National Park Krka Waterfalls Locate On Map
National Park Krka Waterfalls - Tourist InformationHighlights:
- Krka river
- Skardinski Buk waterfall
- Roski waterfall
- Manojlovac waterfall
- Visovac island with the Francisian monastery
- Krka monastery
- Burnum amphitheater and a museum
Lovely karst Krka River has a spring near Knin town, located under the Topoljski waterfall and after 72.5 kilometers it flows into the Adriatic Sea next to Sibenik town. It flows between the Plateau of Cikola River and the Dalmatian hinterland region. There are five rivers that flow into Krka River and give her water, they are: Krcic, Kosovcica, Orasnica, Butisnica and Cikola with Vrba. The underwater part of the river mouth is supplied by Guduca River. Because of the constant process of Travertine buildup Krka River is a karst marble that is considered to be a natures priceless present to us. The maritime influence on the lower part of river Krka continues deep inland, and notably influences the climatic conditions of the upper part of the river and its springs. The seas influence is weakened towards the more inland part of the river.
Seven waterfalls of Krka river
Krka river is a karst and natural phenomenon with its seven amazing travertine waterfalls: Bilusica buk, Brljan, Manojlovac waterfall, Rosnjak, Miljacka waterfall, Roski waterfall and Skardinski buk. Dinaric karst has common feature in its surface waters, it is travertine, significant layers are created by only the most extraordinary travertine, those layers build the waterfalls like the ones seen on Krka River. Waterfalls that are a result of travertine deposits are very fragile and they are sensitive to all human activities and environmental changes. The survival of the waterfalls that create the hydrogeology and landscape can only be ensured trough constant growth of the phytogenic travertine so the foundation for great biodiversity can be formed. The growth and development of the waterfalls is a direct result of complex biological, physical and chemical processes. In order for travertine live, grow and age it is important that the natural stability of the ecosystem of rivers Cikola and Krka stay preserved.
Bilusica buk is the first of seven cascades on the flow of Krka River. The location of the falls is at an altitude of 214 meters above sea level, approximately 16 kilometers from the river spring or 9 kilometers downstream from Knin town. There have been four changes in the appearance of the waterfall and its current because dynamite was used to stop the flooding in Knin field. These changes lowered the water level in the current above the waterfall that caused the Bobodol Lake to dry out. Even with the all the damage this waterfall is still very loud and appealing because this is the only waterfall that hasn’t been impacted by the utilization of Krka’s water for different energy needs. All year round Krka River flows with its entire current over this waterfall. The waterfall consists from two main levels and several smaller levels in between two main levels, the total difference in height is 22.4 meters. The waterfall is approx.100 meters wide in total and even in low water levels the water flows trough a part that is only 30 meters wide. This waterfall is created by travertine formations such as small caves and tufts. There are many barriers down stream from the waterfalls with island and travertine thresholds just under the waterfalls. There are small lakes between the travertine steps. Near the current riverbed you can see attractive and well-maintained “dead travertine”. Down stream from the lowest step of the waterfall the river begins to widen and the water calms down. Bilusica buk is surrounded by thick purple loosestrife and rich sub-Mediterranean vegetation. There are several ways to reach the waterfalls: the first one is from the Bukovac side via Knin-Kistanje road and taking the turn at the Raducic village while continuing down to the railway station in Raducic. The ledge of the canyon is several hundred meters walking distance. Once you reach the canyon there is a narrow trail that leads to the river underneath the waterfall, the second way is from Promina side where you can reach the canyon via Drnis-Oklaj road if you take the turn at the Gornji Citluk village an continue to Ljubotic village on this road, once you reach Ljubotic village there is and unpaved road that will get you to the edge of the canyon from where a 10 min walk will get you to the waterfall.
Two kilometers after the Bilusica buk waterfall at the canyon end Krka River widens and creates a 400 meter wide and 1300 meter long Coric lake. The lake was created, in part, because of the travertine barriers growth at Brljan barrier, an in largest part due to construction of a artificial dam at Brljan for Miljacka hydroelectric plant needs. The lake water flows over the Brkljan waterfall only when there are high waters, because the water is redirected to a hydroelectric plant via drilled tunnel. The travertine barriers at Brljan waterfalls cascades are approximately 180 meters wide and 300 meters long and the total drop is 15.5 meters high. There are several smaller rapids, rivers and thresholds upstream.
Nature that surrounds the waterfall is mainly cultivated fields and lush Mediterranean vegetation. The best view is in spring when the travertine cascades are not completely covered and everything is green. There is a trail on the Bukovac side of the river that goes trough the canyon and crosses over the waterfall where you can see the remains of Burnum, a Roman military camp. There is a trail that goes over the travertine barriers from Bukovac towards Promina. On the left side of the river you will find remains of different mills that are still visible today. When warm months come the waterfall becomes dry and lifeless then the 500 meter long riverbed from Brljan to Manojlovac waterfall dries out. The waterfall is reachable both from Bukovac side and from Promina side. The road that connects Knin-Kistanje road and Drnis-Oklaj road goes over the travertine barriers on Krka River. On both sides of that crossing there are river viewing points that offer amazing views on Coric lake and the waterfalls.
Manojlovac waterfall is located half a kilometers downstream from Brljan, right on the spot where the river makes a sharp turn. This is the largest of all Krka waterfalls and is considered to be the most beautiful of them. Series of travertine barriers make this waterfall and the largest is 32.2 meters high while the total height of all of them is 59.6 meters. The cascades are approximately 500 meters long and 80 meters wide. Travertine formations on this waterfall are mostly small caves and beard like tufts. Along the river currents there are small pastures and fields while the canyon surrounding the waterfall is surrounded by overgrown sub-Mediterranean vegetation. Underneath the waterfall you can see ruins of abandoned mills. Like Brljan, this waterfall is also dried out because of the redirection of water to Miljacka hydroelectric plant during the warm months. During the high waters the waterfall falls down with a deafening roar into the deep water, surrounded by rainbows created by scattered drops of water. Once you see the beauty of this rainbow it will for sure stay in your memory for a long time as a most impressive nature scene. The best view of this waterfall is from Bukovac side, on the canyon rim, just several hundred meters from the archeological site if Burnum located on Knin-Kistanje road. No walking paths exist to reach the waterfall, which gives it additional mystical beauty.
Rosnjak is located approximately 1 kilometer from the Majnolovac waterfall. This is a place where the canyon is narrower and deeper, hidden in pristine nature, lies the smallest waterfall on Krka river. It consists from only one step that is about 8.4 meters high and 40 meters wide. Tufts and small caves are the most common travertine formations here. This waterfall is located in a scenic canyon between approximately 200-meter high cliffs. Due to its inaccessibility, this is the only waterfall where mills were never built. Even tough the Rosnjak waterfall has never been touched by human hands, and you can only look at it, it still dries out in warm months because of the water diverted to Miljacka hydroelectric plant. When the water is high, the waterfall gleams in screaming fog showing its true beauty trough simplicity. Because of its inaccessibility and its mystical view the people of the area call it the “altar”. The viewpoint for thi waterfall can be reach from Knin-Kistanje and Drnis-Oklaj roads by taking the turn towards Miljacka hydroelectric power plant after the village of Puljana.
Approximately 1 kilometer after Rosnjak waterfall we will find Miljacka waterfall that is located between high cliffs overgrown with rich sub-Mediterranean vegetation. It consists from several smaller and three larger travertine levels that have a total height of 23.8 meters. The upper part of the waterfall is has small caves and tuft formations while the lower part consists of small thresholds. Trough the Miljacka spring the Krka River is directly connected to Zrmanja River. This represents a unique hydrogeological phenomenon. When the waters are low the minimum flow rate is 2 m3 per second. At the bottom of the cascades on the right side of the river there are few destroyed mils and waterworks and on the left side is Miljacka hydroelectric plant. This is the largest hydroelectric plant on Krka River. Its construction began in 1904 while the first generator became operational in April 1906, and it was completed in 1907. Miljacka was the most powerful hydroelectric plant in Europe until 1910. Approximately 100 meters from the waterfall on the right side of the river Miljacka II cave can be found which is a home for several subterranean and endemic animals. Most attractive of these species are the olm and a colony of long fingered bats, this is one of the larges colonies in Europe with over 4000 individuals. To get to the waterfalls you need to use Knin-Kistanje road and Oklaj-Drniš road and turn for the Miljacka power plant after the village of Puljana. The waterfall itself can’t be accessed because the only access is trough the grounds of Miljacka power plant.
About 14 kilometers from Miljacka waterfall, we will find Roski waterfall. It was named after a Rog hill fort whose remains can be barely seen today. The canyon is funnel shaped in this section. The first part of the travertine barriers consists of several small cascades that locals call a necklace, the part in the middle is made of several islands and backwaters. The barrier is 450 meters wide at its widest part and 650 meters long, while the total difference in altitude is 22.5 meters. The main waterfall is located at the end of the barrier and is 15 meters high, this is the place where Krka river falls into the Visovac lake. Travertine barriers at this waterfall consist of tufts, caves, small barriers, tapers and thresholds. The tapers are located at the base of the main waterfall and are specific to Roski waterfall. There was a Roski waterfall hydroelectric power plant constructed on the right side of the river in 1910. There is a road that goes over the waterfall that dates back to Roman times. There are many mills on both sides of the river, few of them have been completely restored to their original function. Right next to the mills you can find valjavica for washing fabrics as well as the renovated pillar that was used to produce wool, these have special historical and cultural significance and as such are considered monuments of trade history and rural architecture. Because of their expression of rural life and their primary function, they are considered to be ethnographic monuments. Roski waterfall is also interesting because of the rich vegetation that comes in contact with moist shady, dry and light habitats. This waterfall can be reached: from Bukovac side the waterfall can be reached from the village of Laskovica, from Promina side via Drnis-Siritovci road, from Sibenik Roski waterfall can be reached by Sibenik-Pakovo-Kljuc-Siritovci road or by Sibenik-Skradin-Dubravice-Rupe- Laskovica road. Roski Slap waterfall can also be reached with a river from Skradinski buk by a boat organized by Krka National Park.
Skradinski buk is the last of the seven waterfalls on Krka River and it is the longest travertine barrier on the river. Its location is approximately 13 kilometers from Roski waterfall and total of 49 kilometers from the Krka river source. The travertine barriers growth at Skradinski Buk was caused by the combined waters of Krka River and the lower 3 kilometers of Cikola River at Roski waterfall, this created one of the most unusual and amazing landscapes of Krka National Park. Skradinski buk is approximately 800 meters long and it has 17 steps over which combined waters of rivers Cikola and Krka flow. The total height difference is 45.7 meter and the width is between 200 meters and 400 meters. The higher part of the cascades has travertine formations that include travertine islands, thresholds, barriers and draperies while the lover part has tufts and caves. There is a walking path that was constructed lower the river. The path leads you on a 1-hour light hike trough the forest that consists of rich sub-Mediterranean and Mediterranean vegetation. Here you can experience a direct contact with the unique world of lights, colors and mystical sounds, see the mystery world of travertine mosses and many plant species of aquatic habitats and travertine barriers. Lucky visitor will experience the song of the nightingale, swimming of the Illyrian ide, splashing of the coot, call of the green frog, rapid movements of European dice and grass snakes, flight of the hawk and the playful ballet of colorful butterflies and emerald dragonflies. There are also several mills, pillar and valjavica located here, that have utilized the power of the rivers for centuries. Several of these mills have been restored respecting the traditional values and are now used either as souvenir shops and restaurants or exhibit spaces where ethnographic collections are displayed. On the left side of the river you will see the remains of the first hydroelectric power plant in Croatia. This power plant was constructed and began working on 28 August 1895, which is only two days after the Niagara River power plant, its name was first Krka then renamed to Jaruga I. It worked until WWI when it was decommissioned for army purposes. Nowadays Jaruga II power plant was constructed in 1904. Skradinski buk can be reached via roads Knin-Drnis-Tromilja-Lozovac or Sibenik-Tromilja-Lozovac. Main entrance to Krka National Park is Lozovac. The entrance can also be reached from Skradin via boat line operated by Krka National Park.
There are five cave-springs that we know of (Miljacka I-V). The largest is Miljacka II, this is also the largest cave in the park, and is located on the right side of the river, approximately 100 meters from the waterfall. At the times of high waters there is a subterranean river that goes trough the cave, this is generally thought to be Zrmanja River that sinks at Mokro Polje. At the times of low water there is a 200-meter long lake whose depth is unknown that ends in a siphon. This cave has been investigated up to 1750 meters in length. Its ceiling, walls and floor have numerous stalagmites that have eroded, those indicate frequent changes of water levels inside the cave. The caves that are located around Miljacka waterfall are amazing underground habitats, they contain 36 subterranean species most of witch are endemic to Dinaric karst area and Croatia. Endemic olm is known for habituating in Miljacka II along with 8 species of bats. During the summer months, there are bat colonies with up to 9000 individuals that take shelter here, most of them are long fingered bats that number approximately 7000 individuals.
There is and amazingly interesting pit that is located just opposite the Torak Spring, it is situated at about 20 meters above the river valley on the right side of Cikola River. This pit is approximately 10 meters long and 20 meters deep. The upper section was formed in conglomerate and the lower part was formed in marly limestone. It is without a doubt that the pit was submerged with the raising of the lake that followed the growth of travertine barriers at Skradinski buk waterfall. There are three small lakes located at the bottom of the pit that are in the level os Cikola river water. The largest lake is 17 meters deep. This is the second known place in Krka National park where olm habitats and also this is where the submerged stalactites are grown over with endemic cave Polychaeta colonies.
Ozidana kave is located on the left side of Krka River just above the Roski waterfall close to the very top of the canyon wall. The cave is opened up in the middle of a 20-meter tall vertical cliff towards the southwest. It got its name after a stone wall constructed at the edge of the cave as some sort of a rampart. The cave is 59 meters long, 2.5 meters high and up to 7 meters wide and it is tunnel shaped with two chimneys at the rear of the cave. There have been several discoveries here that date back to the period of Danilo culture: flint knives, stone tools, fragments of ceramic dishes, mussel shells, large number of different animal bones and two skeletons of childhood age.
Jazinka cave is located on the left side of Krka River close to the medieval fortress Necven. The cave is up to 6 meters wide, 4 meters high and 42 meters long. Here there have been findings of fragments of ceramic dishes, bronze arrows, animal bones, bronze fibulas and human bones dating to the Bronze and early iron age.
Nameless cave is located on the left side of River Krka right next to Skradinski buk waterfall on the northwest side of Jaruga I power plant. The cave was first discovered at the time the power plant was being constructed in 1894. According to the information from that time the cave was approximately 80 meters wide and 150 meters long with a complete area of 1200 m2 with rich ornaments and amazing dripstones along with a small lake at the bottom. Depositions of travertine formed the cave. In nowadays the low parts of the cave are filled in and it is now only 10 m deep and 24 m long. The dripstones have lost their original shine and the lake has dried up because of the rerouting of the river during the construction of the power plant. Remains of the hydroelectric power plant foundation can be seen in a part of the cave.
Fauna of Krka National Park
There are about 20 species of fish that live in Krka River, the most common fish are the Dalmatian rudd, The Illyrian ide and the Brook trout. In the upper part of the river over the Roski waterfall, which is characterized by fast, cold waters, is dominated by trout. The lower part of the river that is downstream from Roski waterfall is mainly inhabited by cyprinids. There are 10 endemic fish species in the Adriatic river basins: Huchen, Adriatic dace, Adriatic salmon, Dalmatian rudd, Croatian dace, Adriatic barbel, Visovac goby, Dalmatian barbell gudgeon, Dalmatian minnow and the Illyric ide. There are so many endemic species because of the geological history of the area, which makes the Krka River a highest category natural monument.
The lake like parts of the upper part of the river, marshy meadows, reeds and ponds are rich in amphibian life, while the scarce vegetation on the rocky terrain is a reptile habitat. Up to this date there have been recorded 22 species of reptiles and 9 species of amphibians in the park area. These species are all protected in Croatia, and the Red Book of Reptiles and Amphibians includes these species: loggerhead sea turtle as and endangered specie, olm as a vulnerable specie that is also the largest subterranean animal endemic to Dinaridi karst area and inhabits four caves in the Park, data deficient species is the smooth newt that can be found in the northern part of the park, the dice snake along with the leopard snake, near threatened species are the common tree frog know for its acrobatic abilities like hanging on one leg from a tree branch or standing horizontally against a carob lea, the Hermann’s tortoise, Italian wall lizard and the European pond terrapin. The loggerhead sea turtle can be seen only occasionally in the brackish waters of Skradin while the pond terrapins and terrestrial turtles can be found all over the park area. Italian wall lizard is the most common lizard species in the park and can be seen in all habitats, from dry rocky fields to the marshy meadows. The leopard snake likes rocky areas and thickets while the dice snake enjoys calmer aquatic habitats.
The only venomous snake that inhabits the park and is dangerous to man is the nose-horned viper. You can find also European cat snake and Eastern Montpellier’s snake that are only venomous to reptiles, birds and small mammals so are considered semi-venomous.
There have been recorded 211 species of birds in the National Park to this date, and 111 of those species are listed as threatened in Croatia. 105 bird species use the National Park for nesting while 90 migratory bird species use it for feeding and resting, the Park is also a wintering ground for 61 bird species, all of this makes Krka National Park and area of great importance for international migratory birds. We find 9 endangered species of bird in the Park, 7 of which are nesting and 2 are wintering species, their local population accounts for more than 1% of the total population in our country. Those species are: Eurasian bittern, pygmy cormorant, Bonelli’s eagle, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, little crake, merlin, calandra lark and spotted crake.
Areas of the National park that are interesting in the ornithological sense are: Skradinski buk, areas that are downstream and upstream from it, Torak lake and the mouth of Cikola river, canyon part of Cikola river, Roski waterfall and Visovac lake. Those locations show the wealth and diversity of bird fauna, as you can see the typical representatives of migratory birds, nesting birds and wintering bird in each of the habitat types. You can observe the wetland and cliff species at Roski waterfall together in a small area, and at Skradinski buk you can see birds that live in Aleppo pine forests and sub-Mediterranean rocky habitats along with wetlands species.
There have been recorded a total of 46 species of mammals in Krka National Park. The Croatian Red Book of Mammals includes 14 of those species, they are: Mehely’s bat is in the category of regionally extinct species; Schreiber’s bat and long fingered bat are in the category of endangered species; Blasius’ horseshoe bat, Mediterranean horseshoe bat, Bechstein’s bat are in the vulnerable species; greater horseshoe bat, lesser horseshoe bat, Geoffrey’s bat, greater mouse eared bat, otter, red squirrel, garden dormouse and the wolf are in the near threatened species. There are four species in the Krka National Park that can also be found on the European endangered species list: wolf, otter, wildcat and greater horseshoe bat.
The flora of Krka National Park
There are 3 forest communities that dominate the National Park area: flowering ash and holm oak mixed forests, white hornbeam and downy oak mixed forests and autumn moor grass with black hornbeam forest. Because of centuries of forest exploitation the white hornbeam and downy oak forests are now rare and are now most commonly found in the form of thickets and low forests. The flowering ash and holm oak forest community grows on steep sunny slopes, while the forests of black hornbeam along with autumn moor grass are usual on the shady slopes and both of these are typical in coastal areas in Croatia. Along these forest communities a large area around Skradinski buk was planted with Aleppo pine and black pine in the early 20th century. If you go upstream from Roski waterfall you will find thickets and floodplain forests that are common along the river edge and are dominated by black and white poplars, black alder, willows and narrow leaf ash.
Thickets are primarily parts of Chirst’s thorn community and are characterized by Chirst’s thorn spiny plant, terebinth pistache, red-berried juniper and osyris. There are two plant communities that commonly develop on rocky grasslands that used as pastures: Illyrian fescue and koeleria pastures that are usually in areas with more fine soil and the rocky communities of medicinal sage and feather grass that are usually found in valleys with good soil and limestone cracks. Along the both sides of Krka river you will find numerous small areas with wetlands and humid grasslands, amazing picturesque meadows near the coast that are of meadow barley and clover community.
You can find the community of dominates sedge beds on the sides if the river that are associated with stands of marsh pennywort and galingale. Where the water doesn’t dry out you can find reed communities with club brush, even in the dries periods. In somewhat slower flowing and deeper or standing water behind the reed belts you can find the aquatic plants. The most evident is the community that consists of white water lily, European cow lily spiked and whorled milfoil, water starwort, mare’s tail, three-leaved water crowfoot and water knotgrass.
Scorpion senna can be found all over the Croatia that grows up to 1 meter in height. It can be found all ove the Parke area in thickets, macchia and deciduous forests, on rocks and on rocky pastures. When the plants are young then the branches are strong but thin and they have green smooth skin that turns greyish green as the plant gets older. Leaves are unevenly stipulate and consist of approximately 7-9 light green, egg shaped, bare leaves that are 1-2 centimeters long. The blossoms are clustered together into a tight spike, yellow, on a 2-centimeter long common stalk. The calyx has small-serrated edges and the color is olive green. This plant flowers in May and June.
Grassy bells plant is endemic to coastal areas of the Dinaric mountain range, it grows on sunny and rocky grasslands. We can find this plant on the rocky pastures at Roski slap and Zurica brdo. This is a plant that grows low, up to 15 centimeters. Its leaves are linear, narrow and hairy along the edges, they are 8-12 centimeters long and approximately 1.5 millimeters wide. It has bell like flowers that grow in clusters of several flowers from the end of the stems, surrounded by leaves that are heart shaped at the base and wide and pointy and narrow at the tips. The fruit of this flower is a capsule with many seeds.
The chimney bellflower can be found all over the National Park and is an Adriatic/Illyrian endemic species. It grows in rock crevices, on caves and walls in the coastal region. It is found on altitudes as high as 1000 meters above sea level. This plant can grow up to 150 centimeters in height, with strong, simple and vertical stem than can also be branching like a broom. They have bare leaves. On the plant stem we have leaves on shorter stems that are egg or spear shaped with a heart shaped base and serrated edges. The flowers are usually in clusters of 3 and are on short stalks at the bases of upper leaves. The flower is shaped as a wide bell with a 3-centimeter diameter with a light purple to blue color. This flower blossoms in July and August.
Except the present day flow of the Krka River we can find travertine that is about 125000 years old in the area of the former water course near Knin, this is called the dead travertine. This travertine was formed during the interglacial period known as the Ris/Wurm that was climatically warm. The current waterfalls of Krka River are parts of the barriers that are found in the present watercourse and are currently growing trough new calcification and are because of that called the live travertine.
The most common travertine shapes in karst rivers are underwater thresholds, shelves and barriers. They are usually found at the bottom of karst rapids, consoles and curtains that form where the water falls down vertical cliffs and troughs, pipes and tufts that are formed when large amounts of water fall forming waterfalls. Travertine builders are species that poses the ability to encrust calcite crystals. Mosses and algae play important part in forming the travertine.
Kljucica is the best-preserved and largest medieval fortress in Krka National Park. The fort was built by the Nelipic family in the 13 century above the Cikola River canyon in order to defend their estate from the Noble Subic family, their rivals. Turks conquered it in 1546 and held it until 1648 when they left the area. Kljucica is abandoned since then and nobody ever lived here again.
The ruins of medieval fortress Kamicak are located between Visovac lake and Roski waterfall. According to the historical records dating to 1345, King Ludovik confirmed the heritage right over Kamicak to Ivan Nelipic. Because of the Turkish invasions and their occupation over the whole area meant a loss of importance of fort Kamicak, so they abandoned it. The locals also call Kamicak by Utjesinovica Grad because in 1482 the first Croatian cardinal Juraj Utjesinovic was born here. Marko Misljenovic was also born here and he was appointed to be a Croatian Ban in 1506 by Croato-Hungarian King Ladislav.
On the high rock near Bogatic village, on the left side of Krka River you can see the ruins of medieval fortress Bogocin. It is considered that is was built by Croatian noble Nelipic family and later taken over by Martinusic family. There is a singe amazingly preserved medieval road that leads to Bogocin fort and you could only enter the fort via drawbridge. It was taken over by Turks in the early 16th century and it remained in the Turkish rule until 1684.
Necven medieval fortress was erected on the very edge of a cliff on the left side of Krka River. It original owners were the Nelipic family that owned the entire Miljeva-Promin region. The fortress remained under the Nelipic family rule until 1421 when the noble Matrinusic family took over the rule. In early 16 century, the Turkish forces conquered and held Necven until 1688. The Turks turned Necven into the seat of Krka district (sandzakat), administrative unit (nahija) and judicial center (kadiluk), and brought their soldiers here. When the Turks left, they torched the Necven fort and destroyed half of it.
On the opposite side of Necven fort, on the right side of Krka River, medieval Trošenj fort was constructed. It was under the rule and ownership of the great Croatian Subic family that ruled the whole right side of Krka River. It was most likely constricted to control and guard the bridge over the river. Trosenj was taken by the Turkish army in the year 1522, they built a rounded tower and housed their military units here. Majority of the fortress was destroyed when the invasion of the Venetian army ousted the Turks.
Krka hydroelectric plant
You can find ruins of former Krka hydroelectric plant in the very center of Krka Nationa Park, at Skradinski buk. It was built and it began its operations in year 1895, only 2 years after Nikola Tesla’s hydroelectric plant on Niagara Falls began its operations. In the same time, 11-kilometer long power lines were built along with the city lighting to transmit electricity and so the first complete electrical in Croatia. Thanks to engineer Vjekoslav Meinscher and Sibenik mayor Ante Supuk, Sibenik town had electrical street lighting before numerous other European cities like Budapest, London, Rome, Vienna and others. Only 10 years later, Ante Supuk built another hydroelectric plant called Jaruga, which is located approximately 100 meters from the first power plant. This plant is still in function today following the installation of extra turbines in 1936. Because of its historical importance, Krka hydroelectric plant is a protected monument of industrial architecture. There are currently restoration works in the plant that are meant to conserve and present the plant to the visitors.
The Monastery of the Holy Archangel is located in the middle of the Krka Canyon, called Carigradska draga, and part of the river was named after the monastery, the Arandelovac. It was built over the older, hermit monastery, and is one of the most significant spiritual centers of the Orthodox Dalmatian eparchy that is located in Sibenik. There is a church built in the Byzantine style that is located next to the monastery, along with recently constructed seminary building. Under the monastery there is a little known cemetery that was never allowed for visitors to see. There is a wealthy and large library inside the monastery that houses many historical incunabula, manuscripts and rare books.
Visovac Island is one of the most significant cultural and natural values of Croatia. It has been the site of the Church of Our Lady of Visovac and the Franciscan monastery of Our Lady of Mercy since 1445. This forms a unique entity with their amazing grounds that are surrounded by lake Visovac. During Croatia’s turbulent history, Island Visovac was and has remained an island of prayer and peace, and the Franciscan monastery is a fort of faith and spirituality, and one of important foundations stones for the survival of Croats and preserving the Croatian national identity. Monastery owns a important archaeological collection, a collection of church dishes and linens, and a wealthy library with numerous valuable incunabula and books. Painting of the Virgin is a center of worship for the Mother of god at Visovac Island. As the legend goes, the painting was brought by the Franciscans as they fled Bosnia at the time of Turkish invasions and they found a new shelter on Visovac Island. Because of the centuries of worship of our lady, Visovac Island is also known as Our Lady’s Island.
The water mills on Krka River are part of a pre-industrial system of plants. They are a witness to the traditional life and way of earning living that was lived here until the early 20th century. There have been preserved approximately 30 mills along the flow of the river as well as several washing holes and columns. At Skradinski buk we can find best preserved and restored watermills. They are a significant monument to the economic past of the Sibenik region and Sibenik town as they were one of the main economical drivers of the city in the past. The first mention of them is in a document from 1215 where King Bella III demarked the line that divided Trogir and Sibenik. During the 14th and 15th century Krka River watermills were important for the entire Adriatic coast, because wheat was milled here for many towns, from Dubrovnik to Istria.
The existing mills that are at Skradinski buk were mainly built on the same locations as older mills, which were destroyed during the Cretan war and the battle of Cypress. They usually have rural stylistic characteristics so it is more difficult to date the buildings. According to the historical records we can date them to the turn of the 18th century at the time of the end of Turkish threats. The walls were built using travertine and stone while the mortar was made of limestone combined with clay or sand. Inner construction and the roof were made of wood while the stone slabs were used as roofing most often. Construction locations of mills follow the land configuration, caves and rock faces were also used. Nowadays you can access the mills only on paths of irregular rocks.
Gornja kuća or the Upper house is the largest preserved structure at Skradinski buk, it has a mill, stales, upstairs kitchen and miller’s flat. On the ground floor we can find six restored milling wheels that had a function as crushers. The grindstone operated by cutting and gridding the material between the stones, one of the stones was fixed while the other turned. Right next to the water mill there is a dike that collects water along with six canals for the milling wheels were preserved. You will find a column in the extension of the mill where homemade blankets and cloth was finished.
The ruins of Burnum Roman military camp are located on the right side of Krka River, close to the village of Ivosevci. The camp was built at the turn of the new era, at an important strategic location for controlling the travel across the river. This was a starting point for all military campaigns that went to inland regions all the way up to north boundaries of Roman Empire. This camp was the home for XI Roman legion. From 42 A.D. this legion was awarded the honorable title of Claudia pia fidelis. After them, IV Flavia Felix legion was located here. Nowadays you can still see the remains of the Pretoria arches. Research in recent times has unearthed a large amphitheater along with the plenty of archaeological material that suggests that it was built at the time of Emperor Claudius rule, and it was later expanded under the rule of Emperor Vespasian. When the army left, they established a town here because of a favorable infrastructure that was already in place. Up until the late antiquity it played an important role in this area. The town had an aqueduct, cobbled roads and streets, amphitheater, a large sanctuary and other urban properties. There were many fierce battles held along the town walls and at the town was taken by the Ostrogoth at the end of 5th century.
It was possible to enter the Burnum amphitheater trough 4 entrances. They taken the advantage of the rocks that had a funnel shaped depressions, which was great for the builders. There is no information about the number of viewers that could attend the events but it is thought to be between six to ten thousand people. There was a monumental and beautifully engraved plaque that stood on above the south entrance on the façade above it that confirmed that this was a donation from the Emperor Vespasian.
During an archaeological dig numerous small artifacts were discovered: glass, money, chains, pendants, horse equipment, belt buckles, bricks, ceramics and many other small items. Most of the coins date back to the period of Late Republic up to 1st century AD. Those coins that were found in higher layers are dated to later periods, ending in early 4th century.