Novi Pazar is a unique multi-ethnic area where Western and Eastern civilizations meet. It is located in southwestern Serbia and it represents center of the area known as Sandzak. This town is characterized by narrow Ottoman-style alleyways, small shops with their owners sitting in the street all day long observing people, old-fashioned houses with wooden terraces, a small fortress in the city centre and numerous mosques that give the city a special, oriental air. On the territory of this city are located Sopocani monastery, Đurđevi Stupovi monastery and the remains of Stari Ras, the first capital of the former Serbian medieval state. Since 1979. the cultural and historical site Stari Ras together with Đurđevi stupovi monastery and Sopocani monastery have been under the protection of UNESCO.