Vranica, the highest mountain in Central Bosnia

PHOTO: VELIJA HASANBEGOVIĆ

Mountain Vranica is part of the old highlands, unlike the Dinarides. It is the most famous mining mountain in BiH since the Roman period. Throughout Bosnia’s tumultuous history, there have been mines of gold and other, at that time precious, metals and minerals.

The mountain is located between the town Gornji Vakuf and the fertile Uskoplje valley in the west, and Fojnica in the east. As it is located in the central part of BiH, it is also a junction between the Vrbas and Bosna rivers on the one hand and the Neretva River on the other.

Indigenous game

The highest peak is Nadkrstac with 2,112 meters above the sea level, followed by Krstac with 2,069 meters and Rosinj with 2,059 meters above the sea level. The climate in Vranica cannot be described as harsh, but the vegetation is, at higher altitudes, where the Mediterranean influence is not felt, adapted to the short vegetation period, of 120.

Otherwise, temperatures are moderately low on the mountain, with extreme lows reaching minus 20, and summers are very warm only on the southern and western slopes due to the influence of the sub-Mediterranean. Due to the collision of two climates, sub-Mediterranean from the Neretva valley and continental, the mountain is full of precipitation. In winter, the mountain is full of snow, which is often up to two meters high, so two ski resorts are open, Brusnica and Vran Kamen.

The mountain is extremely rich in surface water, and there are numerous springs high in the mountain. The famous Prokoško Lake is of particular value to the mountain. When it comes to hydrology, it should not be neglected that several important rivers originate in Vranica, such as Vrbas or Ragalska River and Željeznica, which later build the Fojnica River near Fojnica, and on the other hand there are numerous tributaries of the River Neretvica.

This mountain has always been known for hunting. After the war, the state of the game was very poor, but it has recently improved. Living conditions on this mountain are very good for all species of indigenous game, especially for brown bear and roe deer.

Botanical Research

Botanical researches at Vranica have been numerous, with numerous data on flora. It should be immediately noted that the basic forest species of trees are fir, spruce and beech. In the humid habitats of the mountains we find for our occasions a very rare green alder. Vranica is also known for its abundance of blueberries, so many harvesters of this fruit can be found on this mountain during harvest.

Let us look back at the jewel of Vranica, the Prokoška glacial lake, which has been surrounded by beautiful shepherds’ huts throughout history, many of which are still there today. Still, urbanization took a toll, especially the illegal construction that brought the lake to the brink of survival.

First, trout were introduced into the lake, which threatened the biosphere of the lake, and the original triton was brought to the brink of extinction. Nowadays, numerous algae occur in the lake, eutrophying the lake, and all organisms that have existed there, due to lack of oxygen, are dying.

Ship mooring ring

On the southern slopes of Mount Vranice there is a beautiful waterfall Štrapala, at an altitude of about 950 meters. There is one legend related to this pearl of nature, which is related to the mooring of ships in this place, because in the middle of the waterfall, there is a large steel ring, and it is unknown when and for what reason was put there. Thus, the local people created the legend that there was a coast of the sea that had dried up, and then the spring of one of the tributaries of the Vrbas was created there.

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