Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia August 2013

Plitvice Lakes National Park Croatia August 2013

Our first stop in Croatia is the capital city of Zagreb with around 800,000 people. It got its start as two medieval fortress towns atop hills overlooking the Sava River, and was reborn in the Baroque period as center of business, perfectly located on routes connecting Central Europe to the Adriatic Sea. Today, Zagreb is the heart of contemporary Croatia’s culture, art, sports, and academics, but its history is not forgotten. The city boasts a charming medieval 'old city' with architecture and cobbled streets reminiscent of Vienna, Budapest, Prague and other Central-European capitals. The Old Town Gate, at the top of Radićeva street (Upper Town). now a shrine to virgin Mary - the "Kamenita vrata" where you can light a candle or place a vow and, as the locals believe, your wish will be granted. The portrait of Mary is said to be sacred, because it is the only thing that survived the great fire in Zagreb in 1731. The Zagreb Cathedral on Kaptol is the tallest building in Croatia. The cathedral is typically Gothic, as is its sacristy, which is of great architectural value. Construction started in 1093, but the building was severely damaged in the 1880 Zagreb earthquake. The main nave collapsed and the tower was damaged beyond repair. The restoration of the cathedral in the Neo-Gothic style was led by Hermann Bollé, bringing the cathedral to its present form. Two spires 108 m (354 ft) high were raised on the western side, both of which are now in the process of being restored as part of an extensive general restoration of the cathedral.  
 
Plitvice Lakes National Park (over 296.85 sq km, or 73,350 acres) in Croatia is considered to be one of the most beautiful natural sights in Europe. Due to its natural beauty and significance, this system of 16 interlinked lakes (12 upper lakes and 4 lower lakes) and a large forest complex around it were set aside as a national park in 1949. In 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage register among the first natural sites worldwide. The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight. It is heavily forested, mainly with beech, spruce, and fir trees, and features a mixture of Alpine and Mediterranean vegetation. It has a notably wide variety of plant communities, due to its range of microclimates, differing soils and varying levels of altitude.

Our first stop in Croatia is the capital city of Zagreb with around 800,000 people. It got its start as two medieval fortress towns atop hills overlooking the Sava River, and was reborn in the Baroque period as center of business, perfectly located on routes connecting Central Europe to the Adriatic Sea. Today, Zagreb is the heart of contemporary Croatia’s culture, art, sports, and academics, but its history is not forgotten. The city boasts a charming medieval 'old city' with architecture and cobbled streets reminiscent of Vienna, Budapest, Prague and other Central-European capitals. The Old Town Gate, at the top of Radićeva street (Upper Town). now a shrine to virgin Mary - the "Kamenita vrata" where you can light a candle or place a vow and, as the locals believe, your wish will be granted. The portrait of Mary is said to be sacred, because it is the only thing that survived the great fire in Zagreb in 1731. The Zagreb Cathedral on Kaptol is the tallest building in Croatia. The cathedral is typically Gothic, as is its sacristy, which is of great architectural value. Construction started in 1093, but the building was severely damaged in the 1880 Zagreb earthquake. The main nave collapsed and the tower was damaged beyond repair. The restoration of the cathedral in the Neo-Gothic style was led by Hermann Bollé, bringing the cathedral to its present form. Two spires 108 m (354 ft) high were raised on the western side, both of which are now in the process of being restored as part of an extensive general restoration of the cathedral.  
 
Plitvice Lakes National Park (over 296.85 sq km, or 73,350 acres) in Croatia is considered to be one of the most beautiful natural sights in Europe. Due to its natural beauty and significance, this system of 16 interlinked lakes (12 upper lakes and 4 lower lakes) and a large forest complex around it were set aside as a national park in 1949. In 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage register among the first natural sites worldwide. The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight. It is heavily forested, mainly with beech, spruce, and fir trees, and features a mixture of Alpine and Mediterranean vegetation. It has a notably wide variety of plant communities, due to its range of microclimates, differing soils and varying levels of altitude.