Plitvice Lakes National Park

by Penny BroJacquie

Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. It is located in the mountainous karst area of central Croatia near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park was designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO .

Sixteen lakes are located in the Plitvice National park as a result of the confluence of several small rivers and subterranean karst rivers. All those lakes are interconnected and they follow the water flow. They are separated by natural dams of travertine, which is deposited by the action of moss, algae, and bacteria.

The name Plitvice was first mentioned in a written document in 1777 by Dominik Vukasović, the priest of Otočac. In Croatian pličina (or plitvak, plitko) means shallow and “Plitvice” was a reference to the shallow basins filled with water that are formed throughout the Park and have created the lakes.

The national park became famous during the 1960s and 1970s as it was the scenery in several Western film productions of Karl May novels.

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