The Patriarchal Monastery of Peć in Hvosno, seat of Serbian Orthodox church from the late 13th century to 1766.

Hvosno (Serbian: Хвосно, "thick wood") was a medieval Serbian county (Serbian: жупа / župa) located in the northern part of the Metohija region, in what is today Kosovo.[a] It roughly encompassed the areas of the modern Istok and Peć municipalities. It was surrounded by the counties of Jelci to the north; Budimlja and Plav to the west; Zatrnava to the south; Draškovina and Podrimlje to the east and southeast.


The name of Hvosno is derived from the Old Slavic word hvost, meaning 'thick wood', probably due to dense forests that grow on the slopes of surrounding mountains.[b] Several of the oldest toponyms in the area have parallels in the Czech Republic (Trebovitić–Trebovetice, Ljutoglav–Litohlavy and Drsnik–Drsník), showing that it was inhabited by Slavs.[1]


Hvosno, as Hosnos (Greek: Χoσνoς) was mentioned in three charters of Emperor Basil II (r. 960–1025) as being under the jurisdiction of the Eparchy of Prizren.[2] During 11th and 12th century, Eparchy of Prizren (including Hvosno) was under jurisdiction of the Eastern Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid. Serbian Grand Prince Stefan Nemanja (r. 1169–1196) managed to gain full independence from the Byzantines and started to expand his domain, capturing Hvosno among other territories. Hvosno was mentioned in the Life of Saint Simeon,[3] written between 1201 and 1208 by his son and first Serbian archbishop Saint Sava, as one of the districts that Serbian Grand župan Stefan Nemanja (Saint Simeon) conquered from the Byzantine Empire between 1180 and 1190.[4] Archbishop Sava mentioned Hvosno as one of Stefan Nemanja's "grandfather's land" which he recaptured[5] It appears that beside the župa (county) of Hvosno there was also a larger territory called zemlja (lit. "land") of Hvosno which encompassed the župa of Hvosno and some of the surrounding ones: Kujavča, Zatrnava, Podrimlje and Kostrc. The zemlja of Hvosno later corresponded to the territorial spread of the bishopric of Hvosno.[6] Nemanja gave the rule of Hvosno to his elder son Vukan, who in 1195 is titled as "King of Duklja, Dalmatia, Travunia, Toplica and Hvosno" (Velcani, regis Diokle, Dalmatie, Tripunie, Toplize et Cosne).[7]

After the dynastic conflict between brothers Vukan and Stefan, which ended with Vukan's defeat, Stefan made Hvosno part of his royal domain. In 1220, King Stefan the First-Crowned donated several villages in Hvosno, namely: Peć, Crni Vrh, Stlpezi, Trebovitići, Goražda Vas, Naklo Vas, Čelopeci, Labljani and Ljutoglav (with the nearby castle which served as the district's centre), to his newly founded monastery of Žiča, which served as a seat of the Serbian archbishop. Beside the mentioned villages, Stefan also gave to Žiča two large pastures in Hvosno named Slano Polje and Tmasti Gvozd.[8] Archbishop Sava founded the monastery of the Holy Virgin of Hvosno near the village of Studenica and made it a seat of the newly founded Eparchy of Hvosno, one of the 7 suffragan dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church (Serbian Archbishopric) created in 1219.

When the Archbishopric seat was transferred from Žiča to the town of Peć around 1290, Hvosno became one of the religious and cultural centers of the Serbian medieval state. During the Medieval period Serbian kings and emperors continued to donate villages and lands in Hvosno to major Serbian monasteries: King Stephen Uroš I of Serbia (1243–1276) donated the villages of Štupelj and Zahak in Hvosno to the Serbian Hilandar monastery in Mount Athos, and later donated the village of Rakoš to the church of Holy Virgin in Ston, and built the church of Saint Nicholas near Peć which he donated with the nearby marketplace of Stlp to the monastery of Mileševo, while his brother King Stefan Milutin donated the pasture of Labićevo to Hilandar and village of Gumnište to monastery of Banjska; in 1330 King Stefan Dečanski donated several villages in Hvosno (Strelce, Ljuboliči, Prapraćani and Ljubuša) to his newly founded monastery of Dečani; in 1348 Emperor Stefan Dušan donated the villages of Kosorići, Dnepolje, Doljani and Češkovo to the Hilandar monastery and katun (pastoral community) of Sinainci to the Monastery of the Holy Archangels in Prizren.[9] Finally in 1379, Serbian prince Lazar donated the village of Jelšanica (Jošanica in modern Serbian) in Hvosno to Hilandar.

After the collapse of the Serbian Empire and extinction of the Nemanjić dynasty in 1371, Hvosno came briefly under the control of the Balšić family, then in 1378, after the death of Đurađ I Balšić, it came under the control of Vuk Branković and remained under the rule of his family until the Ottoman conquest in 1455.


  1. ^
    Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 98 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.
  2. ^
    The name of Hvosno is derived from the Old Slavic word hvost, meaning 'thick wood', probably due to dense forests that grow on the slopes of surrounding mountains.[10] There are several places with similar names such as Hvoshno (Хвошно) in Russia, one near the town of Luga in Leningrad oblast, one in Tver oblast, village in Vitebsk Oblast in Belarus, river and lake named Hvosnya (Хвошня) also in Tver oblast, village Fosnya (Фошня) (older name Hvosnya- Хвошня) in Bryansk Oblast etc.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Elena Stadnik-Holzer; Georg Holzer (2010). Sprache und Leben der frühmittelalterlichen Slaven: Festschrift für Radoslav Katičić zum 80. Geburtstag : mit den Beiträgen zu den Scheibbser Internationalen Sprachhistorischen Tagen II und weiteren Aufsätzen. Peter Lang. pp. 83–. ISBN 978-3-631-60323-9.
  2. ^ H.Gelzer,Ungedruckte und wenig bekannte Bistumerverzeichnisse der orientalischen Kirche II, Byzantinische zeitschrift, Leipzig 1893, p. 54
  3. ^ "Life of Saint Simeon in: S.Hafner, Serbisches Mittelalter. Altserbische Herrscherbiographien". Graz. 1962. pp. 35–36, 48–51.
  4. ^ Fine 1994, p. 7.
  5. ^ И пошто је обновио очеву дедовину и још више утврдио Божјом помоћу и својом мудрошћу даном му од Бога, и подиже пропалу своју дедовину и придоби од поморске земље Зету са градовима, а од Рабна оба Пилота, а од грчке земље патково, све Хвосно и Подримље, Кострц, Дршковину, Ситницу, Лаб, Липљан, Глбочицу, Реке, Ушку и Поморавље, Загрлату, Левче, Белицу. То све мудрошћу и трудом својим све ово придоби што му је припадало од српске земље, а одузето му некада насиљем од своје дедовине Life of Saint Simeon in: S.Hafner, Serbisches Mittelalter. Altserbische Herrscherbiographien, Graz 1962, pp. 35-36, 48-51. And after he had restored his father's patrimony and fortified it with God's help, and with his God given wisdom, he resurrected his grandfather's land and he conquered: from Littoral land: Zeta with its cities, from Raban[Albania]: both districts of Pilot, and from the Greek land: Patkovo, all Hvosno and Podrimlje, Kostrc, Draškovina, Sitnica, Lab, Lipljan, Glbočica, Reke, Uska and Pomoravlje, Zagrlata, Levče, Belica. All that areas, which belonged to him in Serbian land and were taken by force from his patrimony, he recaptured with his wisdom and effort.
  6. ^ Miloš Blagojević. "Srpska administrativna podela Kosova i Metohije u srednjem veku" (PDF). p. 136. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2010-07-15.
  7. ^ Ćirković 2004, p. 38.
  8. ^ F. Miklosich, Monumenta Serbica, Vienna 1858, p. 11.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ F. Miklosich, Monumenta Serbica, Vienna 1858, p. 138
  10. ^ "Miloš Blagojević,Srpska administrativna podela Kosova i Metohije u srednjem veku,131" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2010-07-15.


  • Ćirković, Sima (2004). The Serbs. Malden, MA. ISBN 978-0-631-20471-8. OCLC 53232011.
  • Subotić, Gojko (1998). Art of Kosovo: The Sacred Land. New York: Monacelli Press.