When we talk about attractions Krka river has to offer, we need to mention that the National Park hosts many cultural monuments and natural wonders. These are the archaeological sites, monuments of industrial architecture, as well as monuments of religious heritage. Visitors are very interested in ethno village that preserves the memory of the old crafts and ways of life. We bring you a description of the most important objects of cultural heritage in the area of the river Krka.
Roman military camp Burnum on Krka river
Burnum is located near the village Ivoševci, nearby Kistanje. It was built in the first century and today the remains of arches that belonged to the military headquarters building can be seen, as well as a well-preserved amphitheater. It was built at the turn of the old into the new era, at the strategic and important position from which to control the river crossing and it served as a place for commencing military action towards the coast, all the way to the northern frontier of the Roman state. The camp hosted XI legion of the Roman army, which since 42 years AD had the honorary title Claudia Pia Fidelis and after its withdrawal was replaced by IV legion, so called Flavia Felix. Especially visible today are remains of arches that belonged building pretoria (camp command). Recent studies in the military camp have discovered a spacious amphitheater and an abundance of archaeological material, which suggests that the camp was created in the times of Claudius and was expanded and redecorated in Vespasian’s time. A monumentally beautiful inscription from 76/77 year AD was found, which stood at the front, over the southern entrance to the amphitheater and this clearly confirms the donation of Emperor Vespasian.
With the departure of the military camp, due to favorable infrastructure of the site, a city of municipal rank was created, which played an important role until late antiquity. It had a great shrine, amphitheater, aqueduct, paved roads and streets and other urban features. Its walls endured many difficult battles and at the end of the 5th century, in the era of Gothic-Byzantine wars, the city was taken by Ostrogoths. Burnum amphitheater belongs to amphitheaters with four inputs by type. It partially exploits the natural situation of the terrain, in this case a rock sinkhole, which proved to be very convenient for the builders. It is unknown how big an audience it could accommodate, but probably between 6 and 10 thousand visitors.
photo credit: NP Krka
This prehistoric site is located at the top of the canyon, above the Roski waterfall. Numerous traces of human presence were found there (fragments of pottery vessels, stone artifacts, human skeletons – definitely great site between the attractions Krka has to show). Ozidana cave is named after the narrow opening between walls at the entrance of a steep cliff. This is a geological installation, medium in size, with simple morphology, a tunnel shape and 59 meters long, 5-7 wide, about 2.5 meters high, in the back of the two “chimneys” 8-10 meters high. It is situated on the left bank of Krka River, above the Roški waterfall in the area Bogatić Miljevci, at the very top of the canyon on an altitude of 220 m. The opening is facing the southwest and it is in the midst of twenty meters high vertical cliffs, offering a view of the deep gorge of the river, where there are many beautiful small waterfalls, forming a series of so-called necklaces. It was designed by the layers of conglomerates.
The entrance to the cave, measuring 5 by 2 meters, is visible from the opposite side of the river. The cave is dry even during the heavy rainfalls: it has only a few visible leaks, which dripping from the stone ceiling form the lower tubular stalactites and on the floor “fuzzy” stalagmites. In the cave a large number of fragments of pottery vessels was found, that clearly outlines the presence of Neolithic cultures in the Adriatic area, which indicates human presence in Ozidana cave of about 5000 years.
Krka Monastery (St Archangel)
photo credit: Index.hr
North of the Roški waterfall, situated on the small expansion of the Krka River called “Carigradska Draga”, is Krka Monastery. It was built on the foundations of an older, eremitical monastery, and in written documents was first mentioned in 1402 as an endowment of Jelena Čubić. This is one of the most important spiritual center of the Orthodox Dalmatian Eparchy based in Šibenik.
Monastery of St Archangel is located in the middle of the Krka canyon, and this area is called Arandjelovac after it. Nearby is a church that has a form of byzantine buildings with a dome. The bell tower was built in the Romanesque style. Under the church are the Roman catacombs, which are open to visitors. The monastery has a large and rich library with a lot of historical manuscripts, incunabula and rare books. Tourists can visit the monastery by excursion boat from Roški waterfall.
Hydro Power Plant on Krka river
photo credit: NP Krka
The remains of the former power plant “Krka” can be found at Skradinski buk in the middle of the Krka National Park. It was built and began operations in 1895, just two days after Tesla’s hydroelectric power plant at Niagara Falls. Along with it a transmission line for power transmission 11 km in length was built and the city electrical lighting network – the first complete electricity system in Croatia. Thus, thanks to its builders Šibenik Mayor Ante Šupuk and engineer Vjekoslav Meischner, Šibenik got electric lighting before many European cities: Budapest, Rome, Vienna, London and others. This is probably the most important between many attractions krka has to offer. If you like to visit this monument you are welcome to join us on our Krka Waterfalls tour from Split.
Ten years later, a hundred meters downstream from the first, Ante Šupuk built a second hydroelectric power station (HEP “Jaruga”) which, with installation of additional turbines in 1936, has been working until today. Because of its historical significance, hydropower plants “Krka” are protected as a monument to industrial architecture and there is ongoing conservation work aimed at its preservation and presentation.
Located on Lake Visovac, island Visovac is one of the most important natural and cultural values of Croatia and one of the best attractions Krka has to offer. At this small island the followers of St Augustine built a monastery and church in the fourteenth century. Later they left the island due to threats of the Turkish Empire. After them the island was inhabited by Bosnian Franciscans who have remained there with brief interruptions until today. Franciscan Monastery of the Mother of Mercy and church of Our Lady of Visovac form unique scenery with beautiful view of Visovačko Lake. During the turbulent history, Visovac was and remains an island of peace and prayer, a Franciscan monastery fortress of spirituality and faith, but also one of the key foundation stones of Croatians and the preservation of the Croatian national identity.
The monastery has an important archaeological collection, a collection of ecclesiastical vestments and vessels, and a rich library with more valuable books and incunabula. The center of worship is the painting of Our Lady of Visovac which was, according to tradition, brought by the Franciscans when they, in front of the Turks, left Bosnia and found new shelter on Visovac. Due to the century of reverence of the Mother of God, even Visovac island is sometimes called Our Lady’s Island.