This true gem of nature, which adorns the very heart of the mountain Bjelasnica, is located at 1,760 meters above the sea level. The lake is hidden in a deep bay on the west side of the Mala Vlahinja peak.
It is elliptical in shape, 100 meters long, 60 meters wide and two meters deep. It is of glacial origin, but it is supplied with water both from glaciers and from a nearby spring of running water, and is therefore a true hydrological phenomenon with a characteristic golden-green color and a rare oasis within this mountain massif.
The surroundings of the bay where the lake is located are decorated with low coniferous plants, blueberries, aromatic herbs and flowers. The slopes towards the top are covered in coniferous forests.
Ecosystems of mountain lakes like this, not only are true ornaments of nature, but also represent the last refuge for many species of plants, insects, spiders, amphibians and many other organisms in the endless mountain cliffs.
It is similar with the fungi that have adapted to specific, but often extreme weather and other conditions in this place in this subalpine zone. Thus, the newt (Alpine Aquarius), an endemic amphibian, lives in this lake. And the slopes of this part of Bjelasnica are decorated with an autochthonous type of flower – Bosnian golden lilies.
Unfortunately, due to a number of natural and objective processes such as climate change and rising temperatures, colluvial process, gradual drying of the springs or inflow of water that feeds, this lake, like many other mountain lakes, is disappearing. Due to the mentioned circumstances, the lake is gradually being covered with marsh vegetation and is increasingly turning into a swamp.
As it is difficult to reach a real gem, so coming to this Bjelasnica mountain eye is a bit more demanding hiking tour. Therefore, Lokvanjsko Lake can be reached only by walking from Igman via Javornik or from direction of Ljubovčić and Pazarić. Stanari Mountain Lodge is a common resting place on the way to Lokvanjsko Lake or on the way back, for pleasant refreshment and rest before returning to the village of Lokve.
Bosnian lily or golden lily (Lilium Bosniacum) is a species of lily that grows on mountain meadows, slopes covered in bushes and ridges of Bosnian and Dinaric mountains. It grows to a height of between 30 and 90 centimeters. It blooms in May and June.
At the top of the stem is usually a hanging flower of orange-yellow color. The petals are thick and bent backwards. The anthers protrude and are more intensely pigmented than the petals. It grows at altitudes of 1,200 to 1,900 meters above the sea level.
Text and photos by: Adela Ambrožić