VLASINA 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
Vlasina mud) was closed off by a dam and submerged by the
waters of incoming rivers, chiefly the
* 1 Geography
* 1.1 Islands
* 1.2 Water
* 2 Biodiversity and protection
* 3 Tourism
* 4 See also
* 5 References
* 6 External links
Veliki Strešer (1875m), mountain peak, seen from the Vlasina
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
Crna Trava . The plateau is surrounded by the mountains
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
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 island, 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
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
The lake is most easily accessible from the southwestern side, by a
19 kilometres (12 mi) long section of the M1.13 road from
which itself lies 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of the
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
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 purchased by
The Coca-Cola Company in
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
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
Serbia and 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
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
* List of lakes in
* ^ 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.
* ^ 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"".
* ^ "Nastava u prirodi: Vlasinsko jezero" (in Serbian). Unico
Travel agency. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
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