In the heart of Croatia lies a hidden treasure - Plitvice Lakes National Park. This extraordinary natural preserve shelters a primeval forest, the continent’s largest population of brown bears, sizeable packs of wolves and lynx, and a host of other creatures which have all but disappeared elsewhere. But it is perhaps best known for its chain of 16 crystal-clear lakes that flow into one another through a series of spectacular terraces and countless waterfalls. The lakes owe their very existence to a kind of biological magic that turns water into stone. And hidden within the depths of the stone are caves containing improbable creatures that are able to see without eyes and live for a year without food. It is a land of wonders.
In 1991, the outbreak of the Balkan war shattered the peaceful isolation of the park. Landmines threatened the terraces and soldiers plundered the wildlife for food. But Plitvice has an almost supernatural ability to regenerate and heal itself. The restless landscape is constantly in motion, continually building new waterfalls and pools, merging its elements to create a place like no other.
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