“Durmitor national park is a living and breathing proof that natural beauty is beyond anything created by the hands of men”
The overwhelming natural beauty of the ambience and cultural values of Durmitor with the river Tara, prevailed that the Durmitor National Park is included in the list of World Cultural and Natural Heritage, by the decision of the International Committee of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1980 in Paris. The main feature of the relief Durmitor area is spacious plateau at 1500 meters above sea level, which cross the deep canyons and rising imposing mountain peaks, of which 48 are over 2000 meters above sea level and among the highest Bobotov peak with 2523 m. A special charm to the beauty of Durmitor massif are 18 glacial lakes called mountain eyes. The largest and most attractive is the Black Lake. Beside the beauty of the lake basin, the sparkling water surface a wide forest area that surrounds the top Međedi, contributes to the grandeur of the landscape.
Among the most beautiful ornaments of the park, are the clear gushing rivers which gave this area astonishing canyon valleys. Particularly astonishing is the Tara river flowing through the depth of the canyon landscape, making it one of the most beautiful in the world.
Because of the vast richness of flora and fauna, its ecosystem with more than 1300 species of vascular plants, Durmitor represents the magnificent natural value and lasting inspiration for scientists and nature lovers.
Durmitor National Park has a significant number of cultural monuments dating from ancient times to the present. The most characteristic are medieval monuments: the ruins of cities and forts, bridges and watchtower, the necropolis and monastery complexes in the valley of the river Tara. Durmitor is only 2 km away from the mountain town of Zabljak, the winter tourist center of Montenegro.
Tara Canyon, a unique phenomenon in its depth of 1,000 and 1,300 m in places, and, ranks just behind the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in the United States. It has a flow of 150 km and is the longest river in Montenegro. On the part of the course through the Durmitor National Park Tara has a mean fall of 3.6 m / km, and are formed cascades and rapids which are its beauty complete ambience of unspoiled nature.
The Legend of the Devil’s Lake
Once upon a time the lakes were covered with pine trees. One night a lightning struck and ignited a pine tree and the wind spread the fire through the forest. The forests were filled with different creatures and ghosts. The beasts fled into the forests, the fairies made their way into the clouds and the devil and his wife hid at the bottom of a lake. At the bottom of the lake they’ve built a palace made of chilling crystals. That is why the lake got the name the devil’s lake and even though it’s warmer than all the other 18 lakes on Durmitor this lake remains cold due to the ice crystals of the palace. Since the lake is cursed with their presence it has been said that as soon as a young and attractive woman would swim in the lake the devil would emerge and drag her by her feet, and if a handsome young man would swim across the lake the she-devil would emerge and drag him to her palace. Some say the devil appears at the first sign of dusk even at the coast. Sometimes he would take the form of a black bull, grazing and roaring.
A legend would not be what it is if there wasn’t a message behind it. Namely the devil’s lake is filled with cold springs of water and the chilling water causes cramps and ignorance is paid dearly. The surrounding villages have a lot of inexperienced swimmers. While older people would’t even dare to swim in the lake younger generations rely on their body strength and some of them drown. Indeed this lake has taken many young lives and that is why older and wiser people, instead of giving advice forget this ancient legend about the lake as a warning to the young generations.
The Legend of the Black Lake
The legend says that the Saint was on his way across Durmitor to spend a night in a monastery where now the Black Lake is. The monks welcomed him and showed their hospitality. However they doubted that Sava was a saint and decided to test him. During the night they killed a rooster and stuck him in the saint’s bag wanting to play a prank with the saint. The next morning the saint continued his way towards Durmitor and the monks followed him and while they were yelling “Hej you father who call thyself a saint, why did you steal our rooster”? Saint Sava asked “I stole a rooster from you? In your monastery?” And the monks said “Oh yes, it was you” and they grabbed his bag and showed him the rooster. The saint became very angry and said “May God make the soil under your monastery collapse and turn into a a dark lake”
When the monks returned to their monastery they were shocked in awe to see that their monastery had disappeared from the face of the ground and instead they found a black lake at the same place.
It is believed that the peak Savin Kuk also gotthe name after Saint Sava. After cursing the monks he felt regret for cursing their monastery to disappear and therefore after he got to the mentioned peak he saw it was bleak and arid. He struck his stick against a rock making a cross and so the water began to flow. That is how the peak got the name Savin Kuk and the water Sava’s water. Today it is a popular belief that if a girl would drink from that water she would marry the man she desires. If that doesn’t happen, as it usually doesn’t, they would sigh and say “My vain went to Sava’s water”
Fish lake is located on the surface of the lake, known as the “Greek side”, at 1409 meters above sea level and with a maximum depth of 5.5 m. It was named after the alleged abundance of fish, particularly large specimens. According to folk tales, the Italian carabinieri, whose command was located in Zabljak, once caught the two astonishing specimens of the brook trout, which were so large, that their size reached from one side of the road to the other.
The altitude of the lake is 1487 map maximum depth is 3.6 meters. As lake created in cirques villages Poscenje during glacial erosion, attracted the attention of many geologists. Many by-passers, travel writers, scientists were amazed by the beauty of this lake and the scenic panorama that surrounds it.
The Blue Lake
It is situated at the foot of the peak of Durmitor called Sedlena greda, at an altitude of 1609 m, while the depth of the water reaches a maximum 3.3 meters. When you look at the color of this lake, you will understand how it got its name. The lake has trout, and it often inhabited and wild ducks.
This is one of the smallest lakes of Durmitor, with a maximum depth of 1.5 m. people who live in the surrounding villages bathe in this water, due to the popular belief that its waters heal skin diseases which is also how it got its name.
Valovito Jezero (Wavy Lake)
This lake is located at the altitude of 1695 m with a debth of 3.5m. Its name comes from the word “wave” or “whoa”, which in some parts of Montenegro indicate the courts with many steep blocks. Still farther, towards to the central parts of Durmitor, you arrive in the circus Škrka, the deepest and most widespread in the Balkan Peninsula. It is a region which you have to visit, in order to feel full scale of its value. Škrka offers its two lakes. GRAND Škrčka, which Jovan Cvijić named “Green”. It is located at an altitude of 1686 m, with a maximum depth of 17.2 m. The color of this lake water is greenish and maximum transparency reaches 8.5 meters, making it the clearest among the lakes of Durmitor.
To find more details about national parks in Montenegro you can visit Montenegro National Parks