Paklenica National Park in Croatia

The Paklenica karst river canyon is a national park in Croatia. It is located in Starigrad, northern Dalmatia, at the southern slopes of Velebit mountain, not far from Zadar. It has two canyons: Mala (Small) and Velika (Big) Paklenica. Today there is no water flowing throughout Mala Paklenica. Near the entrance into the Velika Paklenica there is an artificial basement/cave complex that had been built for Josip Broz Tito during the tension between Yugoslavia and the USSR in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The Paklenica park includes the Anica Kuk, the biggest rock in Croatia at 712 m. Paklenica is also well known for the rock-climbing throughout the whole year. Manita pec (or sometimes called Mahnita pec) is a very interesting cave in the northern part of the park. Literal translation to English would be: Frenzy furnace, or Mad furnace.

Vaganski vrh, the highest peak of Velebit at 1757 m, is located within the borders of the national park, and also is the peak Sveto brdo (Holy mountain) – 1753m. From the Sveto brdo there is the beautiful view of the southern slopes, as this is the last really high peak at Velebit. At the top, there is a cross. Today there is a dispute in the Croatian Mountaineering Association as to whether this is the right way to mark mountain peaks.

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