Biogradska Gora National Park
The smallest and the first national park in Montenegro.
The history of this park dates back to the 19th century, when Kolašin was liberated from the Turkish rule and the area of today’s national park was gifted to Prince Nikola who, amazed by its beauty, decided to put it under state protection naming it “Knjažev Zabran” aka “Branik” (meaning Prince's Reserve). The area was preserved while it was under the protection of the Petrović’s family, but after the king fled the country after WWI and all of his property was taken away, this soon-to-become national park has suffered uncontrollable woodcutting and destroying.
Officially becoming a national park in 1952, it was the first national park in Montenegro. The largest part of the park is a reserve of rainforest Biogradska Gora, which together with the rainforests of Perućica in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Białowieża rainforest in Poland is one of the last remaining rainforests in Europe. It has the character of a strictly protected reserve, where many trees are over 500 years old, and their height reaches up to 50 meters. In order to protect the rainforest, the Law on National Parks from 1978, prohibits woodcutting, as well as all other activities that would have the effect of destroying the natural reserve of Biogradska Gora.
The park has 26 plant communities with around 2.000 species and subspecies. There is also a diversity of animal-world with 200 species of birds, 80 species of butterflies, 350 species of insects and typical mammals. Also, many endogenous species live in this area thanks to Bjelasica as a single biogeographical and ecological unity.
Bjelasica is known as one of the greenest mountains in Montenegro, abundant with water especially lakes. Some of the most beautiful glacier lakes are located here, like Biogradsko Lake, Pešića Lake, Ursulovačko Lake and Šiško Lake. Of all the lakes of the National Park Biogradska Gora, Biogradsko Lake is the largest and the most magnificent. Located at an altitude of 1094 meters, it is 1100 metres long and 410 metres wide, with an average depth of 4.5 metres. The lake, which is recognisable by its emerald colour, attracts a great number of visitors who can enjoy its fascinating ambience.
There is also a legend about the formation of the lake that in the place of today's lake there was a fertile field cultivated by two brothers. The grain harvested by the brothers would always be divided into two equal parts, until one autumn when the brothers argued about the harvest country. In a rage attack, the younger brother killed the elderly, and their mother crushed with pain, cursed her younger son. It is believed that the strength of her curse has broken off the field on which the brothers collected the grain, and according to the legend, today's Biogradsko Lake was created at that place.
Things to do in this park:
- Mountain cycling
- Skiing and snowboarding in the winter season at one of the Montenegrin’s finest ski resorts
- Herb harvesting
- Fly Fishing
- Boat riding on the Biogradsko Lake
- Walking and enjoying the intact nature of the park.