Vransko Jezero Nature Park is the largest natural lake in Croatia. It is partly located in Zadar County and partly in Šibenik – Knin County.
The lake is located near Zadar and the airport in Zadar. For this reason, all visitors are given the opportunity to be located in one of the other parts of Zadar County. For example, Queen Beach Resort is located about 60 kilometres from this national park and also next to a beautiful sandy beach.
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So a large number of bird species have been recorded in the park itself. Therefore, the park itself is one of the important habitats for many species. And also one of the great resting places during relocation or wintering.
Vransko Jezero Nature Park; Geographical features
The lake as such is actually a karst field filled with water. In fact one of the rare examples of cryptodepression. In other words, a depression in the earth’s surface filled with water. Whose surface is above sea level and the bottom is below sea level. The surface of the lake is located 2 meters above the sea surface, and only the bottom 4 meters below the sea surface.
Due to the proximity of the sea and the fact that the bottom of the lake is lower than the sea surface. Seawater penetrates into the lake itself through underground channels. However, this does not drastically affect the salinity of the water in the lake. Therefore, during the winter months, the surface of the lake can freeze.
The lake also has a variable water level. For example, in the spring the water level is generally the highest. While on the other hand during summer droughts it is the lowest.
The most valuable habitats of the park are water and wetland habitats, reeds, coniferous forests and thickets. Within the park itself, 148 species of plants were discovered. For example, about 235 bird species have been recorded, of which 102 are nesting birds. While for others the lake is a resting place during migration or wintering. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 200,000 birds live in the park daily during the autumn migration.
The fish community in the lake consists of freshwater and marine fish. 17 species of fish abound in the lake and two of them are indigenous. Eels and river midwives, while others were introduced accidentally or for breeding. For example, catfish, carp and the like.
So, due to the large fish world, the lake itself is also suitable for fishing.
Vransko Jezero Nature Park was declared an ornithological reserve in 1983. As such, it is one of the most important areas in Croatia. The area of this reserve is only a part of the former wetland area. During the 18th century, by digging canals, this area was almost completely drained.
Cultural heritage of Vransko Jezero
Although this area is rich in flora and fauna, it is also rich in cultural heritage. One of the oldest buildings in the area is the late antique tower Osridak from the 4th century.
The largest of the religious buildings is the Old Town of Vrana. Which at that time was a monastery, and later the seat of the Templars and Ivanovci.
Maškovića Han is the most famous monument of Turkish architecture in Europe. Built in the 17th century, it served as an inn and resting place.
Vransko Jezero has always been valued and extremely important. Therefore, it can be said that this lake is unmistakable for the picky but also for the undecided because it offers a lot of content in a small area.