Lonjsko Polje Nature Park is geographically located on the middle course of the Sava River, about 75 km southeast of Zagreb. 50,650 ha of protected area stretches over one hundred kilometres along the left bank of the Sava River.
The unchanged historical legacy of this area dates back to the time when it was the military border between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire. The Sava River was a natural and military delimitation and part of the 1,750 km long border between East and West, and the natural floodplains were buffer zones. Through millennial sedimentation, the river created natural elevations, the so-called beams that were used as template for the formation of military settlements. Infrastructure: road networks, wetland corridors, road settlements, pastures, and areas of arable land have been developed, and have retained their spatial authenticity and organization to this day.
Lonjsko polje Nature park Public institution implements an organized system of visits through the implementation of educational programs. There are selective forms of sustainable tourism: natural tourism, ecotourism, educational tourism, cultural tourism and active tourism (bird watching, nature walks, cycling, photo safaris, recreational water activities).
For centuries, the formation of natural values of the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park has been influenced by climatic factors which, together with geological, hydrological and ecological processes, have shaped the landscape and preserved animal and plant species biologically related to water and floods.
The values of the Lonjsko polje Nature Park include lowland floodplain forests, wet grasslands, preserved rare animal and plant taxa, fish spawning habitats, traditional grazing system, indigenous breeds, authentic organization and traditional land use system, typical landscape of floodplain river valleys, authentic traditional wooden architecture and wealth of intangible cultural heritage (songs, dances, customs).
Sights in Lonjsko polje Nature Park include: Special Ornithological Reserve Krapje đol, Special Ornithological Reserve Rakita, The first European Stork Village Čigoč, and the Village of Architectural Heritage, Krapje.
Known about the unknown
The area of the Lonjsko polje Nature Park is one of the most important river fish spawning areas in the entire Danube basin.
The most important hydrological process in the area of Lonjsko polje Nature Park is the flood. Its natural retention with a flood defence system is one of the first examples of flood defence based on the use of natural floodplains (“river spaces”) in the world.
Lonjsko polje is one of the few European areas where traditional grazing is still active. This grazing system is essential for landscape maintenance and biodiversity protection.