Metohija is a geographical region that makes an integral part of the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija.
Metohija means the land under an administration of a monastery. The word comes from the Greek, metochos (a community, a partnership), which originally denoted a settlement of monks doing the monasterial land. In the mediaeval Serbia it meant a monasterial property. The earlier name for the northern part of Metohija was Hvosno, a word of Slavic origin.
RELIGION AND TRADITION
Among hundreds of the Metohija churches and monasteries, the most famous ones are the Patriarchy of Peć, Visoki Dečani, The Virgin of Ljeviš, Holy Archangels near Prizrena, Gorioč, Zočište and Budisavci.
The Metohija region is rich with natural resources. Metohijsa valley is renown for its fertile fields, its black topsoil, lovely clearings, rivers and vineyards. Because of its climate, Metohija is one of the best vineyard growing areas. The quality of its wines is known afar. A famous wine producing area is around the Velika Hoča village. Also, the village and its surroundings are the home of even 20 old Serbian churches! The major towns are: Peć, Prizren, Đakovica, Istok, Orahovac.
The Metohija region was settled by the Slavs, the Serbs in the 7th century. From the very beginnings of the Serbian state, Kosovo and Metohija have been its integral part. Until the Ottoman invasion, the region had been central to Serbia, with numerous monasteries and strong industry. There once used to be so much grapes and wine in Metohija, that, for instance, in the times of Emperor Dušan there was a clay “wine pipeline” which supplied the royal Prizren cellars. As of the late 17th century Albanian population increasingly starts settling in the region, so that after the WWII, as a result of the communist policy, Serbs were pushed away by the Albanians – today being a huge majority in Kosovo and Metohija.
St Stefan of Dečani, Tsar Dušan