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EDEN finalist 2008/2009

Papuk Nature Park

The first Croatian UNESCO geopark

 

In the eastern part of Croatia, between the gentle Slavonia plains, Papuk proudly rises, without doubt the most beautiful mountain in Slavonia. The exceptional biological and geological diversity plus the valuable cultural historical heritage are the reasons why this region has been protected as a nature park since 1999.

 

One of the greatest natural jewels of the park is the park-forest Jankovac, a romantic highland valley dotted with springs, streams, lakes and forest hillsides. The valley is named after the noble landowner Josip Janković who was responsible for its development, and its greatest attraction is the 35-meter-high Skakavac waterfall.

 

A valuable natural attraction of the park is also the natural geological monument Rupnica, unique for its deposited strata of volcanic rocks. Way back in 1948 this geological site was declared the first Croatian geological monument of nature. Thanks to the rich geological legacy Papuk became part of the UNESCO global network of geoparks in 2007.

 

Papuk also boasts rich flora and fauna, and in its thick forests today there live deer, roe deer, wild boars and many species of birds, whilst in the fast and chilly mountain streams are a rich variety of fish species.

 

Also in Papuk can be seen numerous archaeological sites and monuments of cultural-historical heritage, and also on this mysterious mountain are seven medieval fortresses, mainly from the 13th century. The most beautiful and best preserved is the old Ružica fort, to which many legends are connected.

 

On the many trails under the thick Papuk canopies throughout the year adrenalin, peace and inspiration numerous tourists, hikers, cyclists and nature lovers can be found.