Prishtina has some hidden gems, not always obvious, not always popular, and not necessarily seen as such. I think cemeteries are just such fascinating palaces; they tell the story of the people who once lived and now inhabit a very specific space, of the people who were connected to them, but also of the society’s attitude towards death.
One such place is the cemetery in Arberi (Dragodan), near the municipal building. This particular one is that much more interesting also from the historical aspect and societal development. It houses Albanian Catholics, Orthodox Serbs, and Jews. The Jewish section of the cemetery is the oldest, while the Catholic section is the only part still in use.
I tend to visit the Jewish cemetery once a year, always in November, when remembering the ones no longer with us. The site is right at the end of the cemetery, and for a while it was left unattended. The weathered headstones, rubbed-out inscriptions, subsided graves, scattered carved stones, give the place a strong sense of time having taken its toll.
All of this is now changing – the Jewish part of the cemetery is undergoing beautification. By the end of September there will be walking paths, sitting area with benches, and lighting. While people may think that visiting cemeteries is silly, whoever visits the place will have somewhere to sit and contemplate life.