Nature Park Blidinje

park prirode blidinjee

Park Blidinje, established on the 30th of April 1995, is situated in the central part of the high mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It covers an area of 364 km2 in the territory of three municipalities, Posušje, Tomislavgrad and Jablanica.

The central part of the park is dominated by Dugo polje with Blidinje Lake, which is located in southeastern part of the park. The western boundary of the park is the Vran Mountain, in the southeast are the Neretva River and the mountain Čvrsnica, and in the northeast Doljanka. Geologically, the park is characterized by sedimentary deposits formed in the Mesozoic carbonate platform system 180 million years ago. In geomorphological terms we can distinguish four regions: the Čvrsnica mountain range (2228m), mountain range Vran (2074 m), mountain ridge of western Čabulja and the field of Dugo polje. The park is a mere two-hour drive from the Adriatic Sea. It can be reached from the direction of Rama, Jablanica, Tomislavgrad or Posušje.

The most important hydrographic phenomena in the area of the park is the Lake Blidinje. It was created in the basin ranges between massifs Čvrsnica and Vran in a small concave recess with features of a karst bay. The lake area varies from 2.5 to 6 km2, and the average depth is about 1.9 m. During arid years, the lake almost dries up. To minimize the runoff of water from the lake it is necessary to continue the unfinished projects of closing the permeable zones. In addition to precipitation, rain and snow, the lake is fed with torrential flows off the Vran Mountain, Dugo polje and Čvrsnica. An important role in shaping the look of relief had human influence, which has destroyed much of the forest cover and clustered a large number of creeks. According to the documents of the parish office of the parish Poklečani, the lake was formed due to anthropogenic intervention of farmers who did not have enough water for their livestock. To conserve water, which got lost in the chasms, they closed them with branches and clay. The water that could not find its way to the interior thus shaped a lake. In May 1940, the water made its way to the gulf, but it was closed off again. According to some authors the lake is of glacial origin.

The Park is characterized by two types of climate. The lower and southern exposed parts of the mountains Čvrsnica, Plasa, Čabulja and Vran have a Mediterranean climate. Along the Neretva valley and its right tributaries the Mediterranean climate reaches to Jablanica and deeper into the interior. The northern slopes of the mountains and higher above sea level areas are under the influence of the continental climate. The increase of altitude leads to falling temperatures and prolonged retention of the snow cover. Winters are long and cold with a lot of snow fall from October to May, which is especially good for the development of winter tourism. The average precipitation is 1590 mm per year, of which the largest part is snow.

In the last ten years in the area of the Blidinje plateau many residential buildings have been built. Those are mostly weekend houses that the owners use during the winter when the sports and recreational center Risovac is in function, situated on an altitude of 1250 m. The ski resort itself is located at an altitude of 1800 m at the foot of the mountains Vran and Čvrsnica. Although it has only worked for a few years, the ski resort is well arranged and visitors can use the ski lift (575 m in length), the new four-seater with the capacity of 1600 skiers and the children’s lift with the capacity of 560 children per hour. There are further plans to organize the ski resort and for the construction of a cable car. The price of the daily ticket is 20 KM, and the equipment can be rented for an additional 20 KM, which in comparison to ski destinations in Italy, France or Switzerland is a lot cheaper.

A special tourist attraction of the Nature Park is the Hajduk Republic of Mijat Tomić headed by Vincent Vukoja Lastvić, also the owner of the largest gastronomy facility in the park, Hajdučke vrleti. The date of the establishment of the republic is 29th of June 2002. According to oral tradition or numerous written songs, Mijat Tomić was born in north-western Herzegovina, in the Duvno village Brišnik. Today, the village belongs to the municipality of Duvno, but in Mijat’s time it was part of the Herzegovina Sandžak and belonged to the Imotski kadiluk. Besides the ski resort and the Hajduk republic of Mijat Tomić, tourists can visit the zoo and the botanical reserve Masna luka where there are several sources of clean mountain water which are characterized by diverse flora and fauna. Father Peter Krasić, who inspired the establishment of the park, also lives in the resort. There is another reserve within the parks boundaries - Diva Grabovica, located in the canyon of Grabovica. It got its name from the girl Diva Luke Grabovca from Rama who was proposed to by the Kupres beg. Diva escapes, but the beg soon finds her and according to the legend kills her. Even today, there are large numbers of those who make pilgrimages to her grave.

In the area of the park are two villages, Risovac and part Svinjača, which are inhabited year-round. The basic feature of Blidinje is the depopulation of rural areas. Electrification, the introduction of telephones, improving transport infrastructure, further development of ski resorts, improving existing tourism offers, return to the old crafts, promotion of organic farming, are just some of the conditions that should be satisfied in order for the population to return to this area in large numbers. The manifestation of the Nature Park Blidinje and the building of the ski resort have given a needed impetus for a faster development of this region. In addition to winter tourism, which attracts the largest number of tourists, the residents of this area are starting to give more attention to the possibility of summer tourism, based on the climate and natural beauty of this area which has the same appeal in all of the seasons.

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