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National Park Plitvice Lakes (Picture gallery)

On 8th of April, 1949. the Parliament of the People's Republic of Croatia has law-declared Plitvice Lakes, as location of great natural beauty, the National Park, declaring that the area of National Park covers parts of the District Korenica, Otocac, Slunj and Ogulin around the Plitvice lakes, which in forestry and tourist respect constitute a whole. The National Park extends to the territory of 19,462 hectares, of which the forests cover 15,715 hectares; water covers 217 hectares and grassland with rural areas with 3,530 hectares. Privately held is about 3,000 hectares, while public land is managed by organization Plitvice National Park. It is located at an altitude of 408 to 1,280 meters. Because attractiveness phenomena of nature and favorable traffic and geographical position, in recent years accepts something less than a million visitors from the country and the world. Organization of the United Nations, in accordance with the Convention on the protection of world cultural and natural heritage, has established the list of world cultural and natural heritage of general and exceptional value for humanity. Our country is the signer of the Convention. Committee for the protection of world cultural and natural resource in 1979., after the SIV proposal, has added Plitvice Lakes National Park in the World Heritage List. The National Park, In the meanwhile, received numerous awards for great work on the realization of "Man and nature" program of which the most valuable, Award-AVNOJ. All this for the National Park is not only a great honor, but also a huge obligation for the present and future generations.

Plitvice Lakes - biodynamic phenomenon of karst water

In the area between Mala Kapela and Lička Plješevica, there lie the Plitvice Lakes in cascade series of travertine bulkhead spring area of the Korana River. Origin of travertine walls explained Ivo Pevalek: "Plitvice Lakes, as a result of the travertine action, biodynamic system and only in progressive state of this biodynamical system is their future". Based on previous knowledge, geological ground of Plitvice Lakes is made up of Mesozoic-age rocks made up of biogenic origin carbon sediment 4,000 meters wide. Tectonic forces scrambled, during million years the original site sediment and created the highland on today’s ruinous dolomite and hard limestone. Rainfall, with its carbon acid, defrosts carbon and creates a rocky relief with abysses, caves and underground water flows. In karst underground collected water breaks out making karst springs and smaller water springs, from where they fill the lake system with calcium enriched water. River valley is partitioned with natural dams and created a series of river lakes, interconnected by waterfalls. In this, usually karst landscape devotes a part of deeper and older rock layers, which contain, with carbonate impermeable clay and marl. In this part of relief lies wider Upper Lakes, while the Lower Lakes are cut deeply into lime canyon. The travertine creation, which built locks for centuries in the river valley, is conditioned with climatic conditions, soil, rich and diverse living, plant and animal world and undisrupted negative human influence. On the border between maritime and continental climate, Plitvice lakes have a relatively warm autumn and summer heat restrainedly by high altitude, with a straight-way scheduled precipitation, which provide the necessary soil moisture.

Lakes and waterfalls

Near each named lake you'll find the the table with the name of the lake, its surface and depth. Similar tags you will find near other phenomena, such as the public names of some falls, or some significant characteristics of the phenomenon of nature. The people appointed 16 lakes that we here briefly recount, and legends about them can be found in literature. Don’t forget the story of the Black Queen, which gifted the lakes to the people, and perhaps some of the 16 named lakes will remain in your memory: Lake Prošćansko, Ciginovac, Okrugljak, Batinovac, Vir, Mali and the Great Jovinovac (lake), Galovac, Milino lake, Gradinsko Lake, Big Burget Kozjak, in the system of Gornje Lakes, which are above Plitvice hotels, while the Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaluderovac and Novakovic Ship are in the system Donjih Lakes. Upper Lakes is water-fed by White and Black River, and several kilometers from the mouth of the lake Prošćansko these rivers are aggregated into Matica River. Into Prošćansko Lake, along the lake western Gulf of Liman affluent smaller stream Sušanj, while over the entire west coast there are several small streams with shorter flows. Similar affluents in the Lake Kozjak, such as a stream Matijaševac and Jasenovački stream, while a stream Silica in Kozjačkoj Draga can be regarded as a flood. Kozjak’s significant tributary to the east is Riječica in deep carved and with lush forests hidden and developed valley with a number of travertine cascades and clear dolomite streams. At the end of lake systems there is a Plitvica stream with tributary Sartuk which, as Black and White rivers, posses’ characteristics of karst water streams. Leaving its canyon through Plitvice plateau, drops down a Plitvice stream with 78 m high waterfall in the down-lake canyon and connecting with the waters of the Ship Novakovic into Sastavke, where Korana River is born. But also, as we determined presence of dead lakes near Prošćansko Lake, new lakes are born in the canyon of Korana river, after its fourth waterfall. Instead of dead trees there live communities of water plants, reed andsedge, and former pasture meadows were flooded with water, and travertine barriers continue with started intensive growth.

Forest, grassland and animal life

In the park you can be drawn by and animate beautiful natural forests, beech and fir, with spruce, maple, ash, pines and their spring floral carpet, summer freshness, the colors of autumn and winter white snow cover or on the warm slopes along the lake sub-Mediterranean elements, such as the black ash, black hornbeam that with a rich palette of autumn colors give the specific note to the overall ambience of Plitvice atmosphere. Mountain meadows and glades open your vistas and cheer your view of the mountains, water, hidden villages and hamlets, and in times of blooming narcotize you with endless carpet of meadow flowers, insect buzzing, twitter birds and colorful butterflies. If you are willing to patiently sit hidden on the edge of the forest, you can meet a deer basshfully leading its calf, funny game of small fox, twilight badger stalking or with more luck you can see a bear how gingerly leads her two bears, or above all, wise and shy wolf in search of food. Along the watercourse you may also see an otter, trout jumping for aberrance or quick kingfisher flight. National Park Forests could be divided into two parts; the dolomite and lime complex. Dolomite communities are tertiary pine, black- hornbeam, bogue and spruce-fir forests and the transitional forms are present. In the area of limestone, smaller number of forest types is represented, but take a relatively great space. Here we find a community with spruce, spruce participation in bogue forests, black pit bush, maple gluhač groups and brown bullhead. Along the coast of the lake were developed communities of black alder, hanging willow and bush. Animal world belongs to southwest-European zone, which is characterized by relicts from tertiary, immigrants from the north and Mediterranean representatives. There are endemic species, especially in fauna. There is ihtiofauna, remains of crab species, amphibians and reptiles. 126 species of birds are identified, of which approximately seventy nesting here permanently. There are also a substantial number of small and large mammals. Bears here lair, wolves have young. They, along with rest animal world are under special protection.

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