Plitvice Lakes - Croatia's largest national park recognized as UNESCO World Heritage site
Baku, May 16, AZERTAC
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia's largest national park covering almost 30,000 hectares, is situated in the lower elevations of the Dinarides in the central part of the country.
Within a beautiful karst landscape dominated by a mix of forests and meadows, the magnificent Plitvice lake system stands out, fascinating scientists and visitors alike. Interconnected by many waterfalls and watercourses above and below ground, the lakes are grouped into the upper and lower lakes.
The former are formed on dolomites, with mild relief, not so steep shores and enclosed by thick forests, whereas the latter, smaller and shallower, are situated in limestone canyon with partially steep shores.
The lake system is the result of millennia of ongoing geological and biochemical processes creating natural dams known as tufa barriers. These are formed by the deposition of calcium carbonate from the waters flowing through the property. In the case of the Plitvice lake system, this geochemical process of tufa formation interacts with living organisms, most importantly mosses, algae and aquatic bacteria. The scale of the overall lake system and the natural barriers are an exceptional expression of the aesthetically stunning phenomenon, acknowledged since the late 19th century.
Plitvice Lakes National Park area is mainly covered with very well preserved forests essential for the continuity of geochemical processes in water system (above and below ground), which include an area of 84 ha of old-growth forest of beech and fir. Besides the striking landscape beauty and the processes that continue to shape the lakes, the park is also home to noteworthy biodiversity. The tufa barriers themselves provide habitat for diverse and highly specialized communities of non-vascular plants.
Brown Bear, Grey Wolf and Lynx along with many rare species roam the forests, while the meadows are known for their rich flora.