Thursday 21 Sep 2017

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KRKA NATIONAL PARK.

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.
It was proclaimed a national park in 1985 and is the seventh national park in Croatia.
The Krka National Park is located entirely within the territory of Šibnik-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 Čikola River. From the flooded part of the mouth, it is 72.5 kilometers in length, making the Krka the 22nd longest river in Croatia.
The source of the Krka River is at the base of the Dinaric Mountains, 3.5 kilometers northeast of the base of Knin and 22 meters below Topoljski Slap, Veliki Buk and Krčić Slap, which are noisy cascades in the winter but run dry during the summer.
The length of the freshwater section of the river is 49 kilometers and that of the brackish section is 23.5 kilometers. Significant tributaries of the Krka River include Krčić, Kosovčica, Orašnica, Butišnica and Čikola with Vrb.
With its seven travertine waterfalls and a total drop of 242 meters, the Krka River is a natural and karstic phenomenon.


FLORA.

The Krka National Park belongs to the Southern European (Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean) region. 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.
Eight hundred and sixty species and subspecies of plants have been identified within the territory of the Krka National Park, including several endemic Illyrian-Adriatic species.
The wealth of plant species, where warm and dry habitats come into contact with moist and shady ones, are of particular interest at Roški Slap, with its canyon vegetation, and at Skradinski Buk, where you can see the plant species of the travertine barriers.


FAUNA.

Eighteen species of fishes inhabit the Krka River, among which ten are endemic, making the Krka a natural landmark of the highest category.
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.
The abundance of various species of birds (222), the structure of the bird communities and the great significance of the Krka for spring and autumn migrations make it among the ornithologically most valuable regions of Europe.
Among mammals, there are 18 species of bats, which are generally endangered or near extinction in the rest of Europe.


CASCADES.

Krcic

The source of the Krka River is a genuine karstic spring that is interesting and unique because it is located directly below the cascades of Topoljski Buk created by the Krčić Brook, a tributary to the Krka River. The cascade is 22 meters in height, noisy in winter and dry in summer.
The water flow oscillates constantly, changing the appearance of the cascade from day to day. In summer, when the Krčić is usually dry, the source of the Krka River is easily visible.
Although not within the boundaries of the Krka National Park, the natural landscape is protected by law and is very attractive to visitors.


Bilusic

Bilušić Buk is the first of seven cascades on the Krka River. It is located approximately 16 kilometers downriver from the source.
The present appearance of the falls and flowing water has been altered on four occasions by the detonation of land mines in order to prevent flooding in Kninsko Polje. The operations for lowering the water level were performed in such a manner that new fields were formed in the canyon but Bobodolsko Lake has disappeared. Although the cascade has been modified, it is still loud and attractive today, since it is the only one on the river not being harnessed for energy.
Throughout the year, the entire influx of the Krka River courses through this cascade, an impressive experience for every visitor, particularly during the dry summer period.
The cascade consists of two main steps and several intermediary steps of 300 meters in length, with a total height differential of 22.4 meters. The width of the cascade is approximately 106 meters. However, during most of the year, when the water level is low, the river flows through an opening that is only approximately 30 meters wide.


Brijan
Approximately 3 kilometers downriver from Bilučić buk and 19 kilometers from the river source is the second cascade on the Krka River, known as Brljan or Ćorića Buk.Through this cascade courses water from the picturesque Bljelober or Ćorić Lake (1,300 meters in length and 400 meters in width).
The length of the barrier is approximately 300 meters, the width approximately 180 meters and the waterfall has a drop of 15.5 meters.
Upriver are smaller lakes, rapids and thresholds. The falls are surrounded by luxuriant sub-Mediterranean vegetation. They are at their most beautiful in spring, when the vegetation has turned green but does not yet cover the travertine cascades.
Through the canyon and across the cascades is a path that has been in use since ancient times, as evident from the remains of the nearby Roman military camp of Burnum. The remains of small mills can be seen on the left bank of the river.
Water pours through the cascades only when the water level is high, because a cement barrier has been constructed at the beginning of the travertine barrier, and on the left bank of Brljansko Lake a tunnel has been dug to convey water to the Miljacka Hydroelectric Power Plant.
In the warm part of the year, the waterfalls are dry and lifeless for nearly half a kilometre along the bed of the Krka River between Brljan and Manojlovački Slapovi.
It is possible to arrive at the waterfalls by taking the Knin-Kistanje road, if you turn before Burnum on the Oklaj-Drniš road. In order to reach the cascades from the Mt. Promina side, you take the Drniš-Oklaj road which connects with the Knin-Kistanje road.
The road crosses the travertine barrier, and at the passage there are natural belvederes on both river banks that offer unforgettable views of the cascades and Brljansko Lake.
There are no manmade footpaths along the cascades.

Manojlovac

A half kilometer downriver from Brljan, where the Krka River makes a sharp turn, are the Manojlovački Slapovi, the largest and among the most beautiful cascades of the Krka River.
They consist of a series of travertine barriers with a total height of 59.6 meters, so that the main waterfall is 32.2 meters in height.
The cascades are approximately 500 meters in length and 80 meters in width. Among the travertine formations on the cascades, the most numerous are beards, caves and semi-caves.
The canyon and cascades are surrounded by luxuriant sub-Mediterranean vegetation, with gardens and pastures along the river.
Due to the emigration of the population, the neglect of traditional agriculture and the fact that livestock no longer pasture here, the pasture area has been reduced, with increasing progression toward forests.
The remains of mills can be seen at the base of the cascades.
The cascades are similar to those at Brljan, dry and lifeless in the warm part of the year because water is taken from them for the reservoir of the Miljacka Hydroelectric Power Plant. However, when water is abundant, they are an unforgettable sight.
The most beautiful view is from the canyon rim, several hundred meters from the Burnum archeological site, on the road between Knin and Kistanje.
There are no footpaths along the cascades, which adds to their beauty.


Rosnjak
Rošnjak is located one kilometer downriver from Manojlovački Slapovi, where the canyon narrows and burrows itself in the undefiled lowest cascade of the Krka River.
It consists of one step, approximately 40 meters in width and only 8.4 meters in height, with a variety of travertine formations.
Rošnjak is located in a picturesque canyon between cliffs that are nearly 200 meters in height.
Due to its inaccessibility, Rošnjak is the only cascade where there were never any mills.
It is possible to reach the cascade by the Okalj-Drniš road, and turn toward the Miljacka Hydroelectric Power Station.
The cascade is visible from the canyon rim, approximately 500 meters after you turn.

Miljacka

The fifth travertine barrier of the Krka River is Miljacka Slap, which unfortunately it is not accessible to visitors because the hydroelectric power plant is located next to it. It consists of three large and numerous small steps, with a total height of 23.8 meters.
The upper part of the cascade is characterized by beards and semi-caves, while the lower part is characterized by low barriers. The water coursing through Miljacka Slap originates from the Zrmanja
River and represents a direct link between the rivers, a unique hydrogeological phenomenon.
In the vicinity of the waterfalls is Miljacka II Cave, the habitat of
numerous endemic and protected subterranean animals.
Access to the cascades is prohibited.


Roski Slap
Roški Slap is situated at the end of the 13.5-kilometer canyon of the Krka River.
At Roški Slap, the Krka squeezes through a deep rocky gorge but the waters are very calm.
Roški Slap is a large series of cascades, comprised of a main fall 22.5 meters in height and innumerable backwaters, cascades and travertine islands.
The travertine barrier has an overall height of 22.5 meters, a width of approximately 450 meters and a length of approximately 650 meters. The main fall is located at the end of the barrier where the Krka rushes into Visovac Lake.
Although there is a bridge over the central section for small vehicles, with the hydroelectric power plant along its right rim, most of Roški Slap is pristine nature, inaccessible to visitors.
Along the left bank of the cascades is a series of attractive small mills, of which some are still in working order. The mill owners occasionally put them into operation, and bread is baked from the stone-ground wheat and corn.
On the left bank of Roški Slap, the land is sectioned into cultivated fields, gardens and orchards.
The complex of mills at Roški Slap is among the especially interesting and valuable ethnographic landmarks in Dalmatia and Croatia, and since some of them still operate, they are literally living history.
Roški Slap can be visited throughout the entire year.
The most attractive way to reach Roški Slap is to take one of the excursion boats from Skradinski Buk, operated by the Public Institution of the Krka National Park during the tourism season. Otherwise, you can travel by motor vehicle on the public road from Šibenik via Pakovo Selo, Ključ and Širitovci to Roški Slap.


Skradinski Buk

Skradinski Buk is the last, 7th and longest travertine barrier on the Krka River, and one of the most famous natural beauties of Croatia.
It consists of travertine cascades, islands and lakes. The waters of the Krka and Čikola Rivers flow down the seventeen steps of Skradinski Buk, extended over a length of 800 meters.
The width of the cascades ranges from 200 to 400 meters, with a total height differential of 45.7 meters. Below Skradinski Buk, the mouth of the Krka River flows underwater into the Adriatic Sea (estuary)
The growth of the travertine barrier at Skradinski Buk was due to the upriver lake formation from the Krka River to Roški Slap and 3 kilometers downriver from the Čikola River, creating one of the most unusual and beautiful landscapes in the Krka National Park.
Sightseeing at Skradinski Buk is possible, owing to a network of paths and bridges that permits pleasant and safe walking. Belvederes have been erected at the most attractive locations.
Visitors to Skradinski Buk can tour the ethnographic collection and old mills where the grain is milled with a millstone turned by the force of the water, as well as ancient devices for washing clothing and textiles.
Skradinski Buk can be visited throughout the entire year.


TRAVERTINE.

Limestone deposits from dissolved calcium bicarbonate build up to form travertine barriers or thresholds and create waterfalls.
The depositing of travertine is a constant and dynamic process, involving physiochemical factors and organisms living in the water.
The sedimentation of travertine only occurs in water containing dissolved calcium bicarbonate, so that the main prerequisite for travertine deposit is sufficient calcium bicarbonate in the water.
Calcium bicarbonate occurs in water due to the dissolution of limestone by carbolic acid. The terrain through which the Krka River passes generally consists of limestone, so that water with carbolic acid can create a bicarbonate solution.
Carbolic acid enters the water from the atmosphere via precipitation or
from layers in which organic matter is decomposing.
The most travertine is deposited in the parts of rivers where the water is sprayed.
In such places, aided by carbolic acid, there is a splitting of the bicarbonate molecule and sedimentation of the indissoluble carbonate.
Physiochemical processes alone would not be able to create travertine sedimentation in rivers or barriers if there were no organisms with the ability to retain the deposited calcium carbonate and create travertine layers.
These are organisms that find suitable habitats where the water becomes aerated, and a wet calcified habitat suits them.


ESTUARY.

An estuary is the mouth of a river that flows into the sea. In the estuary of the Krka River, seawater extends to the base of Sradinski Buk.The estuary of the Krka River is 23.5 kilometers in length. This estuary is considered an exceptional phenomenon, due to its lack of pollution and biological vitality.
It is an area rich in shellfish, freshwater fish and saltwater fish.


VISOVAC.

The first reliable mention of the island of Visovac was in a deed dated
1345 issued by King Louis of Anjou (Ludovik Anžuvinac), granting the city of Rog and the island of Visovac to Budislav Ugrinić, the son of Ugrin of Bribir. Under the protection of the Croatian nobility, the island was settled by the Hermits of St. Augustine, who in the 14th century built a small monastery and church dedicated to St. Paul.
The remains of the cloister with the well and chapel of these buildings are preserved today.
Throughout the turbulent history of this region, the island of Visovac has always been an oasis of peace and prayer, where the Franciscan monastery and church served as fortresses of spirituality, morality, faith, Croatian culture and national identity.
The Franciscans came to Visovac in the year 1445. The island was given to them by the ruler of the Kamička fortress, Grgur Utješinović. The former Augustinian monastery was enlarged and adapted by the Franciscans.
They built a new church on the north side of the monastery and transformed the Augustinian church into a sacristy. The Franciscan church was built near the end of the 15th century or the beginning of the 16th century, but certainly before Visovac fell under Turkish authority in 1522. During the Canadian War, the monastery was burned and demolished, and the church was severely damaged.
After the war, in 1672 the Franciscans returned to the island of Visovac and began to rebuild the church and monastery.
By 1694, the church was extended and expanded, and another apse (Holy Cross) was added next to the old apse.

Krka waterfalls

Krka waterfalls

Krka waterfalls

Krka waterfalls

caterpillar Krka


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