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Plitvice National Park: Croatia's Secret Eden

Up until the beginning of the 20th-century, Plitvice (pronounced Plitvitse) was hidden away deep in a forest known as “The Devil’s Garden”. The forest’s ominous name ensured that very few people would dare to step in, but those that did, found the secret lakes and waterfalls. 

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In 1949, Croatia christened it as its first national park and in 1979 UNESCO declared it a Heritage Site.

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The park size is 297sqm (or 73,350 acres) and includes two large waterfalls and an unusual system of subterranean caverns.

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There are a total of 16 lakes throughout the park, drawing more than 1.2 million visitors every year. 

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"The Large Waterfall" is the largest waterfall in Croatia, standing at 78m (255ft) tall.

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The park is rich in wildlife, with many animals and bird species calling it home, including brown bears and wolves. Oddly enough, it only has very few species of fish, but they are plentiful nonetheless.

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There are two rivers that run through the park, the White River and the Black River, which join under one of the park's many bridges.

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The 16 lakes in Platvice are divided into two groups - the 12 upper lakes and the 4 lower lakes. The depth of the lakes varies from a shallow 1m (3ft) to a deep 47m (154ft).

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The area is comprised of mainly limestone and dolomites - two very brittle types of rock that dissolve easily in water, leading to the formation of many caverns and caves.

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There is a wooden walkway that meanders through the park, allowing the many visitors to explore it without disturbing nature.

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The extensive sets of waterfalls, big and small, contribute to a constant hum of water.

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When Autumn comes, the park wears an incredible set of yellow and brown foliage, mixed with the evergreens to form a picturesque backdrop.

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When winter finally arrives, the whole park transforms into a snowy wonderland, painting the entire park in white.

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The snow and ice change the feeling of the park, the hum of the water is slowed down, and the animals go into hibernation, but don't be mistaken - the magic and beauty remain.

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H/T: lovethesepics.com
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