High in the mountains of Croatia rests a stunning natural landscape lush with waterfalls, mammoth stone walls and mossy caverns. The Plitvice Lakes National Park of Croatia is amongst the country’s most popular tourist locales, providing its visitors an experience of how beautiful the alpine countryside of Croatia can be. In 1979, Plitvice Lakes became a UNESCO World Heritage Site for “outstanding natural beauty, and the undisturbed production of travertine (tuff) through chemical and biological action”.
The Plitvice Lakes were formed in a valley between three mountains in the Dinaric alps. Rainfall collected in the valley, slowly being dammed in place by natural travertine deposits created by moss, algae and bacteria. These lakes naturally run off into eachother, providing the breathtaking waterfalls which are this national park’s main event.
Plitvice Lakes have had a storied history beyond their natural beauty, as humanity’s involvement in the area has been both respectful and tragic. The area has traded control between the Celts, Romans, Slavs, Turks, Ottomans and Austrians– and even became a watery battlefield during the 1991 Croatian War of Independence. Plitvice Lakes have now returned to a peaceful sanctuary under the protection of their native owners, remaining one of the Republic of Croatia’s most amazing tourist destinations.