This silver bucket was made in Albania in 7th century BCE when it was part of the Byzantine Empire. It was used to carry holy water.

The bucket was found with the Vrap Treasure - a large cache of ancient artifacts found in Vrap, Albania in 1902 - but archaeologists believe that this particular piece is older than the rest of the collection.

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Winter in Bosnia.
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Winter in Bosnia.

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Serbia’s first Gay Pride march for four years has been held in the capital Belgrade, amid huge security, including special forces and armoured vehicles.

Waving rainbow flags, hundreds took the short march through empty streets.

Authorities had cancelled the event every year since marchers were attacked in 2010 - nine years after Gay Pride was first held in Belgrade.

Serbia is keen to show increasing tolerance as it seeks to join the EU, the BBC’s Guy De Launey says.

Keeping Brussels happy is undoubtedly the motivation for allowing the Gay Pride march to go ahead, our correspondent in Belgrade says.

Participants marched through the centre of the city to the National Assembly, where ambassadors from numerous European countries addressed the crowd.

"I feel phenomenal. Our efforts of the past three years have borne fruit," organiser Boban Stojanovic told Reuters news agency.

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At a beauty pageant in Rahovec, Kosovo.

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Rijeka Crnojevića, Montenegro.
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This probably isn’t a photograph that would show up on the Montegero tourism website, but to be honest, it reminds me of my village in Bulgaria, which has lost most of its population to emigration. As a result, there are many empty and abandoned houses, but I still think of it as a beautiful and scenic place. This photo evokes that same feeling for me.

Rijeka Crnojevića, Montenegro.

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This probably isn’t a photograph that would show up on the Montegero tourism website, but to be honest, it reminds me of my village in Bulgaria, which has lost most of its population to emigration. As a result, there are many empty and abandoned houses, but I still think of it as a beautiful and scenic place. This photo evokes that same feeling for me.

(Source: Flickr / bikerchisp)

I really cannot march, I have other things to do instead of marching. Even, if I didn’t have things to do, I wouldn’t march. That is my choice. It is my choice if I go out with my kids on Sunday, or to go… to work. My obligation is to guarantee safety to my people. However it is my democratic choice not to take part in the Parade and it doesn’t come to my mind to go there.

Unfinished buildings, Croatia. 

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langoaurelian:

Thracian winged horse from Bulgaria, 4th century BCE

langoaurelian:

Thracian winged horse from Bulgaria, 4th century BCE

Map of Herceg Novi, showing the fortifications built by the Venetians during the siege of the city by the Ottomans.

Artist unknown, ca. 1589.

In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire seemed to be moving inexorably west. Although an enormous alliance of Christian Europeans had managed to halt the Ottomans at the gates of Vienna in 1829, ten years later the existential dread hadn’t faded.

At the time, Montenegro was a colony of Venice, but the wealthy Italian city-state was built on trade that had been ruined by the Ottoman conquests, and so they turned to their allies to help them defend their holdings. 15,000 Spaniard infantrymen were sent east to defend the colony. Castelnuovo (modern Herceg Novi) was the primary beachhead and first line of defense. 

In June of 1539, the Ottomans attacked, besieging the city. The siege lasted nearly two months, finally ending in a bloody battle on August 5. In the end, the Ottomans were the victor, and the city would be theirs for the next 150 years. But the victory was Pyrrhic, with estimates of 20,000 or more Ottoman soldiers killed.

The battle was also a disaster for the Spanish soldiers, nearly all of whom were killed - the hundred or so who survived were captured and enslaved by the Ottomans. Their glorious deaths as martyrs to a Christian Europe were a source of inspiration to thousands, though, and they were memorialized in endless songs and poems of the day. 

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Kosovo, urban and rural.

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