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Papuk and Jankovac

Category: Nature | Date: 25.06.2014.

"To see sunny, healthy green colors, to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Slavonian forests, to rest in the cool shades or if you miss the soft murmur of a waterfall, then go to the clearing of Papuk the place, which is housed by Jankovac" - written by the frequent visitor of the most beautiful and highest mountain in Slavonia. Over the plain, once covered with the Pannonian Sea, mountains rise, among which the most beautiful is the forest covered Papukwith its 953 meter peak. Thanks to its biological and geological diversity, and its valuable cultural and historical treasures it is a protected area, similar to a National Park. 95% of the National Park's area is covered with forests. Mostly with beech, oak, maple and ash trees dominate the area. Here run the Slavonian rivers; such as the Čađavica, Karašics and the Pakra. 200 years ago, the park was a habitat for bears, wolves, lynx, but now red deer, roe deer, wild boars, foxes, martens, and many species of birds live in the dense forest. The rivers are home to more species of fish, amphibians and reptiles. The ravines are important wintering place for bats. About 1200 species of plants bloom here, which is nearly a quarter of the entire flora of Croatia.

Thanks to the a variety of forms of its rocks, minerals, fossils, karst formations and to its geomorphological structure, the UNESCO put the Natural Park as the first geo-park in Croatia on its list in 2007.

In the park in the region of Papuk there are significant cultural inheritances. With their special values rise out the eight medieval towns, including Papuk as well, which were established as fortifications. The archaeological site Čemernica-Gradca, rise above the town of Kaptol, which once was the headquarter of the Count and also a burial place as well. It is a valuable archaeological site. The Early Iron Age burial mounds from the period 650-550 BC hide valuable pots, jewelry and weapons.

The Nature Park is the perfect place for relaxation and recreation. Ideal for hiking, walking, cycling, paragliding, rock climbing and for doing winter sports. The "Lapjak" educational path awaits its visitors, which is the first educational path designated in the mountains in Slavonia. On the track of the "Šulerov road ", which partly follows the mountainous hiking trails, information boards have been set up, so that visitors can get to know interesting details about the landscape, about its waters, flora and fauna, geology and about the history of the area.

The Plis-Mališčak is a very interesting plant, which grows on the southern side of Papuk, it lives near the Grand location. The Plis and Mališčak are protected plants which are present in the largest number in the park. Let's not forget about the medieval cities: Ružica (Rose) town, Velicki (Large) town, Kamengrad (Stone town), Stari (Old town) and the town of Klak...

The most famous mountain excursion destination of Papuk is Jankovac, which was declared a protected reserve forest in 1955. Here, at 475 meters high is Croatia's most beautiful mountain home, the house Jankovac. Jankovac is one of the most beautiful mountain valleys in Croatia, full of cool, clean water springs, forests, freshness and its unique romance. All nature lovers will feel how soothing this landscape is.

The name of the look-out place just like the name of Jankovac Lake are also tied the name of Count Josip Jankovic, who got his own estate built on the mountainous northern slopes of Papuk in the 19th century. He would never have thought that his home would be a well-known mountain resort decades later. At that time Jankovic also owned several estates from Voci to Virovitica. This nature-loving man visited Papuk in the middle of the 19th century, and he decide to spend his senior years in Papuk. First, he built a hunting castle, and then he regulated the flow of two rivers, in order to maintain the habitat for trouts and store the water for the dry season. The Count was successful in his the attempt, today the water is falling from a height of 30 meters below in a form of a waterfall to the canyon Kovac. Something was created, which would have been unthinkable in Slavonia.

This "Jankovač Waterfall" today is the symbol of Jankovac. Thanks to the amount of water and the height it falls under, it is a unique sight in Slavonia, even in winter when the water freezes. The "Count educational path" which was opened to the public in 2006 is particularly beautiful. This year it has won the gold "Green Flower" award from the Croatian Tourist Association in the category of the best land-based tourism unit of Croatia.

Count Jankovic, in deference to his wishes he was buried in a cave overlooking the lake with a magnificent panoramic view of the valley.

Jankovac makes up a well-known recreational center of Papuk with Zvečevo, with Velika and the Arboretum of Lisičina.

The following mountain-tourism facilities can be found on Papuk:

Lapjak Mountain cottage (335 m);

Toplice thermal spa (296 m);

Trišnjica Mountain cottage, 7 km from the Lapjak Mountain cottage;

The house of Mountain Rescue Service at Nevoljaš (725 m);

Jankovac mountain cottage (475 m) on the northern slopes of Papuk.

Papuk does not overlook the gothic and the majestic Alps, but all is made up by the fact that the hill with its peaceful gentleness suggests that it has been created for people and for the nature. And obviously for Slavonia. This feeling of harmony every visitor will bring along with them, as they descend to the area once covered by the sea, the Pannonian plain.