Krka National Park hosts many cultural monuments. These are the archaeological sites, monuments of industrial architecture, natural wanders as well as monuments of religious heritage. Visitors are very interested in ethno village that preserves the memory of the old crafts and ways of life. We bring you a description of the most important attractions in the area of the river Krka.
Krka Monastery (St Archangel)
North of the Roški waterfall, situated on the small expansion of the Krka River called “Carigradska Draga”, is Krka Monastery. It was built on the foundations of an older, eremitical monastery, and in written documents was first mentioned in 1402 as an endowment of Jelena Čubić. This is one of the most important spiritual center of the Orthodox Dalmatian Eparchy based in Šibenik.
Monastery of St Archangel is located in the middle of the Krka canyon, and this area is called Arandjelovac after it. Nearby is a church that has a form of byzantine buildings with a dome. The bell tower was built in the Romanesque style. Under the church are the Roman catacombs, which are open to visitors. The monastery has a large and rich library with a lot of historical manuscripts, incunabula and rare books. Tourists can visit the monastery by excursion boat from Roški waterfall.
Hydro Power Plant Krka
The remains of the former power plant “Krka” can be found at Skradinski buk in the middle of the Krka National Park. It was built and began operations in 1895, just two days after Tesla’s hydroelectric power plant at Niagara Falls. Along with it a transmission line for power transmission 11 km in length was built and the city electrical lighting network – the first complete electricity system in Croatia. Thus, thanks to its builders Šibenik Mayor Ante Šupuk and engineer Vjekoslav Meischner, Šibenik got electric lighting before many European cities: Budapest, Rome, Vienna, London and others.
Ten years later, a hundred meters downstream from the first, Ante Šupuk built a second hydroelectric power station (HEP “Jaruga”) which, with installation of additional turbines in 1936, has been working until today. Because of its historical significance, hydropower plants “Krka” are protected as a monument to industrial architecture and there is ongoing conservation work aimed at its preservation and presentation.
Located on Lake Visovac, island Visovac is one of the most important natural and cultural values of Croatia. At this small island the followers of St Augustine built a monastery and church in the fourteenth century. Later they left the island due to threats of the Turkish Empire. After them the island was inhabited by Bosnian Franciscans who have remained there with brief interruptions until today. Franciscan Monastery of the Mother of Mercy and church of Our Lady of Visovac form unique scenery with beautiful view of Visovačko Lake.
During the turbulent history, Visovac was and remains an island of peace and prayer, a Franciscan monastery fortress of spirituality and faith, but also one of the key foundation stones of Croatians and the preservation of the Croatian national identity. The monastery has an important archaeological collection, a collection of ecclesiastical vestments and vessels, and a rich library with more valuable books and incunabula.
The center of worship is the painting of Our Lady of Visovac which was, according to tradition, brought by the Franciscans when they, in front of the Turks, left Bosnia and found new shelter on Visovac. Due to the century of reverence of the Mother of God, even Visovac island is sometimes called Our Lady’s Island.
Among the many reasons why the National Park Krka is recognized as a must-see stop during exploration of natural and cultural values of Dalmatia, one of the most important is that Krka on its course builds seven beautiful and picturesque waterfalls.
The most beautiful among seven waterfalls is Skradinski buk
Skradinski Buk is the last of the seven and the longest travertine barrier on the Krka River. The growth of travertine barriers caused a pool of water of the river Krka to form before turning into Roski waterfall and three kilometers of downstream river Čikola, thus creating one of the most unusual and the most beautiful landscape pictures of Krka National Park.
Over 17 steps of Skradinski buk, spread over 800 meters in length, it is the last time after 49 km of its journey towards the sea, common waters of river Krka and Čikola flow together. The width of the waterfall is 200 to 400 meters with a total height difference of 45.7 m. A walking path has been constructed across the river. A tour of the track during just a one hour walk, shaded by lush vegetation, one can directly experience a unique microcosm of magical sounds, lights and colors.
Along the course of the path there are more mills which for centuries used the power of the water flow. Most of the mills were restored to their original function, and inside them the noise of a millstone can be heard once again. Some mills are rearranged, in accordance with the traditional architectural values, into souvenir shops and exhibition spaces in which there are exposed thematic ethnographic collections of useful items. The exhibits represent the life, work and customs of the people along the banks of the Krka in a distinctive and colorful way.
In the area of the river Krka, Croatian dukes erected very famous fortress-cities during the Middle Ages. Today only a handful of ruins with some visible towers and walls which testify to their former size have been preserved. The fortifications were built on the Krka on both its right and left sides. In addition to occasionally having a defensive function, these fortifications are the core of particular settlements. Croatian aristocratic family Šubić had built a fort Trošenj-city and Rogovo on the right bank of the river.
The fortifications on the left bank of the Krka River Nečven, Bogočin and Kamičak were in the possession of other Croatian noble families: Nelipići, Martinušići, Bogetići, Utješinovići and Mišljenovići. The most beautiful among fortresses, Ključica, was in the possession of a nobleman Nelipić, raised above the canyon of the river Čikola.
If you want to take an excursion and have someone drive you and show you the sights, we recommend the Pelican Tours’ trip to Krka Waterfalls which has been rated as the Best Krka tour from Split in the year 2016 on Viator and Expedia.
This article is a guest post contributed by Pelican Tours. Be sure to visit their website for top-rated Krka Waterfalls tour and other fantastic day trips in Croatia.