March 27 - April 2, 2016: Issue 257
KRKA NATIONAL PARK – CROATIA
The Krka River
KRKA NATIONAL PARK – CROATIA
By George Repin
The Krka National Park in Central Dalmatia, Croatia was proclaimed in 1985. Located on the middle-lower course of the Krka River it was established to protect the river for scientific, cultural, educational, recreational and tourism activities.
The Krka River rises near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina flowing 72.5 Kms. to the Adriatic Sea near Šibenik. It is a natural karst river with seven travertine barriers creating waterfalls.
The national park is a largely unchanged area in environmental terms with preserved, little-changed ecosystems. Eight hundred and sixty species and subspecies of plants have been identified within its area. Eighteen species of fish are in the river. Lakes formed along the river, and surrounding swamped meadows, abound in amphibia and birds. With 222 species of birds, and with Kark important for the spring and autumn migrations, it is one of Europe’s foremost ornithological regions.
Boardwalk over rivulets beside the river
Kark also boasts of sites of ethnographic interest. Watermills were of exceptional importance to the lives of the people throughout Dalmatia in the Middle Ages and, because of their economic significance were often the sources of conflict.
Most of the mills preserved in the Krka National Park date back to the 19th Century. They have considerable cultural and historical significance as monuments to aspects of rural life and needs. Some mills processed wool while others ground grain.
As recently as the 1960s almost every family produced cloth from the wool of sheep. Freshly woven cloth was processed in a fulling mill to soften it and to make it more compact for the production of blankets, bedding, bags and, before the 1940s, clothes. Finer cloth for making clothes was softened under running water. After the process of fulling, which lasted several hours, the cloth was hung on nearby fences and stone walls to dry in the sun. These techniques were discontinued in the 1970s.
Pits in a fulling mill
Inside a water mill for grinding grain
Barley, wheat and corn were cultivated in surrounding areas. Bread was made from barley and wheat – polenta from corn. Water mills were crucial for grinding the cereals. Water flows in the Krka River throughout the year, even in the summer when local rivulets dried up and their mills became inoperative. At such times farmers were forced to bring their grain to the Krka mills when the demand for access sometimes was so great that farmers might have to wait for up to three days for their turn. As a result the mills became places for meeting and socialising.
Watermills for grinding grain are known to have existed in the 12th Century CE. From the 19th Century they started to be replaced with steam and electric mills. The Krka watermill ceased to operate in the 1970s.
Grinding stone from a water mill
Of interest in the park are the remains of the Krka Hydropower Plant which came into operation in 1895 only two days after Tesla’s hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls. It supplied Šibenik with electricity before many European cities received theirs.
Photographs by George Repin in May, 2014.
Cascades in the river
Boardwalk over shallows beside the river
Previous Reflections by George Repin
The Nineteen Thirties Remembering Rowe Street The Sydney Push Saturday Night at the Movies Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram A Stop On The Road To Canberra City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s Hill End The Paragon at Katoomba Seafood In Sydney How Far From Sydney? Cockatoo Island Over The Years The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991 Busby's Bore The Trocadero In Sydney Cahill's restaurants Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection Gloucester and the Barrington Tops A Millenium Apart Have You Stopped to Look? Gulgong Il Porcellino Olympia Durham Hall Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia Hotels at Bondi Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone The Goroka Show - 1958 A Gem On The Quay Staffa The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls The Coal Mine At Balmain The Hyde Park Barracks The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant Waldheim Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955 King Island Kelp The Mercury Theatre Around Angkor - 1963 Angkor Wat 1963 Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli Chairman Mao's Personal Physician The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross The Oceaographic Museum in Monaco The Island of Elba Russian Fairy Tale Plates Meteora Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska Cloisonné Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories Not A Chagall! Did You Listen? Did You Ask? Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand Borobudur Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells Murano University of Padua Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi Pula The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park Aphrodisias The Divine Comedy Caodaism Sapa and local Hill People A Few Children Cappadocia Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997 Hotere Garden Oputae Children of the Trobriand Islands Page Park Market - Rabaul Rabual Kotor, Montenegro Galleries of Photographs I Lascaux Galleries of Photographs II The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia Ivan Meštrović - Sculptor Delphi Gallery of Photographs III The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point San Simeon - "Hearst Castle" Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982 Russian New Year Mycenae "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska The White Pass and Yukon Route Totem Poles Tivkin Cemetery
Copyright George Repin 2016. All Rights Reserved.