Happy Birthday Mljet! Beloved National Park Celebrates 59th Birthday

Lauren Simmonds

As Morski writes on the 11th of November, 2019, the beautiful Mljet National Park, Croatia’s first protected marine area celebrates its 59th birthday today.

NP Mljet, located not too far from Dubrovnik in southern Dalmatia, was founded on November the 11th, 1960, and its special status of protection can be greatly contributed to the distinguished Croatian scientist and academic Branimir Gušić.

Mljet National Park covers almost 5,300 hectares, including a sea belt 500 metres from the coast, as well as numerous islets and rocks. This much loved national park contains an array of interesting areas and boasts a unique and truly stunning land (and sea) scape. With its submerged bays, the Small (Malo jezero) and Great (Veliko jezero) lakes, are undoubtedly among the most prominent and heavily frequented locations in this area and an important geomorphological and oceanographic phenomenon.

The entire surface of the national park is extremely rich in life, and the importance of its protection has been evidenced repeatedly with the presence of numerous endemic and endangered species. The island also offers an abundance of numerous archeological sites and ancestral heritage, the remnants of the old Roman palace in Polače, and a benedictine monastery situated in one of the most gorgeous locations in Croatia and the immediate region – the islet of St. Mary (Sv. Marija) in the Great lake.

The celebration of the park’s 59th birthday initially began back in October with the Mljet Outdoor Festival and Open Doors Day, as well as with the presentation of autochthonous vine varieties that grow on Mljet and the opening of an exhibition on caves on Mljet.

To continue marking the birthday of this Dalmatian national park, an exhibition of underwater photographs of the island of Mljet and a lecture titled “Secrets of the Underwater of the Island of Mljet” are planned at the S. S. Kranjčević Library in Zagreb on Monday the 25th of November, 2019, at 18:30.

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