The КRКА national park is located in the South-European region, and thanks to its special geographic position, it is remarkable for its variety of flora and fauna.
On the territory of the KRKA park there are 860 species of species and subspecies of plants registered, most of which are endemic species of the Adriatic region. As far as the variety of plants is concerned, the Roski waterfall and the Skradinski whirlpool are the most interesting.
There are 18 species of fish living in the KRKA river. Thanks to the natural treasures found in the park, it is listed in the group of the top category natural wonders.
222 kinds of birds live in the park, which make it one of the largest ornithological natural preserves of Europe.
KRKA received the national park status in 1985.
The park occupies the territory along the KRKA river, with the area of 111 sq. km.
The КRКА river begins at the bottom of Dinara, close to Knin. The length of the river is 72 km. The average volume of water passing though Skradinski whirlpool is 55 cubic metres per second, and in the period of heavy rain it reaches 350 cubic metres per second.
The KRKA park is peculiar for its cascades and waterfalls: the Bilusica whirlpool (22,4 meters), the Corica or Brljan whirlpool (15,5 meters), the Manojlovacki waterfalls (a cascade of waterfalls 59,6 meters high with the main step 32 m high), Rosnjak (8,4 meters), the Miljacka waterfalls (23,8 meters), Roski (25,5 meters) and the Skradinski whirlpool (17 steps 45,7 meters high).
Along the right bank of the KRKA river, in the direction of the town of Skradina, which is a protected cultural monument, to Skradinski Buk there are found the remains of the plumbing of the Roman Skradona of the Classical era. On the territory of the park there are the remains of several ancient Croatian fortresses (14th century): Trosen-grad, Necven-grad, Bogocin-grad and Kljucica. On the territory of the park there is a Franciscan church, a monastery on the isle of Visovac, and the “KRKA” monastery.
You can travel around the park on foot, by car, or sail around in in a boat. In the KRKA national park there are organised excursions to Skradinski whirlpool (from Skradina), and also to the isle of Visovac and Roski waterfall. Tourists can travel around the park in a car using the motorways marked on the maps of the park. The exception is the pedestrian zones close to Skradinski whirlpool, on Visovac and near the KRKA monastery.
Swimming in the large waterfall on the territory of the KRKA natural park is allowed. The water there is fresh and cool.
The guests of the park gladly swim there after a walk around the park.
There are several restaurants on the park grounds for the visitors of the park.
Cost of ticket to the park KRKA
– for adult – 95 kn
– for child 7-18 years – 70 kn
– for child to 7 years – free
The national park KRKA is undoubtedly one of the most famous national parks of Croatia. Its trademark is Skradinski Buk waterfall — the largest in Europe barrier of travertine (calcareous tuff).
The borders of the canyon of the KRKA river gradually spread before Roski Slap waterfall, and its beginning looks like a flight of stairs, which are called the “silver necklace” by the people. In the past, there were many watermills on Roski Slap, and these days there is only one, and it only works for the tourists’ amusement. Roski Slap flows into Lake Visovacko, which is 14 km long.
On the isle of Visovec located in the centre of the lake there are a church and a monastery, built in the 15th century. Initially, hermits of the order of St Paul lived there, and later, monks. The monastery collection is interesting. In it, there is kept one of the three remaining copies of the first edition of Aesop’s fables.
Skradinski Buk is really about 20 waterfalls connected into one. On the distance of a few hundred metres the level of the river drops 46 metres. It is in the lower areas of Skradinski Buk waterfall that the KRKA river ceases to exist — here, it merges with sea water.
Up to recent time, the upper part of the river was not part of the National park as previously two hydroelectric plants had been planned to be built there: one, close to Roski waterfall, and the other one instead of the existing plant on the Miljacka. Apart from this, a dam was supposed to be built. If the plans had been realised, an artificial lake would have flooded almost one half of the canyon of the river and moved nearly to the town of Knin. Fortunately, the building was not destined to be realised, and the upper areas of the river were included into the National park, becoming one of the places most attractive for tourists in Croatia.
On the banks of the rivers KRKA and Cikola there are 17 medieval fortresses
The river KRKA is famous among tourists for Skradin, the isle of Visovec and the monastery located there. Practically nothing is known about the fortresses on the banks of this river. There are many of them here — 17. The remains of one of the fortresses are located right next to the mouth of the river, and a bit down the stream there is found the Knin fortress. Further down, there are the ruins of the Roman military camps Burnum, Necven and Trosen, and the ruins of once mighty Bogocingrad, the main city of the Croatian region in the 9th century.
Not far from Roski waterfall there are the remains of the fortress of the Princes Subic-Bribirski-Rogov. Between Roski waterfall and Lake Visovac, you can plainly see the ruins of the fortress of Kamicak. Between Dubravica and Rupa there are the ruins of Uzdah. Here, you can see the ruined fortress over Skradin.
The other fortresses located in the canyon of the KRKA river also bear witness to the rich history of the region. These are the fortresses of St Mihovil, St Ivan, Subicevac, Barone. One cannot fail to mention the beautiful St Nikola fortress at the entrance into the Sibenski channel, Kljucica in the canyon of the Cikola river and Gradina in Drnis.
The КRКА Orthodox monastery
The КRКА monastery was founded in the 14th century and bears the name of the Archangel Michael. The first mention of the monastery dates back to the year 1345.
Under the building of the church, the construction of which was done in several stages, there are ancient Roman catacombs, in which, according to legend, Paul the Apostle preached the Christian faith. During the wars with the Turks, the monastery was burned, after which it was restored again. In the second half of the 18th century, the altar was built, which still has its original look.
The iconostasis has different icons, mainly made by unknown masters. In the upper part, there are Russian icons, brought here in the 17th century.
The КРКА monastery has always been a spiritual and educational centre of the Dalmatian eparchy. Back in 1615 the metropolitan of Dubro-Bosnia Theodore founded a theological school here, the first in the Serbian Orthodox church. The church has a rich sacrarium and two libraries.
Web site of the KRKA national natural park Croatia – www.npkrka.hr
KRKA river Croatia photo
Bridge of A1 motorway Zagreb-Split over the river KRKA photo