Water and Nature. Powerful and Beautiful
Plitvice National Park is a world renowned natural treasure, consisting of 16 lakes and numerous waterfalls and cascades, rich in flora and fauna, with many endemic species populating the area, deep forests intertwined with plains and meadows… Plitvice became a National park in 1949, while in 1979 UNESCO added them to the World Natural Heritage list, as the first entry in whole Europe. Nowadays, the park is a getaway destination for nature lovers and admirers of healthy life and natural beauty.
Flora and fauna
The animal world of NP Plitvice is diverse and rich thanks primarily to the preservation of habitats.
Biodiversity is reflected in the number of animal species that exceeds a number of 1000 in this area.
In the Park, there are many endemic and numerous protected and endangered animal species.
Flora research in Plitvice Lakes National Park has found over 1400 plant species and subspecies - 30% of total Croatian flora! This is mainly because of a specific geographic position of the area, which is only 50 kilometers from the sea and in the vicinity of the largest Croatian mountain Velebit, while its altitude ranges from 300 to almost 1200 meters above sea.
The Black Queen
A long time ago, several weeks of terrible draught befell the Plitvice province. People, animals and plants were longing for every drop of precious water. Even the Black River that brought water to the whole area went dry. The people prayed persistently, until one day, from the fairy palace hidden high in the steep rock walls of the mountain Velebit, the Black queen descended into the valley with her magnificent entourage. Having heard the peasants' prayers, the Queen took mercy and promised to give them water in abundance. Accompanied by furious winds and deafening thunder rain started to pour down on the dry lands. It rained so heavily and for such a long time that the abundance of water created lakes in the Black river's bed. The first lake Prošćansko was named after the people who prayed for water ("prošnja" – prayer).
The people were happy and satisfied and the queen watched over them. After a while the queen retreated to her underground palace near Galovac and Okrugljak. At once waters rose from the Galovac Lake and started to flow over the cave with such mighty force that they carried trees and rocks in their path. Fearing the flood the people cried for help to their queen again. A lightning struck the sky, winds and rain started to quieten, and at the top the Galovica waterfall (the highest at Lakes Plitvice) a magical glow appeared with the beloved queen in its centre. Gently, she spoke to the people “You are hardworking people of value. Guard your shadowy groves, fertile valleys and these beautiful lakes with sweet silvery brooks racing around. Many an army shall sweep these grounds and blood and tears shall be shed, yet I shall come again and bring the sunlight of a brighter future. Then your shadowy groves and sweet dales shall not be neglected; then noble people from around the world will come to marvel at your lovely Plitvice Lakes.“