The mysterious emeralds - Plitvice Lakes

by Antoni E
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The mysterious formation of Plitvice Lakes has to do with a legend that says that the lakes are the result of the prayers of the peasants, who were crossing a period of drought, when even the streams have dried up. A mysterious Black Queen heard their pleas and brought a heavy rain, which filled the hollows of the valley with water.

True history of the lakes is as exciting as it is the legend! These are lakes fed by streams being formed when minerals dissolved in the water, flowing over the limestone and with the action of bacteria and algae formed travertine dams that stops the water flow. In some places these dams have a height of several tens of meters and the water flows over the edge of the waterfall. The formation of lakes began thousands of years ago, and the process still continues, the landscape is constantly changing.

Plitvice Lakes in Croatia forms the center of the oldest and largest national park in the country. Plitvice are famous for its lakes and waterfalls, but the water surface covers only 1% of the park, the rest are meadows and forests. The tallest waterfall is Veliki Slap Plitvice (78 m height), is the largest waterfall in Croatia. The most attractive are Batinovcki Slapovi, Galovacki Buk and the water flowing from waterfalls look particularly impressive, especially on sunny days when the fog above them form rainbows. Plitvice’s water color is changing depending on the angle of the sun, where it is positioned.

Plitvice Lakes are transit lakes – The Black and White River, coming from the mountains, unites near Plitvice Ljeskovac and then form River Matica. It flows into the first lake, Proscansko, fed by  Ljeskovac creek. From the first lake, the water flows in cascades to these lakes, and after another 7 km, the excess water flows into the river Korana, a short river, considered to be the most beautiful river in Croatia, which joins the Kupa River near Karlovac.

To move around Plitvice Lakes National Park, you can use the tourist trails along the banks of lakes and wooden footbridges suspended above the water. Attention – no swimming allowed! It is strictly forbidden. You can however rest on a small beach - Osredak on Lake Kozjak. It's worth making a trip here in a boat, operated electrically, specifically to not pollute the environment. The best time to visit the Plitvice Lakes is in late spring, early summer or early fall.

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