Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Divine Lake

The Plitvice Lakes (Croatian: Plitvička jezerapronounced [plitˈvitsɛ]) is a national park in Croatia in the Plitvice Lakes municipality, in the mountainous region of Lika.

Plitvice Lakes National Park lies in the Plitvice plateau which is surrounded by three mountains part of the Dinaric Alps: Plješevica mountain (Gornja Plješevica peak 1,640 m),Mala Kapela mountain (Seliški Vrh peak at 1,280 m), and Medveđak (884 m).
The national Park is underlain by karstic rock, mainly dolomite and limestone with associated lakes and caves, this has given rise to the most distinctive feature of the lakes.
The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colours, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight.
The lakes are divided into the 12 Upper Lakes (Gornja jezera) and the four Lower Lakes.
Today it is part of Republic of Croatia.
The Plitvice Lakes had become a major tourist attraction in the late 19th century. The first hotel was built there in 1896, and as early as 1893 it already had a conservation committee - the predecessor of today's national park authority. 

In 1898, one of the waterfalls was named after Croatian opera singer Milka Ternina. She gave money from concerts to preserve the park, upgrade tracks and build pathways

The Plitvice Lakes national park is heavily forested, mainly with beech, spruce, and fir trees, and features a mixture of Alpine and Mediterranean vegetation. It has a notably wide variety of plant communities, due to its range of microclimates, differing soils and varying levels of altitude.
The area is also home to an extremely wide variety of animal and bird species. Rare fauna such as the European brown bear, wolf, eagle, owl, lynx, wild cat, and capercaillie can be found there, along with many more common species. At least 126 species of birds have been recorded there, of which 70 have been recorded as breeding there. 

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