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SKADAR LAKE
 





Lake of Skadar, 391 km2 of total area, is the biggest lake in the Balkans. It lies in Zeta-Skadar ravine and is connected with the Adriatic Sea by the river Bojana. 2/3 of the lake belongs to Montenegro and 1/3 to Albania.

Montenegrin part of the lake was declared a National Park in 1983.





In 1996 it was included in the World list of swamps of international importance by the Ramsar convention. Another term that makes the lake recognizable is crypto depression - it means that its largest part is below the sea level. The coast is jagged, with numerous bays, islands, peninsulas and capes. The swamps are overgrown with reed.

Small town called Rijeka Crnojevica is situated on the lake's coast and is full of historical heritage. In the vicinity of the town there are remains of the town Oktoih. There was the first printing firm. In 1494 the first book in this part of Europe was printed here ("Oktoih").

Numerous cultural and historical monuments: archaeological excavations, monastery complex and fortifications scattered around the basin are witnesses that even back in XIV and XV century this area was a significant cultural centre.

The Lake is full of islands and peninsulas with trails of rich history and cultural inheritance: Zabljak (XV c.) - the capital of former Zeta, Lesendro - a fortress on the rock in the middle of the Lake, the Grmozur fortress.
Lake of Skadar is heaven for birds. There are 264 bird species registered, many of which are reduced in number or their survival is endangered. Lake of Skadar is an ecological empire, an oasis of silence and close contact with untouched nature. Clean water and preserved environment were good basis for extremely rich eco-system. This is the only habitation of pelicans in the south of Europe.

Kasoronj (Trupa Longicurpa) is a plant that grows only in this area.

Lake of Skadar is a habitat for bleak and carp - the two species of fish that cannot be found anywhere else

During the rule of the Balsic dynasty, many orthodox monasteries were erected on the islands Starcevo, Beska and Moracnik.


The oldest monastery with a church dedicated to the Assumption of the Mother of God was built in Starcevo between 1376 and 1378. Building of the monastery is connected to an old man called Makarije, who allegedly lived on the island as a monk and thus the island was called Starceva gorica (Old man's mountain).