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Stećak necropolis by Zrmanja river

Lost Waterfalls and Forgotten Graves

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Dalmatian countryside hides a lot of secrets. With population slowly disappearing, those secrets will be left hidden in books and rare online posts like mine. That is why I think it is important to write about these “unimportant” places and sites. This blog was never for tourists, anyway.

Čavlinov Buk

Krka River had many more waterfalls in the past. But, to gain the control of the flow, people worked hard on “fixing” and “adjusting” the watercourse. To save Knin from floods, Čavlinov buk and Bilušića buk waterfalls were destroyed on several occasions. On four occasions, 1834, 1895, 1953 i 1954. , using explosive, locals destroyed the waterfalls. The ancient Bobodol lake is now completely gone and a big meadow and fields is formed.

Čavlinov buk area today being a meadow
Čavlinov buk area today

The whole area is filled with historic monuments but we did not visit any of the hilltop fortresses. Our interest was to understand the ancient Roman Army crossing that was here by several author.

Krka river rushing through narrow canyon
Krka rushing through narrow canyon
Abandoned metering station
Abandoned metering station. Or abandoned toilet. 🙁

Čaclinov buk was probably the crossing point but that is quite hard to understand and see right now.

Muddy roads
Muddy roads

Short walk through the fields and bushes, and we decided to move on to Mokro Polje.

Stećak Monuments

I wrote about Mokro Polje few years back: https://secretcroatia.blog/2016/04/09/following-the-roman-roads/

I visited only few times since. And now we had a specific place to look for: stećak graveyard in Mokro Polje. Stećak Monuments have been recently added to UNESCO World Heritage Sites list and I wrote about them here: https://secretcroatia.blog/?s=ste%C4%87ak One can find more information on UNESCO listing at official UNESCO web site: https://www.stecciwh.org/stecci-inscribed-on-the-unesco-world-heritage-list/

Only 28 necropolis have been added to the list. Many more left to neglect and getting covered by vegetation.

Mokro Polje

The location of the necropolis of Mokro Polje is easy to find. When you know where they are… And, luckily, there are still few elderly shepherds that one can ask for directions.

Abandoned military barracks in Mokro Polje
Abandoned military barracks in Mokro Polje

Stećak necropolis is easy to find: park next to burned down barracks – the only large burned down building by the road. There is still some Cyrillic graffiti on the building – (saying “long live Tito”) so easy to spot.

Cross the road and head towards a small hill by the river. Zrmanja river is particularly lovely at this time of year.

Zrmanja after big rains
Zrmanja after big rains

Monuments from all ages have been found in Mokro Polje. The area is a treasure trove for archaeologists. However, not everything is in best shape…

Stećak tombstones on the slopes of the hill
Stećak tombstones on the slopes of the hill

Steća tombstones are usually just large slabs of stone placed on ancient graves. There are numerous theories of their origins but they are found all over the globe. However, the decorations and shapes greatly vary in this part of the world. On Mokro Polje monuments few decorations can be seen.

Stečak monument under the tree
Stečak monument

They rarely have crosses. Mostly, ancient symbols of crescent, sword, deer… are found on them.

But, on this necropolis, many stones have been moved and grave robbers have been looking for ancient artifacts.

Stećak tombstone
Stećak tombstone
Stećak tombstone

Remains of the church

This Mokro Polje necropolis is also known for the remains of the medieval church.

Remains of the medieval church
Remains of the medieval church

Lujo Marun – famous local archaeologist monk, was first to describe this church. Not much is known of this site and more proper research is needed.

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