Krka National Park - Filip Šubrt Photo

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Croatia Photos

Krka National Park

Krka National Park lies within Sibenik-Knin County, and covers a total area of 109 km2 of the loveliest sections of the Krka River, and the lower course of the Cikola River. The Krka National Park was proclaimed in 1985, as the seventh national park in Croatia, though certain sections of the Krka River were already protected as early as 1948. Including the submerged part of the river at the mouth, the Krka River is 72.5 km long, making it the 22nd longest river in Croatia. It springs in the foothills of the Dinara mountain range, 2.5 km northeast of Knin.

With its seven waterfalls and a total drop in altitude of 242 m, the Krka is a natural and karst phenomenon. The travertine waterfalls of the Krka River are the fundamental phenomenon of this river. The freshwater course of the Krka is fed by five tributaries: Krcic, Kosovcica, Orašnica, Butisnica and the Cikola with the Vrba River, while the submerged part of the mouth is fed by the Guduca River. Thanks to the constant process of travertine-building, the Krka River is a karst phenomenon that is nature's priceless gift to man The maritime influence on the lower course of the Krka penetrates deep inland, and significantly influences the climatic conditions of the upper course and springs. The influence of the sea is weakened further inland.

Skradinski buk is the seventh, final, and longest travertine barrier on the Krka River. It is located approximately 13 kilometres downstream from Roski slap and a total of 49 kilometres downstream from the source. The growth of travertine barriers at Skradinski buk was caused by the unification of the waters of Krka River with the three kilometre lower current of the Cikola River at Roski slap, creating one of the most unusual and beautiful landscapes of the Krka National Park. The combined waters of the Krka and Cikola Rivers flow over the 17 steps at Skradinski buk, distributed along the 800 metres in length. The width of the cascades is between 200 and 400 metres with a total height difference of 45.7 metres.

Travertine formations in the upper portion of the river include thresholds, travertine islands, draperies and barriers, while the lower portion has caves and tufts. A walking trail has been constructed over the river. The trail takes you on a 60 minute light walk through the deep shade of lush Mediterranean and sub- Mediterranean vegetation, which offers the exceptional possibility of direct contact with the unique microcosms of mystical sounds, lights, colours, the mysterious world of travertine mosses and numerous plant species of the travertine barriers and aquatic habitats.

Near the Roski slap, you can see several restored mills, valjavica and pillars that have utilized the strength of the water's current for centuries.Respecting the traditional architectural values, individual mills have been renovated into souvenir shops and restaurants, while others have been renovated into exhibit spaces where ethnographic collections are on display. On the left riverbank, there are the remains of the first hydroelectric power plant in Croatia. The Krka hydroelectric power plant (later called Jaruga I) was constructed and began operations on 28 August 1895, only two days after the hydroelectric plant on the Niagara River began its operation. It was in operation until World War I when it was decommissioned for military purposes.