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Plitvice Lakes National Park – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Plitvice Lakes National Park was among the three sites that were included into the list of Heritage site at the 3rd UNESCO session in 1979. This lake has both geographical as well as historical significance. During the Ottoman wars, this region was part of the Croatian Military Frontier which was under the direct control of the Habsburg Council of war. Plitvice Lakes National Park is situated in the Plitvice plateau which is surrounded by three mountains that are part of the Dinaric Alps. Thus responsible for the distinctive growth of rich flora and fauna.

What is National Park

A national park is a reserve area declared by the national government to conserve and protect the natural environment and its resources.

About UNESCO

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a special agency of United Nation which was created on 16th November, 1945. It was created with the aim to promote world peace and security through International cooperation in educations, arts, science and culture.

Why It is so famous

It is world-famous for its sixteen inter connected lakes arranged in cascades as can be seen from the surface. It is fed by the several small rivers and subterranean karst rivers. The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight.

Plitvice Lakes National Park - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Plitvice Lakes National Park – UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • It is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croatia.
  • It was founded in the year 1949 and is in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia, at the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • The national park is spreaded over 296.85 square kilometres (73,350 acres). About 90% of this area lies under Lika-Senj County, while the remaining 10% is part of Karlovac County.
  • Despite the region lies within Mediterranean climatic region, it has mountainous climatic condition due to the Velebit mountain range, which acts as a climatic separator between the coastal region and the Lika high plateau.
  • The western side of the national park area is enclosed by the Mala Kapela mountain, while the eastern side is enclosed by the Plješevica mountain, which also represents the border to Bosnia and Hercegovina.
  • The Plitvice Lakes originate in the south of the park area at the confluence of Bijela Rijeka (English White River) and Crna Rijeka (English Black River).
  • On average, the annual precipitation rate at the Plitvice Lakes is 1,500 mm (59.06 in).
  • There are series of pits and caves all around the Lakes. Some of the most famous ones include the Golubnjača Cave (145 m) before the second Korana waterfall and Šupljara Cave (68 m) above Lake Kaluđerovac.
  • The rock lies within the Plitvice lakes national park consists mainly of dolomite and limestone.
  • Due to its distinctive and unique views, it attracts tourists from all over the world. Each year, around 1 million visitors are recorded at this famous World Heritage Site.
  • The Plitvice Lakes have formed in a depression between the Mala Kapela mountain in the west and the Plješevica mountain in the east amidst the Dinaric Alps.
  • Adriatic Coast is also located at a distance of 55 km from the national park.
  • Out of sixteen lakes, there are two largest lakes, Prošćansko jezero and Kozjak which covers about 80% of the overall water body area.
  • The maximum depth of Prošćansko jezero lake is 37m and Kozjak lake is 47m.
  • The Plitvice Lakes national park is heavily forested, mainly with beech, spruce, and fir trees, and features a mixture of Alpine and Mediterranean vegetation. More on wikipedia.
  • The wider area of the national park is one of the last areas in Europe in which a great number of wild brown bears and wolves can be found.
  • Plitvice lakes ranks third among the Croatian National Park for great diversity of bird species.
  • Recently, UNESCO threatens to remove the park from the Heritage Site list due to excessive tourism and illegal construction around the lakes.
  • Faecal waste found to be flowing down to surrounding woods and lake without any treatment. Water in the lakes in now polluted and no longer fit for drinking.
  • It still remains to be seen how government and local authority deal with these new challenges.

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