Alps or Dinarides is a mountain chain which spans from
Italy in the northwest, over Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, to
Albania in the southeast.
They extend for 645 kilometres (401 mi) along the coast of the
Adriatic Sea (northwest-southeast), from the
Julian Alps in the
northwest down to the Šar-Korab massif, where the mountain direction
changes to north-south. The highest mountains of the Dinaric
the Prokletije, a mountain group extending from
eastern Montenegro. Its highest peak,
Maja Jezercë is located in
Albania, standing at 2,694 metres (8,839 ft).
Alps are one of the most rugged and extensively
mountainous areas of Europe, alongside the Caucasus Mountains, Alps,
Pyrenees and Scandinavian Mountains. They are formed
Cenozoic sedimentary rocks of dolomite,
limestone, sand and conglomerates formed by seas and lakes that had
once covered the area. During the Alpine earth movements that occurred
50–100 million years ago, immense lateral pressures folded and
overthrust the rocks in a great arc around the old rigid block of the
northeast. The Dinaric
Alps were thrown up in more or less parallel
ranges, stretching like necklaces from the
Julian Alps as far as
Albania and Kosovo, where the mountainous terrain subsides to
make way for the waters of the
Drin River and the plains of Kosovo.
2.1 Rivers in Dinaric karst
3 Human activity
4 Mountain passes
6 Mountains and plateaus
6.2 Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 Notes and references
8 External links
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The Dinarides are named after Mount
Dinara (1,913 m), a prominent peak
in the center of the mountain range on the border of
Bosnia. The chain is called Alpet Dinaride or Alpet Dinarike in
Albanian, Dinarsko gorje or Dinaridi in Bosnian and Croatian, Dinarske
planine or Динариди in Serbian, Dinarsko gorstvo in Slovene
and Alpi Dinariche in Italian.
Valbona Pass, northern Albania
Mesozoic limestone forms a very distinctive region of the Balkans,
notable for features such as the Karst, which has given its name to
all such terrains of limestone eroded by groundwater. The Quaternary
ice ages had relatively little direct geologic influence on the
Balkans. No permanent ice caps existed, and there is little evidence
of extensive glaciation. Only the highest summits of Durmitor, Orjen
Prenj have glacial valleys and moraines as low as 600 m
(1,969 ft). However, in the Prokletije, a range on the northern
Albanian border that runs east to west (thus breaking the general
geographic trend of the Dinaric system), there is evidence of major
glaciation. One geological feature of great importance to the
present-day landscape of the Dinarides must be considered in more
detail: that of the limestone mountains, often with their attendant
faulting. They are hard and slow to erode, and often persist as steep
jagged escarpments, through which steep-sided gorges and canyons are
cleft by the rivers draining the higher slopes.
The partially submerged western Dinaric
Alps form the numerous islands
and harbors along the Croatian coast.
Mount Mučanj, lower Dinarides, western Serbia
Rivers in Dinaric karst
The most extensive example of limestone mountains in Europe are those
Karst of the Dinaric Alps. Here, all the characteristic
features are encountered again and again as one travels through this
wild and underpopulated country.
Limestone is a very porous rock, yet
very hard and resistant to erosion. Water is the most important
corrosive force, dissolving the limestone by chemical action of its
natural acidity. As it percolates down through cracks in the limestone
it opens up fissures and channels, often of considerable depth, so
that whole systems of underground drainage develop. During subsequent
millennia these work deeper, leaving in their wake enormous waterless
caverns, sinkholes and grottoes and forming underground labyrinths of
channels and shafts. The roofs of some of these caverns may eventually
fall in, to produce great perpendicular-sided gorges, exposing the
water to the surface once more.
The Dinaric rivers carved many canyons characteristic for Dinaric
Alps, and in particular karst. Among largest and most well known are
the Neretva, the Rakitnica, the Prača (river), the Drina, the
Sutjeska, the Vrbas, Ugar, the Piva, the Tara, the Komarnica, the
Morača, the Cem/Ciijevna, the Lim, and the Drin.
Only along the Dinaric gorges is communication possible across the
Karst, and roads and railways tunnel through precipitous cliffs and
traverse narrow ledges above roaring torrents. A number of springs and
rivers rise in the Dinaric range, including
Jadro Spring noted for
having been the source of water for
Diocletian's Palace at Split.
At the same time, the purity of these rocks is such that the rivers
are crystal clear, and there is little soil-making residue. Water
quality testing of the Jadro River, for example, indicates the low
pollutant levels present. Rock faces are often bare of vegetation
and glaring white, but what little soil there is may collect in the
hollows and support lush lime-tolerant vegetation, or yield narrow
strips of cultivation.
Ruins of fortresses dot the mountainous landscape, evidence of
centuries of war and the refuge the Dinaric
Alps have provided to
various armed forces. During the Roman period, the Dinarides provided
shelter to the
Illyrians resisting Roman conquest of the Balkans,
which began with the conquest of the eastern Adriatic coast in the 3rd
century BC. Rome conquered the whole of
Illyria in 168 BC, but these
mountains sheltered Illyrian resistance forces for many years until
the area's complete subjugation by 14 AD. More recently, the Ottoman
Empire failed to fully subjugate the mountainous areas of Montenegro.
In the 20th century, too, the mountains provided favourable terrain
for guerrilla warfare, with
Yugoslav Partisans organising one of the
most successful Allied resistance movements of World War II.[citation
The area remains underpopulated, and forestry and mining remain the
chief economic activities in the Dinaric Alps. The people of the
Alps are on record as being the tallest in the world, with a
male average height of 185.6 cm (6 ft 1.1 in) and a
female average height of 171.0 cm (5 ft 7.3 in). The
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina have the highest recorded average of
any single country, with 183.9 cm average for men and
172.72 cm for women.
The main mountain passes of the Dinaric
Postojna Gate (Postojnska vrata),
Slovenia (606 m or
Croatia (850 m or 2,789 ft)
Serbia (1,094 m or 3,589 ft)
Knin Gate (Kninska vrata),
Croatia (about 700 m or 2,297 ft)
Vaganj, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina (1,137 m or 3,730 ft)
Ivan-Saddle (Ivan-sedlo), Bosnia-Herzegovina (967 m or
Kupres Gate (Kupreška vrata), Bosnia-Herzegovina (1,384 m or
Čemerno, Bosnia-Herzegovina (1,329 m or 4,360 ft)
Montenegro (1,045 m or 3,428 ft)
Montenegro (1,849 m or 6,066 ft)
Major tunnels transversing the Dinaric
Tuhobić Tunnel, Croatia
Sveti Rok Tunnel, Croatia
Mala Kapela Tunnel, Croatia
Mountains and plateaus
Geomorphological subdivisions of Dinaric Alps[missing legend]
The mountains and plateaus within the Dinarides are found in the
Maja Jezercë, highest peak
Maja Grykat e Hapëta
Maja e Popljuces
Kolata e Mirë
Maja e Ragamit
Maja e Kakisë
Rrasa e Zogut
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dinara, the eponym of the chain.
Maglić (with 2,386 m the highest peak of BiH)
Kambreško and the Banjšice Plateau
Trnovo Forest Plateau
Trnovo Forest Plateau (Slovene: Trnovski gozd), Nanos, and
Javornik Hills and Snežnik
Krim Hills and Menišija
The Velika Mountain, Stojna and the Gotenica Mountain
The Mala Mountain, the
Kočevski Rog and the Poljane Mountain
Dry Carniola and Dobrepolje
Notes and references
Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic
Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo
unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia
continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two
governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the
Kosovo has received formal recognition as an
independent state from 113 out of 193
United Nations member states.
^ Profile, dictionary.reference.com; accessed 25 August 2015.
^ "Visit Dinaric Alps".
^ "C.Michael Hogan, "Diocletian's Palace", A. Burnham ed, 6 October
2007". The Megalithic Portal. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
^ "The Pollution Load by Nitrogen and Phosphorus IN the Jadro River".
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 123: 13–30.
doi:10.1007/s10661-005-9066-8. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
^ Pineau, JC; Delamarche, P; Bozinovic, S (24 May 2012). "Average
height of adolescents in the Dinaric Alps. They are also reputed to
have the tallest males in Europe. Study claims it is not complete as
yet". Comptes Rendus Biologies. 328: 841–6.
doi:10.1016/j.crvi.2005.07.004. PMID 16168365.
^ Stevo Popović; Gabriela Doina Tanase; Duško Bjelica (2015). "Body
Height and Arm Span in Bosnian and Herzegovinian Adults," (.pdf).
mjssm.me. Montennegro Journal of Sports Sci. Medicine 4 (2015) 1:
Original scientific paper. pp. 29–36. Retrieved 4 September
^ "Countries With The Tallest Average Heights".
^ "BiH na prvom mjestu liste zemalja s najvišim ljudima u
^ Summitpost. Dinaric Alps: Passes in the Dinaric Alps, accessed
^ Dinaric Alps, The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dinaric Alps.
Discover Dinarides Project
Environment for People in the Dinaric Arc Project
Via Dinarica Trail - Mega-trail across highest peaks of Dinaric Alps