Durmitor is a mountain and the name of a national park in Montenegro. It reaches a height of 2,522 meters (Bobotov Kuk). The name Durmitor is probably derived from Balkan Romance (some Romanian/Vlach dialect), and it means “sleeping” (cognate with English dormitory). There are similarly named mountains such as Visitor (visator, “dreaming”) and Cipitor ( atipitor, “sleeping”) across ex-Yugoslavia. Another etymology could be from Celtic meaning “mountain with water”. The Durmitor National Park, created in 1952, includes the massif of Durmitor, the canyons of Tara, Sušica and Draga rivers and the higher part of the canyon plateau , covering the area of 390 km².
It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1980. There are beautiful landscapes and unique nature. A part of the National park Durmitor is also the Tara River Canyon, 80 km long and 1,300 m deep, second largest in the world, just behind Grand Canyon in Arizona. The Durmitor massif offers : 18 lakes, 5 canyons, 27 peaks above 2200 meters, 48 peaks above 2000 meters, 748 sources of potable waters, forests over 500 years old, 2000 km of marked foot paths and climbing paths.
The Tara Canyon
The Tara river canyon (Montenegrin: Kanjon Tare), also known as the Tara river gorge, is the longest canyon in Montenegro and Europe and the second-longest in the world. It is 82 kilometers long and is 1,300 meters at its deepest. The canyon is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a part of Durmitor national park.
The Tara river cuts through the canyon. There are rocky and pebbly terraces, sandy beaches, high cliffs, and more than 80 large caves along the canyon. The canyon is part of the Tara River rafting route. The one day rafting route, from Brstnovica to Scepan Polje is 18km long and it takes 2 to 3 hours. This part of the canyon is the most exciting because the river has the biggest drop in elevation in the shortest length. There are 21 out of 50 rapids in this part of the Tara. The rapids are Brstanovici, Pecine, the very dangerous Celije rapids and Vjernovicki rapids. These characteristics gave the Tara river the nickname “Tear of Europe”. Another sight is the Ðjurdevica Tara Bridge. It was built between 1937 and 1940 and designed by Mijat Trojanovic, who also oversaw the construction. Isaac Russo was the Chief Engineer. When it was finished, it was the biggest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe. The bridge is 365 m long, and has five arches, the biggest having span of 116 m. The distance between the roadbed and the river is 172 meter.
Fauna of durmitor
The fauna of durmitor exist out of typically northern dinaric characteristics. The bigger animals are deers, wolfs, lynx and bears. The smaller ones are weasels, squirls, otters and hermelins.
The park is also well know for the large diversity of bird species. In Durmitor, including the canyon of the Tara river, there are 163 bird species and almost all species are protected. Because the presence of the rivers Tara and Piva there can be also be found a number of fishes, mostly from the Salmonidae family. Amphibians and reptiles can be found too.
Flora of Durmitor
Like many other places in Montenegro, Durmitor park is known for his rich flora. In Durmitor’s territory including the Tara and Piva canyons there are 1,325 species identified and classified in 484 genera and 129 families. In these 1,325 species there are 122 endemic species.
“Didn’t the old legend told, when god had created the earth, he flown over it with 3 bags who carried earth, seeds, and rocks. Every country got his share. Untill the devil suddenly appeared and cutted the bag filled with rocks. The country were the rocks were tumbling on would be known as Montenegro”
And some of these can be only be found in the Durmitor park. The lower part of Durmitor mass is covered with conifer wood (juniper bush, fir tree and white pine tree) and deciduous trees. The valleys are covered with rich pastures.
Because of the karst formation there can be found over 200 caves. The most notable of all is the Ledina Pecina, at 2.100 Meters at Globa Glava. Famous for his frozen stalagmites that can grow up to 3 meters. The deepest caves of Montenegro can be found here too.
Tourism in Durmitor
Durmitor mountain is the center of Montenegrin mountain tourism. The tourist facilities are concentrated around the town of Žabljak. During the winter, main activities on Durmitor are skiing and, increasingly, snowboarding. In the summer, the activities shift to mountaineering and recreational tourism. One of the most prominent attraction of Durmitor mountain are 18 glacial lakes, best known being Crno Jezero (The black lake). The entrance fee for the park is 2,00 euro. Camping fee for a small tent 3,00 euro per night and for a big one 5,00 euro. A daily sports fishing permit costs 20,00 euro. The best way to come to the Durmitor national park is to go to Žabljak, with 1456 meters above sea level, making it the highest urban conglomerate in the Balkans and also in the whole of Europe.
History of the park
The area and the mountain was the location of the Battle of the Sutjeska in 1943 in World War II, when the Germans and Italians pursued Tito’s Partisans. There is a monument commemorating the battle in Tjentište.