National Park "Krka": from discovery of amphitheatre to the great visitor center — how did the valorization of the old town flow

The upper flow of the river Krka, or the northern part of National Park Krka, is of great importance due to cultural and historical heritage and primordial nature, where traces of man's hands cannot be found. Public institution "National Park Krka" aims to present this area in its originality, through the integral valorisation of the upper flow, development of active staying in nature, through setting up hiking paths and cycling routes, scientific and educational contents and cultural programs for visitors.

Exploration of the amphitheatre and the Roman military camp Burnum started in 2003. The discovery of this archaeological site, where thousands of objects belonged to Roman soldiers who lived here two thousand years ago and this was the beginning of a more powerful valorisation of this strategically important area. The reconstruction of the amphitheatre began; a restoration workshop and an archaeological collection were opened at the Eco campus “Kruska” in Puljan. Since 2012, Burnumske ide, a cultural and entertainment event has been organized in the amphitheatre area, aiming to revive customs from the Roman times and to bring them closer to the public.

In the immediate vicinity of Burnum, there is the highest Krkin waterfall - Manojlovac that was visited in 1875 by Austro-Hungarian imperator Franjo Josip I and his wife Elizabeth Bavarian on their trip through Dalmatia. In memory of the Emperor's visit, in 2011, memorial plaque was re-built and inaugurated on a newly opened path leading to the sightseeing on Manojlovački waterfall. There is also sightseeing at the canyon exit on Brljan waterfall and Brljanska Lake. Educational path was done and it leaded to the first of seven waterfalls - Bilušić buka, only 9 km away from Knin. On the other side to Bilušić buka, Marasovina path is done, making it easier for local population to access to fertile fields.

On the down flow, there is a path around Krka monastery, and excursion boats from Roški slava are sailing, so visitors can learn about the centuries-old tradition of Orthodox monks. Recently, two paths were opened: Pištavac and Trošenj - Pištavac. Systematic archaeological research is carried out on the mediaeval fortress Nečven, on the left bank of the river Krka, former possession of the famous feudal family Nelipić. The fortress can be seen from newly opened Perice path, which has been done within the project "Unknown Krka - hidden treasures of the middle and upper flow of the river Krka". As a part of this project, funded by EU funds, there are two more paths: the Roman road, on the right, and Brljan - Manojlovac, on the left bank of the river Krka.

The work on arranging the Centre for the Interpretation of Nature "Krka – spring of life" in Kistanja is in progress, as well as the Visitor Centre of the Eco campus "Krka" in Puljan, an interpretational-educational and volunteer centre. Aim of this project is to activate - by building the infrastructure and capacity of key actors and developing new educational products and services - unused tourist and economic potential of the northern part of National Park Krka and achieving a better spatial and time schedule for visitors and overall social, economic, and environmental wellbeing in that area.

Great progress has been made in the valorisation of this area by setting tourist-information signals on the roads. In the National Park Krka, there are 470 km of newly opened bicycle routes, many of which are passing through the river Krka, which is ideal for active visits due to the configuration of the terrain. All these activities: opening of new content, educational paths, and cultural manifestations, are accompanied by carefully designed communication, with which we strive to present all the valuable things we inherit in informative, professional, and enjoyable way to a wider audience.