GEO PARK Papuk National Park in the Republic of Hrvatska (Croatia)

Papuk Mountain at Papuk Geopark

Papuk mountain offers breathtaking natural beauty.... it still exists!
Papuk mountain offers breathtaking natural beauty.... it still exists! | Source

Definition of the UN designated GEO Park

What is a Geopark?

A Geopark, like a national park, consists of something ecologically or biologically rare which needs to be protected. Sale or destruction of anything in the GEOPARK is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization backs this up together with the European Union. Archeological and cultural artifacts are also protected at a GEOPARK.

Since 1997, the United Nations has declared 32 European Geoparks, 19 Chinese Geoparks, and 1 Brazilian Geopark. The purpose of these geoparks is to

  1. Protect the environment
  2. Educate the general public of the role of geology in everyday life (also known as geoeducation)
  3. Ensure the protective conditions, while concurrently promoting tourism to the area.

The purpose of this Hub is to explore Geopark Papuk, located in the north-eastern corner of Croatia (see the map).

The Geopark is in Slavonia (flatlands)

PAPUK is located in the Croatian "great plains" of Slavonija where wheat and other grain products are grown, cattle are raised and great plum brandy is produced.
PAPUK is located in the Croatian "great plains" of Slavonija where wheat and other grain products are grown, cattle are raised and great plum brandy is produced.
The impressive Gothic remains of Ružica grad, which was first mentioned in the 14th century.
The impressive Gothic remains of Ružica grad, which was first mentioned in the 14th century. | Source

Papuk's attributes

Papuk itself is designed to be an institution for scientific research, cultural preservation and keeping the environment in a state that it needs to remain in.

The Park is open year round.

It contains a large variety of unique floral and fauna and extremely rare plant life. There are some species that grow only in this area.

Some of the highlights of the Park include:

Jankovac - located in the northern section of Papuk, it is considered one of the most beautiful valleys to be found, surrounded by a dense forest. It's a well known mountain climbers excursion due to its exquisite natural beauty. In 1955 the forested section of the Park was declared a natural treasure and protected area.

Rupnica - a unique natural location which was the first to be declared geological artifacts found in Croatia, in 1948. There are step-like rock formations formed from eruptive rock due to prehistoric volcanic activity.

Sekulinačke planine (mountains) - protected due to special forest vegetation since 1966, the bukva trees to the entrance of the forest provide an oasis of beauty and untouched natural harmony in these parts.

Ružica Grad (Rose town) - An well protected fortress and old town, built in the Middle Ages. It was first mentioned in print when a king visited the area back in 1357.

Pliš - Mališčak - This area is to the south of Papuk. It contains very interesting and rare flowers as well as the largest number of protected plant life in the entire PAPUK Geopark.

Acheologic finding - Čemernica - Gradci - this location was a prince's seat and old grave site. Dated as having been a settlement during Ancient times (650-550 B.C.), it is a rare find of prehistoric life during the "older" Iron Age time frame.

Protected Flora and Fauna at Papuk

This flower is known as "ozimnica".  Its name refers to its appearance signaling the end of Winter which is Zima in Croatian.
This flower is known as "ozimnica". Its name refers to its appearance signaling the end of Winter which is Zima in Croatian.
These Willow Gentians grown on a large stalk and last several years.  Each flower is around 5.5 cm in diameter, and tend to be a deep lavender color.
These Willow Gentians grown on a large stalk and last several years. Each flower is around 5.5 cm in diameter, and tend to be a deep lavender color. | Source

Geographically Unusual Formations and Falls

The interesting step-like formations of a natural, volcanic stone stairway located at Rupnica (Roop-nit-za)
The interesting step-like formations of a natural, volcanic stone stairway located at Rupnica (Roop-nit-za)
Papuk also has rushing waterfalls and many beautiful walking trails.  This waterfall is nicknamed "Grasshopper" fall, or
Papuk also has rushing waterfalls and many beautiful walking trails. This waterfall is nicknamed "Grasshopper" fall, or | Source

Formation of a Geopark - it began 100 years ago

Date
 
90 years ago - circa 1925
The PROGEO society began a project of identifying Global Geosites
1997
UNESCO began the Geopark program
1999
Geopark Papuk was nominated as the first Geopark in Croatia
2000
The European Geoparks association formed with UNESCO support
2004
17 European Geoparks and 8 Chinese Geoparks were named
2004
Geopark Papuk was introduced at the International Geological Congress in Florence, Italy
2005
Geopark Papuk was introduced at the Croatian Geological Congress in Opatija
2005
Application for Geopark status was completed
2006
Candidacy for Geopark status was announced at the second World's Congress UNESCO Geoparks in Belfast, Ireland
2007
Papuk was granted Geopark status, becoming a member of the network of European Geoparks

A Video of Jankovac at Papuk Geo Park

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Comments 6 comments

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Beautiful photos and very interesting hub. I had not heard of Papuk. Well written and I thank you for taking the time to write this. Voted up!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Thanks, vocalcoach, for stopping by; glad you liked it, I most certainly appreciate your votes. I have not yet been to PAPUK but I hope to go this year - Ružica Grad really intrigues me! Cheers, ECAL


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I've been to several national parks in my state of North Carolina, and also in Virginia, but have not been overseas in quite a long time. Papuk looks like a very beautiful park to visit. Thanks for sharing, voted up.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Thanks! I moved to Croatia in 1999 and am amazed at the natural beauty. American tourists increase every year but to Europeans, Croatia is no secret. What National Parks have you visited or recommend in NC? Have you ever been to Great Smokey Mountains National Park? Regards, and thanks for the follow, ECAL


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 4 years ago from Charlotte, NC

Dupont State Park in NC, it has a lot of waterfalls; Chimney Rock State Park and 2 that I have visited lately. Have not been to the Great Smokey Mountains Park yet, but it is on my to do list!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 3 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

You are lucky to live in North Carolina. From what I see it is one of the most beautiful, unspoiled states in the U.S. Thanks for your comments, EffAd! :=)

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