The upper lakes

PROSCANSKO LAKE - that name was either given based on stakes (prosce), or according to the legend on "prosnja" (praying the black Queen for water). The permanent Matica flow runs into the lake, or to make it more clear, joins the water of the Black and White river. The lake is located 636m above the sea level, occupies an area of 0.68 km?, its deepest point is 37m which was measured in front of Osmanova draga , or 370m far from Labudovacka barrier.

The length of the lake is 2100m, while its width varies from 180 to 400m. Liman draga (from Turkish: Liman = bay) is 900m long and branches off at the beginning of the lake in the west direction. Due to its width and depth, the lake water is of dark green colour. Slight peaks around the lake are covered by high coniferous and deciduous forests, which make complete tranquillity, and reflect leaves colours on the water surface in accordance with the seasons of the year.

CIGANOVAC LAKE, Ciganovac, or Cigino jezuro (Gypsy's lake) has gotten its name because, according to the legend some "Gypsy" has drowned in while fishing. This lake receives its water from Proscansko lake through a dug out canal, but a part of water that flows in is probably being drainage under the ground through very porous travertine barrier - called Labudovacka barrier, or as once called "Delta".

In the recent geological past, water from Proscansko lake was overflowing in a large jet to the lower section in the direction of Ciganovac, Okrugljak and Batinovac, shaping a presently existing plateau Labudovac between them. Later on, man dug channels and passages for the water through the plateau, which we see in that area today.

The lake is located at 620m above the sea level and occupies an area of 0.07 km?. The deepest measured point is 11m - in the middle of the lake. The most interesting detail of that lake is the Proscansko lake waterfall with collapsed travertine blocks in its south - eastern part. Northern bank edge is made of the plateau Stubica slopes (from its Tomic lookout point there is the most beautiful view at Ciganovac and at spacious Proscansko lake), and western afforested slopes are inclinations of Proscansko crest and Muratov rt (cape).

OKRUGLJAK LAKE - also called: Okrugljaj, Kruginovac - due to its round shape (round = okrugao). This lake is situated 613m above the sea level, and it occupies an area of 0.04 km?. The deepest point of the lake is at 15m and that is at the foot of Labudovacka barrier.

The waterfall, about 7m high, is flowing in from Ciganovac into Okrugljak in the north - western side, while over 20m high Labudovacki waterfall decorates a part of more than 100m wide dried up travertine barrier under which numerous cavities, semi - caves and caves called "cave park" (spiljski park) are located. In the past times, it was possible to go between them using a carved rocky stairs. There was the entrance to Janecekova cave which is over 50m long - right under Labudovacki waterfall. Today, a part of the fall drops on the very cave hole and the entrance is not possible any more. The most southern artificial canal on Labudovacka barrier has been dug from Proscansko lake to the barrier inclination, bringing the water into the next lake.

BATINOVAC LAKE, or Bakinovac, from either the villager called Batinic, or from a grandmother (grandmother = baka), who had drowned in it. This lake is situated 610m above the sea level, it occupies an area of 0.01 km? and its deepest point is at 5m.The lake is surrounded by high beech trees, while a cleverly made path goes along the series of small waterfalls on which travertine creations made by travertine - forming - plants and mosses can be seen. Part of its water flows down the waterfall into Grabovac lake, and another part overflows into smaller lakes situated on the north side.

BIG LAKE (Veliko jezero, or Jovinovac veliki) - is a continuation of small water areas separated by small waterfalls. The altitude of this lakc: is 607m above the sea level, its depth is 8m and the area occupied by it is 0.02 km?.

SMALL LAKE (Malo jezero), or Jovinovac mali - is located under dolomite slope of the Stubica peak, close to the path which goes around the Upper Lakes in northern side. This lake is 605m above the sea level, is 10m deep and the area it occupies is 0.01 km?. The lake is covered by low vegetation and has many small waterfalls, too.

VIR LAKE (Vir jezero) - the name has been originated from water whirling. This lake is situated 598m above the sea level, its depth is 4m, occupies an area of 0.01 km?, and is covered by low vegetation. The walkway goes just along its edge.

GALOVAC LAKE (Galovac jezero) - was either named after captain Gal who defeated the Turks, or after a brig and Galovic. The lake is located 582m above the sea level, the deepest point is at 24m in the northern side of the lake under Stubica slope, and it occupies an area of 0.12 km?. This is the third biggest lake of the Plitvice.

The waterfalls, falling down in cascades into the lakes, are situated in the western side under travertine barriers of above described Mala jezera. The highest one is the waterfall in the south - western part of the barrier 28m high, originated from Batinovac lake water. Along the northern walkway, located under the hill side of Stubica, there are beautiful dolomite mountain spurs and a view on the lake stretches from the higher point. That spacious lake is of light green colour in a shallow water in the north - western side, and of dark colour in the middle, due to the greater depth. Autumn colours are giving a special beauty to this part of the lake, when hillsides redden and when the redness covers deciduous trees along the waterfalls and the lake. The whole eastern side of the lake in length of 200m is important due to its numerous waterfalls - called Prstavci, which are descending from Galovac lake level through travertine barrier which is over 20m high.

Galovacki buk - once the most prominent waterfall of the Upper Lakes, over 20m high was even before the homeland war well noticeable from the road on which panoramic train still runs today. Unfortunately, the waterflow is discontinued today due to the collapsed trees on its upper side, and it flows only in one narrow jet. The rest of the waterfall dried up. Close to the waterfall, at the edge of a walkway, a board with the picture of professor Pevalek and an appropriate text was set up.

South of this waterfall, in the semicircular amphitheatre is a series of waterfalls on which professor Pevalek was studying the growth of crags, tubes and travertine formations. The northern edge of the barrier, a bit farther away of Galovacki buk there is a very large area of waterfalls Veliki Prstavci which are overflowing from Galovas as a water veil, and glitter and splash under the midday sun in oscillating rainbow spectrum. A part of this water flows over the line of waterfalls into the next ones.

MILINO LAKE (Milino jezero) ­ according to the legend, named after Mile Maric from Stropina who drowned in this lake. This lake is located 564m above the sea level, its depth is now only 1m and it occupies an area of 0.01 km?. From the south side, not far from the lake, there is a walkway for visitors that connects Kozjak lake with Labudovacka barrier and Proscansko lake.

GRADINSKO LAKE (Gradinsko jezero), or Jezerce - was named after the old walls (gradina) which had once been situated on the peak between Kozjak lake and this one. The lake is 553m above the sea level, its depth is 10m in the most western section, and it occupies an area of 0.8 km?. This lake is interesting for the colour of its water, which oscillates from light green to white in shallow water, and then to dark green in deeper spots. A submerged barrier, today just 1.5 to 2m below water level could be seen in the middle part of the lake, while two more barriers are submerged in its low and the most narrow section. The white colour in the lake is called "bjelar" which is a leftover of a pure travertine mud not covered by underwater vegetation.

BURGETI or BUKOVI - a chain of small shallow lakes separated by travertine barriers, and covered by low vegetation. The name comes from agitated waterflow in small scars which make noise or "boil".

The peak elevation of 534m is considered to be the altitude above the sea level, the lake depth is 2m and an area occupied by this lake is 0.001 km. The peak Gradina is in the south side of Burgeta, and in the north western side are afforested slopes of Stubica which are descending towards the next lake - the lake Kozjak. Along the edge of Burgeti, in the forest, there are remains of a small building made of stone - that was a building where once was situated "a try of the usage of the Plitvice waterftow for production of electricity" - a proof of once careless man's interruption of protected area of nature!

The KOZJAK LAKE (Kozjak jezero or Kozje jezero) - got the name according to a legend saying that 30 young goats drowned in it while crossing it over not firm enough ice - running away from wolves. The lake is situated 534m above the sea level, its deepest point has 46m and it occupies an area of 0.83 km?.

Beside the water of Burgeta waterfall, the permanent Brook flow runs into Glibovita draga just opposite the peak Gradina, and then into the Kozjak lake. Except a few permanent springs, periodical flows of the Matijasevac and Jasenovac streams are flowing into Kozjak, as well as the flow of Vodena draga - all in the western side of the lake. In a small bay, just across Gradina in the eastern side of the lake, a phenomenon of water sinking was registered, and that was already marked on old maps. This one, the biggest of the Plitvice Lakes is stretching from northwest to southeast, it is narrow in its south section and wide in the north one. It was caused by different geological construction of rocky base in its eastern and western side.

The length uf the Kozjak lake is 2350m, while its width varies from only 135m (at the boat crossing point), to 670m in its most northern section at the foot of small village Plitvica. The depth of this lake is increasing from 5m in Glibovita draga in the south section, up to 26m in front of Matijaseviceva draga, where a travertine barrier falls is located - its crest is only 4m below today's level of Kozjak. The second side of submerged barrier goes sheer down up to 41.9m of depth, while the deepest point of this lake is about 280m further towards north it makes 46m. The western side of the lake has several indented and extended bays underneath the Stubica slopes, while Glibovita draga in the south section of the lake in the length of 500m resembles the Liman draga of Proscansko lake. However, the eastern section of Kozjak, at the foot of Medvedak is almost flat due to its construction made of karsted rudistic limestone of Cretaceous Age.

The particularity of this lake is Stefanija's island (Stefanijin otok) of elliptic shape, located at the enlargement of the lake, close to the boat crossing. The island is 80m away from the west shore, and its depth is 20m, while it makes 230m from the east shore with the depth of 15m. Its length is 275m, width about 60, and area occupied is 0.014 km?. The highest section of this island is only 9.5m above today's level of the lake water The island is made of dolomite rocks of Triassic Age on which beech and hazel nut trees beside other low vegetation are growing. The island was named after princess Stefanija who visited the Plitvice Lakes in 1888.

There is a crossing available a hundred metres south of the island, at the foot of the hotel complex on Poljana, or rather on the way from the Entrance point 2 towards Burgeti - for all visitors who are either on foot sightseeing of Upper lakes, or for those who are returning from there - from Labudovacki plateau toward Kozjak. From that, western side, the electro boats run towards the northern end of Kozjak - to Kozjacka draga, where a small excursion place is set up, or rather a starting point for a trip on foot around the Lower lakes, in direction Sastavci and the Entrance point 1.