AD 1050 – Modern Era
Development of the site
Biskupija/Kosovo lost its importance after the entering of the Croatian Kingdom into the union with Hungary. The Church of St Mary and the bishop’s residence were deserted in 14th century. The new Church of St Luke was built above the ruins of the nave of the old St Mary’s and a late medieval graveyard of the 12th to the 15th centuries developed around it on the remains of the walls of the earlier architecture. Finds of luxurious earrings and rings made in high filigree and granulation and the graves are covered with stelae witness of a wealth of the former inhabitants.23
The whole area came under the authority of the Ottoman Empire in 1522. The early medieval settlement of Kosovo appears under the name of Biskupija in 1550 for the first time. During this period, the region was completely depopulated and Biskupija was cited as mezra (uninhabited or sparsely populated area).24
After 1688 the Republic of Venice took over Knin with its surroundings and a new population arrived in Biskupija – mostly Orthodox Christians from Bosnia. In the late 18th or the early 19th centuries the still serving Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity was erected on the site of one of the early medieval churches in Biskupija. In the late 1930’s a new Church of St Mary was built on the site of Crkvina next to the medieval ruins. The new church was designed by Ivan Meštrović, one of Croatia’s most famous sculptors. It serves as the parish church for the Roman Catholic population in Biskupija along with the cemetery in front of the church. Fig. 21
After the declaration of Croatian independence in 1991 the nearby town of Knin became the center of uprising for the Serbian population and the Croatian population was driven from Biskupija. The whole of Kosovo and Biskupija lay within an occupied zone caught in a war. During the military operation Oluja (the Storm) in 1995 the Serbs fled to Serbia, and displaced Croats returned to Biskupija; there also came several families of Croatian refugees from Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbs began to return after 2000.