Risnjak - Croatia's 3rd National Park near the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia (Hrvatska)

Highest and Lowest Points of the Park

Veliki Risnjak, the highest point at Risnjak National Park, which is located at the Northern tip of Croatia near the Slovenian border.
Veliki Risnjak, the highest point at Risnjak National Park, which is located at the Northern tip of Croatia near the Slovenian border.
This is the source of Kupa, an important river which flows from the lowest point of the Park.  It is about 50 meters wide and has two incoming water sources.  Its color is amazing.
This is the source of Kupa, an important river which flows from the lowest point of the Park. It is about 50 meters wide and has two incoming water sources. Its color is amazing.
Risnjak National Park is located near Delnice, off the Zagreb-Rijeka major auto highway
Risnjak National Park is located near Delnice, off the Zagreb-Rijeka major auto highway

A National Park is Born

The National Park of Flowers

Accessible

The park became a national park in 1953, the third declared in Croatia. Perhaps because it is easily accessible to visitors on the Zagreb-Rijeka highway, at a crossroads for travelers visiting Croatia or other Central European countries, it is the most visited national park in all of Croatia. Admission is at Crni Lug (Black Ash) on the eastern side of the Park.

Its History

Risnjak is best known for its rare types of flora and fauna, although it has many other important ecological attributes. Nearly 200 years ago in 1825, Joseph Standler, the first of many famous Hungarian botanists came to Risnjak to study its botanical specimens. Josip Schlosser followed in his footsteps, doing extensive writing in publicizing the park's famous flora. He is also credited with building the park's mountain cabin in 1932 which today serves as a meteorological center and much more. Many other scientists and botanists followed these pioneer researchers in visiting the Park to research its extraordinary plant life. The first mountain climbing expedition was organized by the Rijeka Alpine Club.

Protected Status

In 1949, Ivo Horvat, an important Croatian botanist, suggested that Risnjak be protected and granted national park status. It was the same year that Plitvica Lakes and Paklenica were granted status. Risnjak received this honor in 1953.

Republic of Hrvatska

36 km around the highest peak were given protected status, and in 1956, this area was reduced to an even smaller area, only 30 km2, with approximately 20km2 given "strictly" protected status. Finally, in 1997 when Croatia had become an independent Republic, the Park was allowed its present dimensions of 63 km2, in which it now enjoys and thrives. Of all the national parks in Croatia, it is one of the smallest.

Risnjak from the Air

One of Croatia's Natural Borders

Croatia is mostly bordered by natural borders - mountains, rivers, and sea.

On the East are the Velebitski mountains and Mount Dinara, another natural border. To the north is Risnjak, an important geological and topographical location, which is a line of demarcation, dividing the sea from the continental portion of Croatia. The vegetation at this point is at a transition point between coastal vegetation and continental, and the climate changes here, too.

Climate and Weather Issues

Climate Extremes, except for Summer :)

The altitude at Risnjak is moderate, but due to the clashes of warm coastal air and cold weather front clashes from the Alps, it is at a crossroads (more like a war zone) of weather.

Winters here are long and snowy, which make it ideal for skiing. Spring and Autumn are among the highest wettest levels at 3600 mm. Average, year round temperature is at a low of only 2.5 Celsius. For degrees in Fahrenheit, see below. Only summer is truly delightful at an average 22.5 degrees Celsius.

Micro Weather Patterns

The Park's low lands hold a colder temperature than at the peaks. The mini-weather systems, known as ponikvas are colder and take much more time for snow to melt.

Convert Celsius to Fahrenheit

Risnjak National Park
Celsius temperature
Multiply by 9
Divide by 5
Add 32
Temperature in Fahrenheit
Summer temperature (avg)
22,5
202,5
40,5
72,5
= 72,5
Annual temperature (avg)
2,5
22,5
4,5
36,5
= 36,5
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Stars ot the Park

Everyone has heard the much loved Austrian folk song, "Edelweiss", inspired by this noble white flower.
Everyone has heard the much loved Austrian folk song, "Edelweiss", inspired by this noble white flower.
The Vanilla Black Orchid
The Vanilla Black Orchid
The Mountain Avens
The Mountain Avens

Small Area with Many Flower Varieties

The Park is best known for its Flowers

Rare and endangered flower types, including the famous rare flower, Edelweiss (meaning "noble white") can be found here. Resembling a crown, it is called the Queen's Flower in Romanian.

Other important flowers found at the Park include Black Vanilla Orchid, alpine snowbell, mountain milfoil, alpine yellow violet, livelong saxifrage, mountain avens and hairy alpine rose

Leska Nature Walk

In 1993, the Croatian government started the Leska Educational Nature trail. It is tour guided to make a moderate loop around the park, about 4.5 kilometers in length. The walk covers the types of trees, flora, fauna, and provides an excellent opportunity to learn as you enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings and scents.

Geography

Trees

In spite of its very limited area, the park has an amazing variety of trees. It has a large representation of both fir and beech trees. There are also samplings of elm, sycamore, ash and yew. There is also sub alpine types of grasses - like lettuce grass, growing at shallower altitudes.

There are shrubs on nearly all surface area, designed to protect the upper surface. Shrubby pine can be found is in the colder areas. The whole region is at a transitional level, so many variations and combinations are possible based on physical location within the park.

Soil and Land Characteristics

The park is mostly limestone with holes and no surface water to be found.

Highest Peak

The highest peak is Veliki Risnjak, or the great Lynx. It can only be reached on foot.

Second Highest Peak

Snježnjak - or "snowy one". In this case #2 tries harder. With a height of 1506 meters, it is an ideal spot for skiing during the high season with snow drifts from 1,5 meters to 4.5 meters.

Animal Life - too many to show here

The beautiful Lynx, for whom the park is named.
The beautiful Lynx, for whom the park is named.
The rugged brown bear, enjoying his natural environment.
The rugged brown bear, enjoying his natural environment.

Animal Life at the Park

An amazing assortment of animals can be found here:

The Lynx's Lair

Wolf, wild boar, brown bear, roe deer, chamois, squirrel, red deer, stone marten (among others), and the very important Lynx.

The park's name, Risnjak, is the Croatian name for Lynx. The Lynx was hunted to extinction during the 19th century. Fortunately, attempts in re-breeding have been successful, and the animal has again began to live in its natural home and environment.

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Comments 6 comments

Tom Bogetich 4 years ago

Happy to see Croatia takes pride in its parks. This review could have been written in America about our park system. Croates take pride in your country which has so much natural beauty. So enjoy it while you can and it will be there for generations to come.


Kalmiya profile image

Kalmiya 4 years ago from North America

Thanks for your hub and especially the photo of edelweiss flower which I've never seen before. I've been through Zagreb on a train to Budapest but haven't seen anything more of Croatia. Have heard how beautiful Dubrovnik is of course and from your hub see that the country is beautiful.


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Thanks, Tom, I noticed just how little there is on the internet, so I got busy and put together information on the National Parks here. I mentioned in an earlier hub that between 8-10% of the country's area is reserved or protected because of natural wildlife, vegetation or similar. Thanks for reading and commenting!!


MazioCreate profile image

MazioCreate 4 years ago from Brisbane Queensland Australia

This is an eye-opening Hub for me. I haven't had the opportunity to travel in this area, as yet, but from your Hub it is now on my list. Thank you for sharing this beautiful part of the world. Voted up!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

Hi MazzioCreate, the weather patterns are for me especially interesting, as they say when the turf meets the surf. Glad you liked it! And thanks for your votes, I appreciate them. Regards, Ecal


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Wow....I love this hub so much. I wish I could visit Risnjak one day and I'll put on my travel list. Thanks for share with us. Good job and voted up!

Blessing,

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