Featured UNESCO World Heritage Site of November: Plitvice Lakes National Park
Located just 90 kilometers inland of Croatia’s coastline and just two hours away from the capital city of Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Park is noted as one of the country’s most picturesque areas. Not only is it a spectacular site to behold, but the National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What is a UNESCO World Heritage Site? UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This group has a World Heritage Committee which is tasked with maintaining a list of destinations and places that are culturally or physically significant. Some of the most famous sites on the list include the Great Barrier Reef, the Prehistoric Caves of the Vezere Valley, Iguacu National Park, and the Birthplace of Jesus. The organization also keeps a list of at-risk sites where conditions are starting to threaten the basis of why the site was included on the list in the first place. The purpose is to keep the local community informed so that they can take preventative action. The mission of UNESCO as a whole is to assist in ending world poverty, create peace, and use science, culture, information, and communication to establish an intercultural dialogue.
With so many places on the list that are visually astonishing, it’s no wonder that the Plitvice Lakes were included. The park is made up of sixteen separate lakes, all set on different altitudes and fed by various streams and waterfalls. The landscape is filled with lush vegetation, forests of large trees, pastures, caves and a variety of wildlife.
The park welcomes over one million visitors each year. It is the largest national park in the country and known for being one of the oldest national parks in the entire region of Southeastern Europe.
Plitvice Lakes was officially added to the UNESCO World Heritage in 1979 and this month we’re taking the opportunity to recognize its scenic beauty as well as its cultural and ecological significance to Croatia.