[National parks] Links: www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr Last update: January 22, 2008 Number of views: 75660
Plitvice Lakes Croatia
The natural attributes of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, uniqueness and sensibiliry ofthat phenomenon, deserve a full attention of 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 microclimatic 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 disturbancy.
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
PLITVICE LAKES GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION AND MAP
The Lakes are located in the area of southeast Europe, in part of Croatia where we go from northern flat land towards a bit more elevated karsted mountain area. The Lakes are situated where Kordun touches Lika and in the valley Ogulinsko - Plascanska dolina, on the very spring of the karst river Korana - at 480 to 636 meters above the sea level, on the hillside of Mala Kapela and Pljesivica.
The road directions coming from northern side from Varazdin, going through Zagreb and then continuing towards central and southern section of the Adriatic, are bringing us just next to the Plitvice Lakes as well as do the roads coming to them from Kvarner, Gorski Kotar, Slovenia and neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, connecting west with east, or south with north of this part of Croatia. All these directions are connecting tourist attractions of "Primorsko - Adriatic" region with continental area, but visits are varying depending on the season of the year. Respective signs at the border crossings and in all bigger city centres are indicating the location of the Plitvice Lakes and the distance to them. That is why are we always in a position of making decision to go there and stay at the Lakes, either in spring, summer, autumn or winter - taking into account climatic conditions and the time that we have.
GALLERY OF WATER, WATERFALLS AND MURMUR
The Plitvice Lakes are divided into the UPPER LAKES (Gornja jezera) and the LOWER LAKES (Donja jezera). The UPPER LAKES are located in the area from Proscansko lake up to the lake Kozjak in a slight enlargement of dolomite base, and the LOWER LAKES in a limestone canyon which continues further under Sastavci as the River Korana canyon flow - 134 km long before reaching the mouth. The length of the Plitvice Lakes (according to the longitudinal cross - section presented by Eng. M. Petrik in 1952) is 8200m, and if we add to it Liman draga at Proscansko, Susanjska draga at Kozjak and the furthest point at Ciganovac lake - the longitudinal line going through all the lakes makes 9050 m.