Lake (Serbian: Власинско језеро/Vlasinsko
jezero) is a semi-artificial lake in Southeast Serbia. Lying at an
altitude of 1,211 metres (3,973 ft), with an area of 16 square
kilometres (6.2 sq mi), it is the highest and largest
artificial lake in Serbia. It was created in 1947–51 when the peat
bog Vlasinsko blato (
Vlasina mud) was closed off by a dam and
submerged by the waters of incoming rivers, chiefly the Vlasina.
2 Biodiversity and protection
4 See also
6 External links
Veliki Strešer (1875m), mountain peak, seen from the
Vlasina River sources are below the peak.
The lake lies at 42°42′N 22°20′E / 42.700°N 22.333°E
/ 42.700; 22.333 on a plateau called
Vlasina in the municipalities of
Surdulica and Crna Trava. The plateau is surrounded by the
mountains of Čemernik, Vardenik and Gramada. The lake runs
North-South for a length of about 9.5 kilometres (5.9 mi) and has
a maximum width of approximately 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi). Its
average depth is 10.5 metres (34 ft) and its maximum depth is 34
metres (112 ft), near the dam.
The central part of the lake is wide and 10 and 15 metres (33 and
49 ft) deep. Its eastern coastline is jagged, with two bays:
larger Biljanina bara and smaller Murin zaliv separated by Taraija
peninsula. The southern part of the lake, between Bratanov del
peninsula and the mouth of Božićki kanal is shallower (2 to 6 metres
or 6.6 to 19.7 feet), with swampy coasts and peat.
The dam is located in the northwestern part of the lake. It is an
embankment dam, built of a concrete core with an earth-filled cover.
First plans for the power plant were made in the Kingdom of
Yugoslavia, during the Interbellum. Construction ran from 1946 to
1948, when the reservoir was first filled. It is 239 metres
(784 ft) long, 139 metres (456 ft) wide at the base and 5.5
metres (18 ft) at the top, and 34 metres (112 ft) high (of
which 25.7 metres or 84 feet is above the ground). The reservoir it
creates has a volume of around 1.65 cubic kilometres
(0.40 cu mi). Of these, 1.05 cubic kilometres
(0.25 cu mi) is usable for hydroelectric exploitation. The
system of 4 hydroelectric plants called Vrla (I-IV) lies downstream of
the lake, on the Vrla River, with a total capacity of 125
megawatt-hours (450 GJ). A part of the hydroelectric system is
the pump station "Lisina", which pumps in water from the nearby Lisina
Lake, chiefly in summer months.
Lake is also fed by numerous
streams, descending from the surrounding mountains. The water level
varies, depending on the water influx and drainage of the dam. Two
artificial canals enter the lake near the dam: Čemernički kanal from
the west and Strvna from east.
The lake is most easily accessible from the southwestern side, by a 19
kilometres (12 mi) long section of the M1.13 road from Surdulica,
which itself lies 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of the Niš-Skopje
motorway on the E75 European Route. The road extends west, towards the
Bulgarian border crossing at Strezimirovci, some 20 kilometres
(12 mi) away. Along the west shore, the regional road R122 leads
across the dam towards
Crna Trava in the north.
There are two permanent islands on the lake, along its eastern coast:
Dugi del (7.84 hectares or 19.4 acres) and Stratorija (1.82 hectares
or 4.5 acres). Along with those islands, one of the lake's most
famous features are the floating islands, occurring when at high water
level loose chunks of peat 0.5 to 2 metres (1 ft 8 in to
6 ft 7 in) thick break off the shore. Driven by the wind,
they float from one shore of the lake to another, carrying the flora
and fauna, and serving as shelter and a food source for fish. For that
reason, they are an attractive target for fishermen. The largest such
island has an area of 8 hectares (20 acres), and is referred to as
"Moby-Dick" by the local population. It is overgrown with dense
vegetation, including birch trees. However, most of the time it is
anchored along the shore.
The temperature of the water reaches 21 to 23 °C (70 to
73 °F) in the summer months, making for refreshing swimming.
It freezes in the winter and the ice crust can be as much as 2 metres
(6 ft 7 in) thick. The temperature also varies with
location and depth. In the village of
Topli Dol south of the lake,
there is a water factory "Vlasinka", producing high-quality mineral
water called "Vlasinska Rosa", a renowned brand in Serbia. It was
The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company in 2005.
Biodiversity and protection
Protected areas of the nature preserve "Vlasina"
The lake's flora and fauna are rich, and include several endemic
species. It features over 850 species of flora and over 180 species of
vertebrates, including rare species of mammals, reptiles and
amphibians. The lake's surroundings are a mixture of meadows and
high-altitude forests, especially birch, beech, pine and juniper (the
former two indigenous, and the latter chiefly introduced by
afforestation of the western shore). The indigenous trees downy birch
and yellow beech (characteristic for its ever-yellow leaf color) stand
out among the species of trees. Sundew is the only carnivorous plant
Serbia and is unique to the
Vlasina region. Birdlife includes gray
heron, tufted duck and cormorant. Mammalian species include wild
boars, wolves and feral horses.
The lake is home to 16 species of fish. These include brown and
Ohrid trout, perch, minnow, barbel, grass carp, common carp, crucian
carp, tench, roach and others.
Ohrid trout was stocked and it
successfully adapted to the environment, making it a popular for
By the decision of Government of
Serbia in 2006, the
Vlasina region is
protected as a nature preserve of special interest at category I. The
total protected area is 12,741 hectares (31,480 acres), of which 9.6
hectares (24 acres) are in the 1st level of protection (islands of
Dugi Del and Stratorija), 4,354 hectares (10,760 acres) in the 2nd
level and 8,377 hectares (20,700 acres) in the 3rd level of
Current tourist capacity includes around 300 beds in hotels "Vlasina"
and "Narcis", offering a modest range of services. Along with
regular tourists, they often host sporting teams from
abroad, as the lake is a popular destination for summer training due
to its high altitude. Sporting grounds include a large football field,
small sports field and weightlifting room.
An ambitious project for development of tourism is planned for the
Vlasina area by the country's Development plan and the Ministry of
Tourism, and it is included in the "21 projects for the 21st century"
plan. The planned facilities include a new tourist center Novi Rid,
with 1000 beds and shopping center, tourist center Krstinci with 350
beds, center "Džukelice" for summer sports, a marina for sailboats
(motorboats are forbidden on the lake), a number of ski lifts and
facilities for Nordic skiing.
Touristic attractions could include the numerous churches from the
19th century in the area. Also, the region is known for many popular
local legends, which include myths of the giant water beasts, fairies
and the now submerged bridge which was allegedly built by the
Crusaders on their way to Jerusalem.
List of lakes in Serbia
^ a b c d Ministry of Environmental Protection of Republic of Serbia
(2006-04-11). "Uredba o zaštiti Predela izuzetnih odlika "Vlasina""
(PDF) (in Serbian). Official Gazette of Republic of Serbia. [dead
^ a b "Vlasinsko jezero" (in Serbian). Turistička organizacija
^ a b c d Tanja Vujić (23 June 2009), "
Vlasina nije za snobove",
Politika (in Serbian)
^ "Economic Association "Hydro Power Plants Djerdap", plc".
Elektroprivreda Srbije. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
Serbia Main and Regional Road network map" (PDF). Public Utility
"Roads of Serbia".
^ "Klub putnika Srbije:Vlasinsko jezero" (in Serbian).
^ a b Žaklina Milenković (2005-02-21). "Ploveća ostrva - svetski
fenomen" (in Serbian). Glas javnosti.
^ "Serbian president attends takeover of "Vlasinka"". Tanjug.
^ "Nastava u prirodi: Vlasinsko jezero" (in Serbian). Unico Travel
agency. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
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