Medvednica is a mountain range, a favoured spot for the citizens of Zagreb city to have a rest.
The central part of the forest-covered mountain, thanks to its many well-equipped roads, tourist lodges, historical monuments and recreational elements, gives the impression of a spacious city park. When you walk along the interesting trails, you can see about a thousand species of plants, listen to the singing of about a hundred kinds of birds and meet different insects and animals. A walk in the forest normalises your life balance.
The highest point – mount Sljeme – is 1033 meters above sea level.
The total area of the park is almost 240 sq.km. The park consists of a pine and beech forest.
At the top of the mountain, a 169 meters tall Zagreb TV tower is located.
There is a highway and a ropeway leading toward the summit. The places here are considered the best for skiing in all of Northern Croatia.
At the top of mount Sljeme there is located the Sljeme ski resort. The ski tracks are of different difficulty level: White Run, Red Run, Green Run, Blue Run, Tree Run, and they are located on the northern slopes of the range. The White and Cinovnicka Meadows tracks are on the eastern side. On the northern slope, regular international slalom competitions organised by the International Federation of Skiing take place.
Video about Medvednica park:
The Veternica cave
One of the main natural objects of the park is Veternica cave in the southwestern part of the range. The total length of the cave is 7,128 meters, and only the first 380 meters are open for visitors, and it is scary and dangerous to go farther. The decorations of the cave, the bat colonies, and the traces of life of prehistoric humans, which are about 42,000 years old, are of interest.
Inside the cave, you can see stone “waterfalls” — stalactites and stalagmites many centuries old. The most interesting of them are illuminated, and even bear names depending on their shape: the Frog, the Bear, and so on. Bats are a special point of interest for the keepers: there are 8 kinds of them living in Vetrenica constantly, and 5 more come here on a regular basis, and there are 14 colonies here in total.
The entrance ticket to the Veternica cave cost
– for adult – 25 kn (app.3 euro)
– for child – 15 kn (app.2 euro)
The Zrinski mine
The Zrinski mine is a complex of underground mines, corridors and open mining workings, where the works began back in the 15th century. The mine has not been completely explored yet, so the guides will surely tell you stories about the ghosts and secrets of this place. For example, there are legends that there are secret passages leading from the mine to the fortress of Medvedgrad and St Mark’s church in the environs of Zagreb. However, these passages have not been found yet.
The entrance ticket to the Zrinski mine cost
– for adult – 20 kn (app.2,6 euro)
– for child – 15 kn (app.2 euro)
The Medvedgrad fortress
On the southern slope of Medvednica park there is found the fortress of Medvedgrad.
Medvedgrad was built at the initiative of the Pope Innocent IV in the 13th century, after the Mongol invasion: then, the invaders completely destroyed the Croatian capital. Double walls with three gates were built, towers without doors on the ground level were erected and were thus impregnable. Medvedgrad never served the purposes of defence, for which it had been constructed; the fortress was never attacked. For this reason, there exists the legend that the fortress was built to be a treasury for the treasures of the Church.
Now, there is a viewing platform in the castle, placed at the level of 500 meters, from which there is a great view of Zagreb. Now, historical festivals and knight tournaments take place in the castle.
Video about the castle Medvedgrad:
The entrance ticket to the Medvednica castle cost
15 kn (app.2 euro)
Working time of Medvednica castle
from 10:00 to 18:00 (Tuesday – Sunday)
Official web of Medvednica natural park Zagreb www.pp-medvednica.hr