Natural Heritage

Krka Waterfalls National Park

The Krka National Park is located entirely within the territory of Šibenik-Knin County and encompasses an area of 109 square kilometers along the Krka River: two kilometers downriver from Knin to Skradin and the lower part of the river Čikola. The Krka National Park is a spacious, largely unchanged region of exceptional and multifaceted natural value, and includes one or more preserved or insignificantly altered ecosystems.

Due to its special position and the mosaic distribution of various types of habitats, it is characterized by exceptionally rich and varied flora and fauna. Patches of reeds, lakes formed along part of the river and swamped meadows abound in amphibians and birds, while thickets and stone quarries are home to reptiles.

When you are at the Krka National Park there are several places of interest. The attractions and facilities available are various footpaths, sightseeing tours and presentations, boat trips, souvenir shops, a museum, and restaurants. There are also several archeological remains of unpreserved fortresses in the park's vicinity dating back to as far as the roman times. They are Čučevo, Nečven, Bogočin, Ključica and Burnum.

Skradinski buk is one of the most attractive parts of the park. It is a massive, clear, natural pool with high waterfalls at one end and cascades at the other, located in the Krka National Park in Croatia. It is the lowest of the three sets of waterfalls formed along the Krka river.
Roški Slap, located near Miljevci, is the second most popular attraction of the Krka National Park in terms of numbers of visitors. These cascades can be visited throughout the year. The most attractive way to reach Roški Slap is to take one of the excursion boats operated by the Krka National Park, although the falls can also be reached with a public road.

Inside the park is the island of Visovac which was founded during the reign of Louis I of Hungary, home to the Roman Catholic Visovac Monastery founded by the Franciscans in 1445 near Miljevci village. The Krka monastery is a spiritual center of the Orthodox Dalmatian Eparchy (Diocese), which has its see in Šibenik. It was first mentioned in written documents in the year 1402 as the pious endowment of Jelena Šubić, the sister of Emperor Dušan. The monastery was built and rebuilt until the late 18th century.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

The natural attributes of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, uniqueness and sensibility of that phenomenon, deserve a full attention of our visitors. Recreational aspect of stay and the amazement with beauty of the area that conquers by its natural diversity and harmony of shapes and colours in any of the seasons, is based on many mutually conditioned natural characteristics.

That is a specific geological and hydrogeological phenomenon of karst. The series of 16 bigger and a few smaller lakes, gradually lined up, separated by travertine barriers for which the period of the last ten thousand years was crucial, and which were ruled by ecological relations similar to those of today - suitable for travertine depositing and for the origin of the lakes - are the basic phenomenon of the National Park.

Travertine forming plants, algae and mosses have been and still are playing an important role in their creation, thus making a very sensitive biodynamic system.
Transitive type of climate between coastal and continental with microclimate diversities makes summer pleasant and sunny, while on the other side winter is relatively long, harsh and snowrich.

There are large forestry complexes in the Park area, of which some sections are protected as a special reserve of forestry vegetation due to its primeval characteristics (Corkova uvala virgin forest). Diversity of places and living conditions makes possible for numerous species of plants and animals in watery and terrestrial areas of the Park to develop with no disturbance.

It should be stressed that all fundamental things that do determine the Park, make a very fragile structural and functional complex, sensitive to natural changes and to incautious human actions.

UNESCO has declared it with all rights as the World's natural inheritance. All that was mentioned in this short introduction shows a big importance and the reason why this Natural History Guide of The Plitvice Lakes National Park is being published. It should come into hands of every single visitor and draw his attention to numerous attractions of the first Croatian National Park.
AUTHOR: Prof. dr. sc. Milan Mestrov, academic