Underground airbase & Plitvice lakes

We love our country. Croatia is trully beautiful, but the most interesting thing for us, is that she is still unexplored by tourist but also by people living here. That´s where we step in!

 It is a small country with an interesting and unusual shape,and the result of that are differences in the appearance of nature, lifestyle, culture, dialects and the appearance of towns and villages. If we would divide Croatian - we would have three main regions - continental, mountainous and coastal part. Differences between these parts are incredibly big

There are so many tourist attractions in Croatia:

  • Big cities with rich history such as : Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik,Pula,...
  • Moutains which are great for hicking : Velebit, Medvednica, Biokovo,...
  • Rivers for rafting and kayaking : Zrmanja, Cetina, Mrežnica,...
  • Famous building such as : Zagreb Cathedral, Diocletian's Palace, the Coliseum in Pula, many castles, museums, squares, churches,islands of all sizes, popular beaches and 7 national parks and 11 nature parks

 

But what about the places that you won´t find in a tourist guide book. We know where thay are and we want to share that with our guests. Because we love to explore, we came up with a tour that is a little bit different. We decided to put two totally different places in the same tour :

  • The first part is the biggest abandoned underground airbase in Europe, that very few people knows about
  • The second part is the most visited and the most beautiful attraction in Croatia – The National Park Plitvice Lakes 

 

Here is a short decription of both places, but if you want to find out more about it and visit them – you can always go with us:

 

AIRBASE

The airbase is situated in the village Željava on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina inside Plješevica Mountain. It´s code-named is "Object 505". 

It was the largest underground airport and military airbase in the former Yugoslavia, and one of the largest in Europe. It was also one of the most expensive military construction projects in Europe. Construction began in 1948 and was completed in 1968. 

The complex was designed and built to sustain a direct hit from a 20-kiloton nuclear bomb, equivalent to the one dropped on Nagasaki. 

The underground facility was lined with semicircular concrete shields, arranged every ten meters, to cushion the impact of incoming munitions. The complex included an underground water source, power generators, crew quarters, and other strategic military facilities. There was a cafeteria that could feed 1,000 people simultaneously, along with enough food, fuel, and arms to last 30 days without resupply. Topside, the facility had five runways- Frankfurt has four :)

 During Croatian Homelad war ( 1991. – 1995. ) Serbian Army destroyed the runway with explosives and to prevent any possible further use of the complex by opposing forces, thay completed the destruction in 1992 by setting off an additional 56 tons of explosives. Villagers claimed that smoke continued to rise from the tunnels for six months after the explosion.

 Today it stands as a reminder to a now forgotten era of Croatian and East Europe and is slowly dacaying…

 

PLITVICE LAKES

It is the oldest and the most visited National park in Croatia. They have been declared as a national park on April 8 1949, and UNESCO declared Plitvice Lakes as a world heritage in 1979 among the first in the world. Plitvice can be found on one of those lists - things to see before you die - and once the Park was inlisted in 25 most beautiful places on Earth. 

The total area is 29,685 hectares and it is interesting that water makes up only 1% of the national park, but is one of its most atractive parts. Other areas are forests, rocks, meadows and rural areas so the park is divided into strict and extended zone by the level of protection. 

It consists of 16 crystal blue lakes, divided into upper (12 of them), with which the water gradually over sparkling cascades and waterfalls spilling into the lower lakes (4). The upper lakes are larger and deeper, while the lower once are smaller and shallower. The largest lake is Kozjak with 81.5 hectares of land, also the deepest - 47 m.

For visitors Kozjak is specialy interesting because it is the center of tourist activity. You can sit down and get something to eat or drink, and there is a gift shop, and also there is a boat tour on the Kozjak.

 

WATERFALLS

Apart from the breathtaking lakes- the main attraction are the beautiful waterfalls of all sizes and shapes. Among them there is the highest waterfall in Croatia - 78m high , called simply – The big waterfall.

Lakes receive water from numerous rivers and streams, and they are connected by cascades and waterfalls. The most recognizable feature are the tufa formations. Tufa ( travertine) is a porous carbonate rock formed by the sedimentation of calcium carbonate from water. This tufa is forming barriers and that is the foundation of this beautiful waterfalls. Build tufa barriers are very delicate and fragile and that requires a high level of protection.

 

 Both places are unique and special in its own way... And this is only the begining – so many hidden places are waiting for us to visit and explore them...

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