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National Park Plitvice Lakes

National Park Plitvice Lakes


National Park Plitvice Lakes

The Plitvice Lakes National Park [plitʋitsɛr Zen] (kroat. Nacionalni park Plitvice Lakes, colloquial Plitvice) is the largest terms of surface area national park in Croatia and at the same time the oldest national park of South East Europe. It was founded in 1949 and is located in the hilly karst area of central Croatia near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, directly on a major north-south road link, the Continental Croatia the
connects with the Mediterranean coastal area.

The protected National Park area covers 296.85 square kilometers. Of this amount, about 90 percent to the Lika-Senj County and about 10 percent to the County of Karlovac. The Plitvice Lakes were recorded in 1979 as one of the first natural monuments worldwide in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Every year the Plitvice Lakes sailing croatia 32Park about 900,000 visitors. Admission charges apply. There are strict rules of conduct.

The National Park is world famous for its cascaded lakes, of which are visible on the surface currently 16th These were formed by the confluence of several small rivers and through underground karst tributaries. The along a flow direction arranged lakes are separated by natural barriers, a feature and a feature of unique natural phenomena. The particularly fragile travertine barriers caused by an interplay of running water, air and vegetation.
The different climatic influences, as well as the large height difference within the protected area to provide a particularly diverse flora and fauna. In the national park especially many endemic species are to be found. The lakes continue to exist all species that were located before the appearance of the people there.

The name Plitvice was first mentioned in 1777 by Dominik Vukasović, the pastor of Otočac, in writing. The Plitvice Lakes owe their name to the natural phenomenon that created the lakes. The nature initially formed shallow basins (kroat. Pličina or plitvak, plitko means shallow) and ultimately lakes, by the fact that the water in the landscape or einschmiegte was dammed always higher by travertine.
Some scientists attribute the name designation back to the river Plitvica, however flowing into the lakes only at the lower end. A nearby village of the same name. The waters of the Plitvice Lakes continue on their way as Korana River in a northerly direction. In German-speaking style, the park including through the Karl May movies. Some lake and waterfall scenes were filmed in this National Park.



Information about Plitvice Lakes


History of the National Park History

Unlike other protected areas in the world, the area of Plitvice Lakes throughout history has always been subjected to the influence of man. They do not deserted or secluded nature reserve is, but are today at an important transport connection and were always in the border area between the occidental and oriental culture.


Early History and Medieval

Once the area was inhabited by the Illyrian people of Japoden. Under Caesar, the area was incorporated as a province of Illyricum into the Roman Empire. The areas of the neighboring nations of Pannonians, Liburnians and Dalmatians were combined with the province of Dalmatia. There followed a period of rule of the Ostrogoths. (S 454th Chr.) After the battle of nedao received the Ostrogoths a FöPlitvicer Seen segeln kroatien 31deratenvertrag with the Roman Empire. Plitvice Lakes sailing croatia 31 In the 6th century AD, the Avars settled, the Croats arrived in their wake
in this
area. The Croats finally rid themselves of the power of the Avars and stayed in this area. Mongol invasions were a constant threat in the Middle Ages. Among the Croats, and especially under the rule of noble families Zrinski and Frankopan, there was an economic boom in the surrounding areas. On the foundations of a former Roman fortress Japoden- and a monastery was built directly on the lakes, which probably belonged to the Order of Pauline or the Templars. Even today testify old wall remains of this structure (in Croatian gradina). The foundations were made of travertine.

Turkish wars and Habsburg

1493 it came close to the Plitvice Lakes to a decisive battle in the Croatian history. On the Krbava field almost came the entire Croatian nobility killed. The Ottomans marched then far to the West, to Croatia and Hungary before. 1538 was the now elected King of Croatia and Hungary Habsburg Ferdinand I. build a military border with the Ottoman Empire. The laws in this special military area had over the centuries formative influence on the local population. There were masses of refugees from the border areas to the west. The abandoned areas were on imperial order by refugees from the East, especially Serbs, settled. It was the task of all border guards this field perpetual restlessness and terrible devastation, which is why it got the nickname Devil's Garden (Hortus diabolus) to guard. The Turks could repeatedly take control of the area of Plitvice Lakes for a short time. the area in 1788 fell back to the Habsburg Empire.
1805 was again a serious change of power, which led to a economic renewal. Dalmatia and Lika fell under the power of Napoleon, who founded the Illyrian Provinces. After 1814 the Plitvice Lakes were under the influence of the Habsburgs again. Since 1850, only professional soldiers were involved in the military frontier. It started at the same a time of national awakening in Croatia. 1871 was when the suppression of a revolt in Rakovica, north of the lakes of Croatian politicians Eugen Kvaternik killed, who advocated for the rule of law and the exemption from the Austro-Hungarian domination.



Agricultural use and recreation area

The population was in previous years only little understanding of the natural values of the Plitvice Lakes. Much more important it was for the farmers to secure their daily bread for themselves, with some drastic changes to nature. So they poured to about smaller lakes or fit flow curves other than personal use at.
In 1861 was built a hotel for travelers in Velika Poljana. The population called this property the "Imperial House" because resided in their imperial officers. For the visit of Crown Princess Stephanie of Belgium, the wife of Crown Prince Rudolf, 1888, the Plitvice Lakes and their surroundings were first prepared in tourist purposes. Two paths to the Plitvice Lakes still bear the names of the daughters of Franz Joseph: "Stephanie's way" (Croatian Štefanijin put) and "Dorothea's way" (Croatian Dorotejin put).
1890 built the trader Ante Devčić Senj first hotel with restaurant jezero on Prošćansko. But he overdid greatly with his projects and caused some irreparable damage to nature. He built as channels on the travertine for his sawmill, which are still visible today. At the same place, which is now called Labudovac, later built the Czech-born Zagreb Gustav Janeček an inn with accommodation.
1893 was founded by Janeček society for the preservation of the Plitvice Lakes (Croatian Društvo za uređenje i poljepšanje Plitvičkih jezera), which should take care of the conservation of the lakes after all the negative influences. By the Company, a hotel was built at the lakes.
Amid the turmoil of the First World War, decided the Croatian Parliament in Zagreb in 1916 a law for the protection of the Plitvice Lakes, the only insufficient protection measures envisaged and therefore not considered the official founding declaration of the National Park.
As a result, it came to a standstill in terms of conservation of Plitvice Lakes. During the war years, however, important meetings at Plitvice took place, for example, in 1940 a first secret regional conference of the Communist Party of Croatia (Savez komunista Hrvatske, SKH). there the anti-fascist National Council of People's Liberation of Croatia (State Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia) was founded on 13 and 14 June 1943rd This was the highest political authority of the antifascist movement. The former general secretary of the Communist Party of Croatia, Rade Končar was born in 1911 in Končarev Kraj at Plitvice.



The Lakes as a national park

With the end of World War II, the uniqueness of the natural phenomena in this area was finally recognized. On April 8, 1949, the Plitvice Lakes were officially declared a national park and placed under strict conservation.
Since the 1960s, the Plitvice Lakes by a modern road are easily reachable, which resulted in increased traffic. In these years, many hotels and other objects have been built according to the plans of Croatian architects at the lakes. Some buildings that would continue to do so today's standards, however, were broken off in the 1980s on the orders of the then Communist authorities.

Plitvice Lakes sailing croatia 26Zwischen 1962-1968 was filmed much of the Karl May movies in Croatia. Even the most successful film of this series Treasure of Silver Lake was filmed at several locations in the National Park. (In the filThe Lakes as a national park kroatiam, the Kaluđerovac Lake was the inspiration for the Silver Lake.) Since the 1970s, there are detailed zoning plans for the National Park. The fruits of organized protection requirements were ultimately harvested in 1979, when the National Park was included as one of the first natural monuments worldwide in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The 1980s brought a tourist boom with it. By the early 1990s, however, there was again a break in the history of the national park. Serbian insurgents began in early 1991 their displeasure towards the creation of an independent Croatian state to run free. It came at Easter in 1991 within the National Park to bloody clashes between Serb rebels and Croatian special forces. These conflicts are marked by historians as the beginning of the Croatia war. There was the so-called Republika Srpska Krajina, a Serb Republic is not recognized internationally under the military support of the Yugoslav People's Army.
During the war years from 1991 to 1995 many buildings were destroyed or burned down in the national park.

UNESCO made the National Park during the war years because of the obvious threat of mines even put on the list of endangered World Heritage sites. After the war the Plitvice Lakes but were subjected to the first area immediate cleanup and renovations. In 1997, the reserve of the national park has been extended to 10,020 hectares to provide the extensive underground tributaries to the lakes and rivers of the national park under protection. 1998 National Park was removed from the Red List of World Heritage in Danger.
In National Park continuous scientific research projects are carried out. The National Park Service constantly strives to new, more advanced protection measures. So to be built in the future about new floating bridges (pontoon bridges). The recent boardwalks are anchored in the Travertinsedimenten, which can lead to water infiltration and breaks the fragile travertine.
The Plitvice Lakes are one of the most visited destinations in Croatia and have become their high natural, cultural and tourist importance to an economic engine for the spacious environment. With about 900,000 visitors a year to control in an enormous extent to the development of the entire region.


Local Customs

The local population measures of preservation of old traditions with great significance and also the tourism industry recognizes more and more the value of popular culture. Typical of the Lika are low wooden huts, which were covered with rye straw or shingles. Many features of that life are also reflected in the costumes of the people. They provide information on the regional affiliation and social status of the individual. The men were allowed to use their costumes in military service under French rule.
A typical tradition in this area until the 20th century was socializing in the winter months (in Croatian prelo), as no agricultural activities were possible. There textiles were made, butter was prepared or is recycled, the fruits of the harvest (flour production, etc.). In the evenings there was usually to song and drink. For folk culture of the area is part of the dance (in Croatian kolo).
Drinks like slivovitz (plum brandy), wine, coffee or food such as soft cheese (in Croatian vrhnje), polenta, prosciutto, sausages such as chorizo (Croatian: kobasica), suckling pig (in Croatian odojak) or lamb (in Croatian janjetina) are Soup kitchen area.




Plant research included mid-19th century to the first scientific studies in the area of Plitvice Lakes. This testifies to an early insight into the richness and value of Plitvice flora and their role in the history of a very important phenomenon. More detailed studies of aquatic plants that Ivo Pevalek 1924 and 1935 led, proved that are water algae and mosses on diagenesis actively involved. In addition, it was demonstrated that travertine and travertinbildenden plants are the main factors of Seemorphologie.
Systematic plant research, carried out relatively late (Šegulja and Krga, 1984) confirmed the uniqueness of Plitvice Flora. On the relatively small area of the park in 1267 species from 112 genera were recorded.
rosikaRosika A wide variety joins t
he Plitvice Lakes in the floristic valuable areas of Croatia but also in Europe and the world: Examples are relict plants and endemic and rare plant species that are protected by law and many of them in the Croatian Red Book of endangered plant species and on the Red List strongly endangered plant species of IUCD are.
The geographical location (60 km air line to the sea) behind the mountain "Velebit", at the boundary between the maritime and continental rainfall regime, 418-1279 meters above sea level on the one hand and the geological base with its many karst features on the other hand allowed in mutual relationship, development of such a rich and diverse flora.

The park area is rich in endemic species of small and large distribution (72 species). Especially valuable are the endemic species that have been described in the art for the first time: Narrow tufts bell (Edraiantus tenuifolius), the Crowfoot Art Ranunculus scutatus and Meadow squill (Scilla litardierei), which is well represented on the moist valley meadows of the park.
22 plant species in the park are protected by law (Law on Nature Conservation of the Republic of Croatia). Among these species is particularly the Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus), the most beautiful orchid in Europe, emphasized. As a rare occurrence and endangered forest plant it is located in the Red Book of endangered species of the Republic of Croatia and on the Red List of endangered species of the IUCN.
A particular group of park flora form in Croatia otherwise rarely occurring species. The Siberian Gold piston (Ligularia sibirica) is one of them. In Croatia and throughout Southeast Europe could previously only be detected in the area of Plitvice Lakes. The species is on the Red List critically endangered species of the IUCN. In the moist valley meadows of the National Park, it occurs in two places.
An equally interesting group of plants of the park are carnivorous plants (carnivores).
On the peat soil of the park of sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) grows. The plant is not widely used because peat soil in Croatia is relatively rare. In the moist valley meadows of the park, the common butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris), a rarely occurring carnivorous plant, which is located on the Red List of endangered species is growing. The lesser bladderwort (Utricularia minor), a very rare carnivorous plant, was also demonstrated.
At the park area some very interesting and diverse areas can be highlighted: the adjoining lakes terrain, the jungle "Čorkova uvala", the peat "Ljeskovačka bara" and especially "Rudanovac" and "Vrelo" are hydrographic, ecological and botanical the important and valuable areas outside the lakes zone. These areas are in addition to their diversity and abundance of plant life also extremely valuable for wildlife.



If the wildlife of the Plitvice Lakes National Park is mentioned, falls a first its landmark, the brown bear, a. The fauna diversity of the park, however, is far greater than the "glory" of his most famous exponent. Since the Plitvice Lakes are scientifically studied, already many animal species were detected and documented in the area of Plitvice Lakes.
They include the invertebrates, the majority of which has been explored in the context of limnological investigations in groups: zooplankton, Makrozoobentos, Mikrozoobentos because the water habitats in the National Park of the utmost importance. In the lakes two cancers are common: river and stream cancer.
The insect species that are among the leading representatives of the soil habitats, aroused special attention in meadows and forest biotope researchers. Great interest aroused also the genus of butterflies. According to recent research come in front of National Park 321 species of butterflies, including 76 day and 245 moths. The researchers suggest that this figure represents only 40-50% of the potential lepidopteran fauna.

Plitvicer Seen BärPlitvice Lakes BärDurch protecting habitats trying to get the conditions for undisturbed development cycle of certain important species upright. Here can be mentioned, for example the butterfly Blue (Maculinea). The insect order that has been particularly well studied, are the caddisflies with so far 80 registered species.
Some vertebrates were examined in biodiversity Explorations, while others either served as indicators in the framework of nature prior observations or ecology particularly interesting and rarely occurring species was explored.
The Plitvice Lakes and its tributaries are mainly influenced by the typical trout and mountain water. The brook trout, however, which is one of the natives of these lakes has been now largely displaced by the allochthonous varieties chub and rudd. In addition to these varieties were alone detected at least four other species of fish in the lake "Kozjak".
The amphibians are well represented in the National Park with twelve species, while the number of reptiles is relatively low. The long winter and thick snow cover to prevent the diversity of this class of vertebrates.
The avifauna with their far 157 recorded species found numerically koatischen National Parks in third place again. A very interesting and rare bird species is the dippers, their habitat are pure riverine habitats.
In Plitvice Lakes National Park more than 50 mammal species have been recorded: ground squirrel, shrew, vole, hedgehog, tree and stone marten, wild boar, and many others. Recent research showed 20 species of bat after that live in different habitats: in holes, caves, under the bark, in caves, etc.
Especially great interest awaken wolf, deer, deer, wild cats, Eurasian lynx, otters and of course the brown bear, the pearl of the Plitvice animal kingdom.



Thanks to the early days of forestry in the present territory of the national park and the legal regulations on forests, which imposed a sustainable forest management, the forests of the national park have been preserved in the natural state. Therefore, they fully comply with all common useful forest functions.
The role of the forest for the conservation of Plitvice Lakes also recognized the authors of the first Forest Programme (1883). The distribution of forest land they already then declared the lakes zone to protect area in which any economic use were excluded.

Today more than 80% of the park area is forested, which prevents erosion. Forests are not only extremely important for the watercourse system, but also a valuable habitat for the diverse and rich fauna park. The forests of the park are primarily sanctuary for all three major Wildlife Europe: brown bear, wolf and Eurasian lynx.

iimage005mage005Die meistvetretene forest community in the park area is the mountain beech forest (Lamium orvala-Fagetum sylvaticae Ht. 38), which extends from the banks of the Plitvice lakes up to 700 m above sea level. d. M. extends. Because of their assertiveness and hanging down to the floor treetop beech other tree species leaves little space for development. The second most common forest community is Dinaric beech and fir forest (Fagetum Abieti- dinaricum Treg. 75). In the zone about 700 meters above sea level d. M. occurs and marked by plant diversity is (250 species). This forest is home to two major forest communities with relict character: the Christian Rose-Scots pine Black pine forest (Heleboro - pinetum Ht.38) and Dolomite spruce forest (Picetum - dolomiticum Ht.58). Less represented, but no less important are the following forest communities:

the Blue Grass hop Buchwald (Seslerio - Ostryetum Ht.38)
the heathers Hop Buchwald (Erico -Ostryetum Ht.38)
the oak-hornbeam forest (Querco - Carpinetum Ht.38)

In the area of the national park, the jungle "Čorkova uvala", one of the best maintained primeval forests is in beech-fir ecosystem. It was in 1965 declared a natural forest reserve. Covering an area of 84 ha and 860-1028 m above sea level. d. M. finds before all forest phases, dominated by the aging and decay phase. It belongs to the secondary forest, the man occasionally influenced, which nevertheless retained all the important characteristics of a jungle.
The jungle particularly fascinated by all the dimensions of fir, spruce and beech. In a jungle habitat is harmony with the ecological characteristics of each member of the community. It represents a completely stable forest ecosystem - to obtain this, have the conditions that are to be found without significant human influence eral, be imitated.



Of the total area of the Plitvice Lakes National Park accounts for around 6957 ha on grassland (meadows and pastures). They are rich in different plant varieties thanks to its biodiversity. Depending on environmental factors differentiates several grass vegetation types. In order to prevent the encroachment of grasslands in the national park and thus obtain all the diverse plant species that naturally occurring grass vegetation types must be maintained. The lawns are maintained by regular mowing, cattle grazing and controlled burning.
Although lacking any of those forms of human or animal influence, it comes to progressive succession of vegetation, from the under the influence of surrounding forests and trees themselves thicket and forest is.


The process of succession at one location is relatively slow and depends on many climatic and other factors. Vegetation changes come first in successive species turnover and species numbers change a plant community expressed.
If the encroachment of grasslands is not stopped, the plant diversity would decline. In this way, the scenery may change, and the colorful beauty of the grasslands could be lost. The decline in plant diversity then also favors the shrinkage in some fauna representatives (for example, butterfly Bluebird), whose life cycle is bound to grass and certain plant species.
As the vegetation encroachment (succession) of grasslands is greatly advanced in recent years, it is necessary to give this process full attention and to stop it.



Water forms the Plitvice Lakes


The area of the Plitvice Lakes belongs to Dinaric karst area, which is characterized by geological carbonate underground, numerous karst forms, few overground watercourses and a strong connection between surface and underground by many ravines. Large amounts of water and the formation of lakes are an exceptional and valuable phenomenon in such a landscape.
An important role in this system plays the catchment area that supplies the lakes with water. It is very permeable with many underground (caves and caverns) and aboveground (sinkholes and Poljen) karst features, but poor in aboveground watercourses. It protrude limestone peaks up, among them the highest - Seliški summit (1279 m). Underground pushes the water into an obstacle - an impermeable rock - flows along it up to the surface, forming many streams that feed the lakes with water.

The main sources are the Black and White River. On the impermeable underground the Upper Lakes ( "Gornja jezera") emerged: "Prošćansko jezero", "Ciginovac", "Okrugljak", "Batinovac", "Veliko jezero", "Malo Jezero", "Vir", "Galovac" "Milino jezero", "Gradinsko jezero", "Burgeti" and the largest Plitvice lake "Kozjak". The lower lakes ( "Donja jezera") "Milanovac", "Gavanovac", "Kaluđerovac" and "Novakovića Brod" are part of a formed on the limestone underground gorge and belong to the permeable area where the water seeps in numerous columns of the subsoil. On the surface, extend between the many cuts, the so-called. Sinkholes, limestone blocks up like small towers.
The water of the stream "Plitvice" falls from a 78 m high rock down and forms the highest waterfall in Croatia, the Great Waterfall ( "Veliki slap"). Along with seawater, it forms the lintel bed "Sastavke" by which the river "Korana" springs.
Water is the element that by its mechanical and chemical force shapes the Plitvice area next to the tectonic movements in the past.
In the chemical composition of the karst subsoil, limestone and dolomite, is the reason why the water of the Plitvice Lakes is so rich in molten calcium carbonate. By the rainwater flows through the upper layer of soil, it absorbs carbon dioxide and this creates mild carbonic acid. The acid is corrosive and dissolves the limestone and dolomite. In this way, the acid is mineralized and supersaturated with calcium and magnesium bicarbonate. The resulting water swells up, sprinkle his drops and most of the water evaporates. The calcium carbonate formed small crystals that are deposited in the water and form barriers.
The supersaturated calcium carbonate water is one of the conditions for the diagenesis. It arises on Moossprössen where millions mucolytic algae and bacteria live. then staple the calcite crystals that are the "living stone" to the mucus. The most common type of moss that covers the vertical travertine barriers and participates in diagenesis, Cratoneuron comutatum is. She is quick to stone. The moss appearance is well preserved in the travertine. At the quieter places the Wassermoosart Bryum forms pseudotriquetrum travertine type Bryum.

This type is one of travertine, which forms the "Sastavke".
A prominent researcher who studied the diagenesis in Plitvice, was Academician IVO Pevalek. In 1926 he wrote: "The essence of the Plitvice Lakes are travertine and travertine forming plants, namely algae and mosses ...". Therefore, the main phenomenon, and also the most important condition for the conservation of Plitvice Lakes is an ongoing formation of phytogenic travertine.



The particular location of the Plitvice Lakes and the peculiarities of the prevailing climate are largely responsible for the existing national park natural phenomena, as well as for biodiversity in this area. Despite the proximity to the Mediterranean climate region prevails at Plitvice before a temperate mountain climate. This is due to the Velebit mountain range, which forms a strict climatic dividing line and the coastal area separated from the plateau of Lika. For centuries, legends abound in this imposing mountain.
Of great importance for the water volume and the diversity of species in the area is the nature of the terrain. The Plitvice Lakes are surrounded by numerous mountains. The National Park area is bounded on the west by the mountain Mala Kapela and the east by the Plješevica Mountains, which also forms the border with Bosnia. The wooded mountain slopes used as water reservoirs and are at the same time refuge for many animal species. The great difference in height in a narrow space between the hills in the south and the river Korana in the north is another criterion for biodiversity in this region. Calculated over the whole territory of the national park is the difference in height 912 meters (the highest peak, vrh Seliški, is 1279, the lowest point 367 meters above sea level at the bridge over the Korana).




The Plitvice Lakes are formed in the south by the confluence of two tributaries Bijela Rijeka (dt. White River) and Crna Rijeka (German Black River). This spring near the village Plitvički Ljeskovac where they unite under the bridge. The volume of water from this point referred to (in about tribe or origin German) to reach the first Plitvice Lake as Matica. In the Bay of Liman (also called Limun), a part of Prošćansko Lake, flows added another, nameless creek. This is fed by permanent springs, the water volume is variable. About temporarily water-bearing streams on the west side of Prošćansko jezero also reach waters in the lake.
The river flows at the end of Plitvica Plitvice Lakes chain (in the north) over the Great waterfall. This site is (German: composition or confluence) Sastavci called. The waters of the Plitvice Lakes and the river Plitvica form the Korana River.



Subterranean Texture

The surface of the Plitvice Lakes is designed differently. The entire area of the National Park, however, can be attributed to the Southeast European karst area. Typical of the Karst is brittle, or notches rock, usually limestone or dolomite, which on the surface different geomorphological formations has (sinkholes, Poljen, Uvalas, sink-holes, etc.).
One in the future particularly interesting field for speleologists will be the analysis of underground water courses in this area. At first glance, the karst area characterized by its lack of water, that is, there is a lack of springs and rivers. However, this is only the case at the surface. A considerable part of the spectacles of nature takes place inside of the rock, where there is sufficient water.
Due to the peculiarities of the karst rock rivers seep into the rock and are making their ways there on. Where the river meets harder rocks, enter the waters of the karst rivers (Croatian: rijeka ponornica) back to the surface, which is also observed in the Plitvice Lakes.
The Travertinsedimente formed from the Pleistocene in sinkholes or depressions between the bounding mountains. Viewed broadly prevail at the Plitvice Lakes before two rock formations. The upper lakes in the south are in a zone with predominantly dolomite, lower lakes in the north mainly in a zone of limestone. Dolomite is the nature forth slightly harder than limestone. While it is easy to break through physical action, but is distinguished by a low Wasserdurchdringbarkeit. Limestone, in contrast, more compact and solid, in contrast, has a higher water solubility.
Looking at the Plitvice Lakes from the air, one can see clear differences between the upper and lower lakes. While have formed at the top several smaller lakes in parallel and the water course is much flatter, the lower lakes dig it were in the rock. The number of lower lakes is less. They practically form a canyon which continues to flow as a river Korana.



The average annual rainfall at Plitvice is 1500 millimeters, which is in spring and fall most frequently comes to heavy rains. The average relative humidity is 81.8%. In January, the average temperature is 2.2 ° C. In the summer months of July and August it rises to 17.4 ° C. Overall, an average annual temperature of 7.9 ° C. Snow from November to late March. The lakes are mostly covered in December and January by a layer of ice.
The water temperature at the headwaters is usually below 10 ° C. In the rivers and lakes, the water warms up to 20 ° C. As an example of different water temperatures can be used from July 7, 1954, a measurement: A temperature of 18.9 ° C was in the lake Kozjak at a depth of 4 meters measured depth of 20 meters, it was 5 ° C and in 44 meters depth, practically at the bottom of the lake, even only 4.1 ° C.



Rock dissolution and formation

The lakes of Plitvice Lakes amidst the karst landscape owes its existence to the deposition of lime, which is abundant in Karst waters. These deposits are called tufa or travertine (both are in Croatian either as sedra or designated tuf, along with many other names).
The peculiarity of the Plitvice Lakes is that they are not separated standing waters. The respective lakes have always been considered as a composite system. Due to the constant changes in analyzes of individual lakes are not necessarily effective. The water masses that flow to the lakes in aboveground or underground flow and continue to flow at the end of the river Korana, the appearance of the lakes and the surrounding countryside change always anew. Tufa is a hand swept partially, on the other hand constantly develop new deposits. Thus, new waterfalls, while old dry. Nature also continually adapts to new circumstances. Overall, provides the Lakes complex is a very sensitive and fragile ecosystem.



Weathering Processes

The actual phenomena of the Plitvice Lakes began, seen in the geological time frame, to form relatively late. For the very complex processes of lime solution and deposit certain climatic prerequisites are required. This only since the end of the Ice Age made 12,000-15,000 years ago, which yielded radiocarbon dates of travertine.
Apart from weather and temperature factors are water quality as well as natural factors crucial for the development of natural phenomena such as those prevailing at the Plitvice Lakes. The karst rivers resolve when flowing through the rock lime on (calcite) and accumulate it. The calcite saturation level of the source rivers is very high.
The solubility of the limestone based on the carbonic acid weathering. Carbonic acid (H2CO3) is formed in nature as by solution of the carbon dioxide contained in the air (CO2) or rain water (H2O). Limestone or dolomite (CaMg (CO3) 2) consisting mainly of the poorly water-soluble calcite (CaCO3). Calcite is dissolved by the carbonic acid in the water and there is calcium bicarbonate Ca (HCO 3). 2 This can be illustrated by the following formulas:

H2O + CO2 ↔ H2CO3 ↔ H + + HCO3- ↔ 2 H + + CO32-
CaCO3 + H2CO3 → Ca (HCO 3) 2
CaCO3 + H + + HCO3- ↔ Ca2 + + 2 HCO3 ↔ Ca (HCO 3) 2

The amount of dissolved calcium hydrogen carbonate in water (also called calcium bicarbonate) depends on the amount of dissolved carbon dioxide in water. In general, the colder the water, the higher the amount of dissolved calcium bicarbonate. Depending on weathering conditions Kalklösungsraten were determined from 0.01 to 4 millimeters per year by researchers. (Rainwater can erode about 1 m³ karst in 10,000 years.)



Sedimentation Processes

The aforementioned mechanical and chemical solution processes found throughout the world every day instead and do not constitute too great natural feature. For the Plitvice Lakes, characteristic, however, is that the bound in water lime begins to deposit at certain points, and even then only in a certain range. Unlike other similar phenomena in the world calcification and diagenesis place at the Plitvice lakes along a specific direction of flow and in varied forms instead of (among other fluvial sedimentation).
A worldwide specialty is the natural and especially the vegetable factors. The rushing river water forms the overflow of natural thresholds always new barriers that slow the water on multiple, connected with waterfalls levels initially and ultimately accumulate. It comes to an interaction between water, air, rocks and vegetation. The churning in the water masses barriers create ever more impressive waterfalls that grow in height.
About 30 kilometers north of the lakes were formed at the confluence of the rivers Korana and Slunjčica amid the town Slunj very similar phenomena such as the Plitvice Lakes. The district Rastoke is therefore referred to as "the small Plitvice Lakes".



Basic Conditions For The Sedimentation

The most striking feature for continuous Sedimentierungsvorgänge in the Plitvice Lakes are measurements of the carbon dioxide content of the water. It is about twenty times higher than that in the atmosphere at the sources. The carbon dioxide content decreases with the course. The flow Plitvica loses over the entire flow course of even up to 97% of its original carbon content.
To precipitate the lime parts of the water occurs only under certain temperature conditions (until 14 ° C), by water heating and evaporation or by another kind of carbon dioxide loss, for example, composed of aquatic plants or mosses. Since the Sedimentierungsprozess can take place only in warm, humid climates, such phenomena occur on only since the end of the last ice age. Since then formed on the existing base, a layer of hardened tufa, also called travertine.
The part of the river, where it comes to diagenesis, is called Präzipitationsbereich or precipitation area. The Korana, calculated from their headwaters, for example, forms only along the first 10 to 15 kilometers travertine, even if the conditions were favorable in terms of pH values. In Lake Kozjak a constant annual sedimentation of the substrate of 0.8 mm over the past 3,000 years was found. Barriers can win by 13.5 millimeters in height annually. The Travertinbildungsprozesse thus surpass the erosion processes, which would destroy the sensitive Seebarrieren. It is estimated the age of travertine on Seeuntergrund and the barriers to approximately 6,000 to 7,000 years.
However, for lime precipitation, it is not directly to the sources of the tributaries of the Plitvice Lakes. Thus water carbonate of lime (calcium carbonate) fails, the water has a certain degree of saturation of minerals must achieve. At the Sources of saturation level is about 1 to precipitation of calcium carbonate, the saturation level must exceed 3. At the same time, the pH of the water above 8.0 are must (slightly alkaline).



Thresholds become barriers

For the formation of travertine occurs in that calcareous water flows in thin layers on a substrate and is swirled. It thus forms a large surface area and thereby increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) from. Small crystals are deposited and there is travertine, also called tufa (CaCO3). Are formed barriers, especially on the abundant mosses.
Over time older barriers can be swamped by growing barriers and rising water levels. As recently as 400 years separating an older barrier lake Kozjak in half. The barrier is now pretty much in the middle of the lake, about five meters below the sea surface.



Einfluss von Pflanzen

In the seascape of Plitvice Lakes mosses, algae and water plants play a significant role in the development process of travertine barriers.
Until the beginning of the 21st century it was assumed that the water is taken up by the plants of carbon dioxide in photosynthesis and release them in return oxygen, resulting in the division and deposition of hydrogen (Phytogenese). In charge of this research was Ivo Pevalek. He deserves the honor that the Plitvice Lakes were asked ultimately protected. Recent research showed that plants are not primarily responsible for the precipitation of calcite from the running water, however, they act indirectly to diagenesis with. Rather it is the slowdown, aeration and atomization of the water.

Mosses are only a substrate, that is a backing for the sedimentation. However, the photosynthetic activity of algae and mosses in cooperation with the water can act on the basis of the consumption of carbon dioxide favoring the crystallization of deposits. For particularly millions of microscopically-small bacteria and algae are distinguished that thrive on such plants. They secrete mucus to help settle crystals. The most important of these plants are mosses of the genus Bryum and Cratoneuron. One can see the fact that the young shoots are still soft and green, while older plants have a yellowish color and are coated with a solid but fragile layer this very clearly. The Moose not only promote the formation of tufa barriers, they are even part of these barriers by being covered by always newer layers. Age travertine is full of fossilized algae or mosses. One calls this typical of the Plitvice Lakes Type of tufa, phytogenic tufa.



Interferences for travertine formation

As much as plants exert a decisive influence on the diagenesis, a too high concentration of organic substances in water has an inhibitory effect on it. Excessive growth of the barrier (this is for some time systematically removed) counteracts the precipitation of minerals. Decisive for the diagenesis is mainly the purity of water. The waters of the tributaries to the Plitvice Lakes is purely seen water analytically expressed. Thus, the dissolved organic-bonded carbon value (DOC) of water exceeds the beginning of the upper lakes barely 2.5 mg / L. The values at the lower lakes have higher organic concentrations (5.15 mg / L). Other Croatian karst rivers are near their exit points on similar low readings.
The unguided tourism in the 20th century and the pollution by sewage from the hotels or agriculture in the nearby area leaving harmful traces. This led to increasing eutrophication of lakes (an increased concentration of organic substances in water). The protection of this highly sensitive area against excessive influences of the people to allow the undisturbed and sustainable diagenesis is therefore of paramount importance. Since 2006 there is strict ban on swimming in the lakes. Until then, bathing was allowed on Lake Kozjak




Gemütliche Orte Plitvicer Seen Plitvicer Seen Wald

Plitvicer Seen Segeln-Kroatien Plitvicer Seen Kroatien

Nationalpark Plitvicer See Großer Plitvicer See

Idillischer Plitvicer Seen Plitvicer Seen Natur

Plitvicer Seen Nationalpark Nationalpark Plitvicer Seen

Wasserfall Plitvicer Seen Plitvicer Seen Wasserfall




Plitvice Lakes National Park - Map



Plitvice Lakes National Park – getting there

The Plitvice Lakes were formed in the depression between the mountains of Mala Kapela in the West and in the East Plješevica, amidst the Dinaric mountain range. The Plitvice Lakes National Park is located along the national road D1 Zagreb-Split, between Slunj and Korenica, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other major towns in the surrounding area are Ogulin, Rakovica, Otočac, Gospić, and Bihac on the Bosnian side.

The shortest air line distance from the coast to the national park is 55 kilometers. From the coast, the Plitvice Lakes can be reached after 60 kilometers of road from Senj. After crossing the Velebit one enters the karst area of central Croatia and the Lika numerous Poljen (z. B. the Gacko polje).
The highway A1 Zagreb-Split runPlitvicer Seen segeln kroatien 20s in about 50 kilometers west of the park. The Plitvice Lakes can be reached via the exits Karlovac in the north, the west or Otočac Gornja Ploča in the south.
Plitvice Lakes sailing croatia 20The nearest airports are Zadar, Zagreb and Rijeka, the nearest railway stations Josipdol and Plaški, but from which there is no bus to the lakes. By public transport, the Plitvice Lakes are best reached by bus from Zagreb, Karlovac, Zadar or Split. The National Park area of the Plitvice Lakes spans two political subdivisions, called counties. The National Park itself is subject to the national administration. Of the total area of the National Park in the amount of 296.85 square kilometers accounts for 90.7 percent of the Lika-Senj County and 9.3 percent in the County of Karlovac.

The total area of lakes is 2 square kilometers. Of this, almost 80 per cent on the two largest lakes, the Prošćansko jezero and the lake Kozjak. These lakes are also the deepest lakes each with 37 and 47 meters depth. On the Kozjak operate noiseless and environmentally friendly electric boats. Of the remaining lakes no deeper than 25 meters. The height difference between the lakes is 133 meters.
The total of 16 aboveground lakes are in the twelve upper lakes (Gornja jezera) and the four Lower Lakes (Donja jezera) divided.

Day tours can be booked from Zagreb, Rijeka, Split and Zadar. Better, however, is schedule nights in the park with and to take smaller trips. Caution for individual travelers: at the bus stops at the inputs is held only on request!
The national park is easily accessible for mobile tourists also from other regions. From northern Dalmatia, Istria or the Greater Zagreb can experience the Plitvice Lakes as a day trip on their own.