National Park Skadar lake
The largest lake of the Balkan Peninsula — Skadar — is located on the territory of two States, and the majority (around 2/3 of the lake) this unique natural site belongs to Montenegro, and the rest — Albania. From both countries the lake and the surrounding land are considered strictly protected and are under state protection, so the Montenegrin coast of Skadar lake was declared a national Park.
Location: lake Skadar is located in the South-Eastern part of Montenegro on the land of three municipalities: Podgorica. Cetinje and Bar .
The main wealth of the Skadar lake — its unique flora and fauna
Skadar lake is situated in Zeta-Skadar valley, between the Dinaric highlands on one side and the mountain range Prokletije. Its length — is 43 km and width is 26 km. It has an elongated nature, an extremely rugged coastline, much of which is swampy, and the many Islands (up to 50). The average depth of the lake — 6 m, although there are areas with depth up to 60 meters (underwater keys or «eye»). The surface area of the lake varies from 390 km2 in the dry seasons up to 530 km2 at the high water period, such a spill due to the low water level and large swampy lowlands along the edges of the lake.
The lake has a flowing character. It empties into 6 rivers — Moraca, Crnojevic, Plavnica, Zeta, Vistica and Hostinska, the lake is fed by underground wells. In areas of confluence of these rivers into the lake are the large wetlands, quaint rugged coves, capes and Islands. And here derives from the Skadar lake only one river Bojana, later it empties into the Adriatic sea near the famous island of Ada Bojana .
The largest Islands on the lake — it Vranjina and Odrinska. Also highlights the island of Lesendro, Grmozur, Starchevo, beška, Moracnik, Topala, Gorica-Get and Gradac.
Skadar lake on the map
The shallow depth of Skadar lake, its low-lying location and the total occurrence in the Mediterranean climate zone with mild winters and hot summers are key to the rapid development of a variety of living creatures in and around it. The lake is home to more than 264 species of birds, including rare herons, pelicans and cormorants. Often stop here or even spend the winter, migratory birds from the Northern regions. On the shores of the lake are several ornithological station for bird watching. the total number of which in some periods reaches 200 thousand. The rich vegetation along the edges of the lake can also be found other creatures from the smallest plankton to a rather large hare and wild boar.
The water of the lake is extremely rich in fish — there are the bleak, carp, nase, eel, salmon, roach, Rudd and mullet, just more than 40 items. Bleak is considered an important commercial fish of the lake and its main pride, and in smoked form — this is one of the national dishes of the Montenegrin cuisine .
To preserve this unique biological diversity, in 1983, on the Montenegrin side of Skadar lake was organized by the national Park administration which is located in the village of Virpazar. And in 1995, the Ramsar Convention, the lake was included in the list of wetlands of international importance under the protection of the UN.
In addition, the lake is a famous natural phenomenon, it is interesting and historical and cultural side. Along its shores since ancient times, settled by Slavic tribes, there was the land of the Montenegrin States of Zeta and Duklja. On the banks of Skadar lake and on its Islands has preserved many ancient monasteries and fortresses, which makes the national Park is not only a natural reserve but in a popular place among lovers of cultural tourism .
Before settling the shores of Skadar lake the Slavic tribes it was the dwelling place of ancient peoples. Today in the lake are the remains of several ancient settlements: Samobor — since Illyrian-Greek period, Mataguzi (Place, Jurici, Kremerata) — during the Greek period, Album — during the Greek period and the early middle Ages, Hostile — during the Greek period and the Middle ages, Plavnica — since the Middle ages, Miele — from the early middle Ages, Livery — since the Middle ages.
In 1233 the island was built Vranjina Orthodox monastery of St. Nicholas. And later, in XIV-XV centuries, was laid about 20 monasteries, which became the basis of a unique spiritual areas — the Holy Mountain of Zeta. So far have survived (and are active), several monasteries — Vranjina. Starceva Gorica. Beška and Moracnik on the Islands, and also the ball and the Rim at the coastal part of the lake.
In the region of Skadar lake and the main events of the Slavonic-Turkish confrontation, what evidence — the remains of numerous castles and fortifications. This, for example, Montenegrin remains of an ancient fortress Zabljak. where was the capital of the Crnojevic until her transfer in Cetinje. These are the ruins of the Turkish fortress of Besac XV century in the area of Virpazar and Topala of the fortress, built in the XIV century. This fortress Lesendro. Grmozur and Virska Cake, built by the Montenegrins and the Turks in the XVIII-XIX centuries. You can also visit the small town of River Crnojevic. once was the Central city of the state of Zeta.
National Park Skadar lake — this is the place for active and varied holiday. Here you can fish and hunt on permitted game species. here you can swim and go by boat or pleasure boat, you can get acquainted with the rich historical and spiritual heritage of Montenegro is finally here you can just relax, enjoying the stunningly beautiful surrounding view.
To get into the area of the national Park is possible by car or rail — in the North-Western part of the lake has been built a dam and two bridges along the road from the coast to the center of the country. Skadar lake is to organize special excursions with visits to the most interesting attractions, but you can come here independently, to organize a personal program for his Bank.