Lonjsko polje

Lonjsko polje Nature Park is one of 12 Croatian nature parks. Located about 75 km southeast of Zagreb, it is one of the largest and best preserved natural floodplains in Europe. The park owes its biodiversity to the periodic flooding of the Sava River and its tributaries. All life in a given area is in line with floods and uses all the benefits they bring.

Of the flora of this area, it is certainly important to mention pedunculate oak and field ash, which are synonymous with quality wood around the world. As far as the fauna is concerned, Lonjsko polje is home to numerous native breeds such as the Posavina hound, the Croatian Posavina horse, the Slavonian-Srijem Podolian cattle and the Turopolje pig, certainly the most endangered species of the above. Livestock breeding is also in line with the natural rhythm of this floodplain. Thus, during the winter and floods, cattle are kept protected in barns, and in the spring, when the water begins to recede, they are allowed to graze. Several species of cattle are kept on pasture at the same time, which is an example of traditional grazing. Lonjsko polje is the only area in Europe that has preserved this way of raising livestock. It is also a habitat for over two thirds of the total bird population in Croatia. There are also two special ornithological reserves in the park - Krapje Đol and Rakita. A particularly large number of wetland birds live here, such as herons, woodpeckers, clanga eagles and black and white storks. It is not surprising that the village of Čigoč - the first European village of the storks, is located in this area. It is interesting that there are more storks than locals in Čigoč.

Living in harmony with nature is the main motive for building the settlements of this area. The two-storey houses were built in the traditional way - from oak, in order to adapt to the floods. Apart from construction, the tradition has been preserved in numerous ethnographic collections of the region and intangible heritage such as song and dance.

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