March 27 - April 2, 2016: Issue 257


 The Krka River


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.

NOTE: A 360º panoramic view of the Krka National Park can be seen by Googling Javna ustanova “Nacionalni park Krka” -Open 360º  panoramic view on Home Page  or go straight to by Visiting HERE

 Cascades in the river

 Boardwalk over shallows beside the river

 Nesting ducks

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.