement and all 8 fighters managed to survive despite their injuries. On the 10th of September, in Liçeva and Lesnika (also near Istog), 32 Albanians battled against 1,300 well-armed Montenegrins for 6 hours in an event known as the Battle of the 32 Heroes. Only 4 of the Albanians managed to survive despite being wounded. The commanders of the Albanian side were Shaban Sadiku, Adem Shala and Alush Smajli, with Smajli being the only one to survive with grave injuries, and the Montenegrins were from the Boka Kotorska brigade.[5]


Municipal historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: Division of Kosovo
Urban historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: Cities of Kosovo

According to the last official census done in 2011, the municipality of Istog has 39,289 inhabitants.

Ethnic groupsEdit

The municipality of Istog has an ethnic Kosovo Albanian majority. Most of the Kosovo Serbs live in the village of Osojane.[6] Osojane is to the east of the town of Istog; also part of the Serbs lives in northern part of the municipality.

The ethnic composition of the municipality:

Ethnic Composition, Including IDPs
Year/Population Albanians  % Serbs  % Montenegrins  % Bosniaks  % Roma/Ashkali  % Total
1961 19,067 56.45 9,097 26.91 3,804 11.25 881 2.6 16 33,799
1971 27,371 66.74 8,944 21.81 2,420 5.90 1,876 4.57 243 0.59 41,009
1981 35,972 71.79 7,736 15.44 1,856 3.70 3,545 7.08 747 1.49 50,104
1991 43,910 76.68 5,968 10.42 1,302 2.27 4,070 7.11 1,346 2.35 57,261
1998 51,000 80.1 7,270 11.4
2006 41,000 92 540 1.2 1,330 2.9 1,740 3.9 44,610
2011 36,154 194 1,142 151 39,289
Ref: Yugoslav Population Censuses for data through 1991, and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe estimates for data in 1998 and 2006, 2011 estimate


After World War II, watermills on the river of Istog were nationalized and a new fish plant was built to operate as a socially owned enterprise. The company's name under Yugoslavia was "Ribnjak", meaning "piscatory" or "fishery" in Serbian. It was later privatized as Motel "Trofta", meaning "trout" in Albanian - the type of fish it has and is still producing, selling, and distributing. The company employs around 70 people. The company acts as a hotel and restaurant, often hosting traditional weddings. The hotel provides hotel rooms as well as small bungalows by the river except Trofta Istog has the "burim" itself which everyone can go and visit the source of water and for sightseeing and the burim has the restaurants "Freskia" and "Morea" that are known for their food and the view of Istog.

Notable peopleEdit

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit


  1. ^ a b The political status of Kosovo is disputed. Having unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, Kosovo is formally recognised as an independent state by 97 UN member states, while Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory.


  1. ^ Robert Elsie (2010). Historical Dictionary of Kosovo. Scarecrow Press. p. 297.
  2. ^ Jovan Đ. Marković (1990): Enciklopedijski geografski leksikon Jugoslavije, page 87; Svjetlost-Sarajevo; ISBN 86-01-02651-6
  3. ^ Vasić, Milan (1991), "Etnički odnosi u jugoslovensko-albanskom graničnom području prema popisnom defteru sandžaka Skadar iz 1582/83. godine", Stanovništvo slovenskog porijekla u Albaniji : zbornik radova sa međunarodnog naučnog skupa održanog u Cetinju 21, 22. i 23. juna 1990 (in Serbo-Croatian), OCLC 29549273
  4. ^ Antonijević, Nenad (2009). Албански злочини над Србима на Косову и Метохији у Другом светском рату, документа (PDF). Muzej žrtava genocida. p. 40, 44. ISBN 9788690632992.
  5. ^ Elsie, Robert; Destani, Bejtullah D. (2018). Kosovo, a documentary history : from the Balkan wars to World War II (1st ed.). London: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 417–418. ISBN 9781838600037.
  6. ^ Tanjug (12 July 2012). "Ivanović: Uspešan povratak Srba u Osojane". (in Serbian).

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 42°47′N 20°29′E / 42.783°N 20.483°E / 42.783; 20.483