NP Sjeverni Velebit

National Park Sjeverni Velebit

National Park Sjeverni Velebit (lit. Northern Velebit; Croatian: Nacionalni park Sjeverni Velebit) is a national park in Croatia that covers 109 km2 of the northern section of the Velebit mountain, the largest mountain in Croatia. Because of the abundant variety of this part of the Velebit range and its authenticity, the area was upgraded from its classification as a nature reserve to a national park[1] in 1999, and started work in September the same year.

The whole of the Velebit mountain is a nature park, a lesser category of nature conservation. Another national park on Velebit is the Paklenica on its southern side.

The park reserve is protected and visitors cannot pass through except on designated trails. Inside the reserve there are the Visibaba (Galanthus) botanical reserve, with an abundance of the endemic Croatian subspecies of Sibiraea altaiensis, and the Zavizan-Balinovac-Velika kosa botanical reserve, famous for its outstanding collection of species of mountain flora. Inside the reserve there is the well known Velebit Botany Garden, founded by pharmacology professor Fran Kuöan in 1967.

The Park is criss-crossed with numerous mountaineering trails. The best known is the Premusic's Trail, named after its constructor, the forester Ante Premusic who built it in late 1933. The path runs through the most beautiful and most interesting parts of the park. From the numerous peaks in the surroundings there are magnificent views of the Adriatic Sea and its islands (Pag, Rab, Goli otok, Prvic and Krk) as well as of the continental side.

The Park's cultural value is apparent in the form of numerous ruins of so-called "summer lodges". These bear witness to ages past and long forgotten when Velebit was populated by numerous shepherds and cattle farmers. On its coastal banks there are many ruined houses, lodges and stonewalls which are all the evidence that remain of a local population that long since scattered all around the globe, leaving nothing but traces of their presence on this remarkably beautiful and exquisite land.

The peak Zavizan (1676 m) is located within the park. It is the site of the meteorological station with the highest altitude in Croatia.

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