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Mitrovica has long been a multi-ethnic and integrated city. Historically, the reserves of gold, silver, lead and zinc made Mitrovica an attractive region for the Romans, Bulgarians, Serbs, and Ottomans. The town of Mitrovica developed around the mining complex from Trepça. Trepça is mentioned for the first time as a mining site in 1303, when the region is part of the kingdom of Nemanjić. At its peak, the Trepça complex included more than 20,000 employees and 40 quarries, factories and other collective enterprises. For years, the townspeople, especially minors whose ethnicity did not hinder solidarity in the well, have developed a strong local identity. However, since the 1999 war Mitrovica has been divided by the Ibër river which flows through middle of town. The bridge over the Ibër, which once connected the old town in the south with new buildings and cafes in the north, symbolizes separation. The river has become a natural border in the city divided between the communities: the majority Serb municipality in the north and the majority municipality Albanian in the south, both of which suffered from the degradation of the Trepça complex.

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