Prokletije Mountains (Prokletije)
is a unique mountain range, full of attractions and pristine natural beauty, which is located in the National Park Prokletije.
Prokletije Mountain or Balkan Alps (Albanian Bjeshket e Nemuna, Montenegrin - Prokletije) - is a huge mountain range, which is located on the Balkan Peninsula. He is one of the most neglected and rather mysterious sights in Montenegro.
The name of the massif, as you might guess, it is literally translated as "cursed mountains." The name of this place makes involuntarily thinking about the bizarre associations in the style of fantasy: the mountains of the Curse, keeping the mystical treasures in its bosom, which can be found only by a select few. These peaks can be conquered only by the most courageous braves. In addition, the Prokletije Mountains is called the Balkan Alps or North Albanian Alps, the similarity of shape and the strange fact that at a relatively low altitude (up to 2.5 km) in their narrow gorges almost all year round snow tongues are stored.
"To this land, through which for centuries caravans passed to Constantinople, nature has been truly generous.
Streams, fast mountain rivers, about twenty caves and mountain peaks, among which
Zla Kolata, the highest mountain peak in Montenegro, the height of which is 2.534 m above sea level "
director of Plav Tourist Organization Huso Brdakich
Prokletije Mountain range is located in the border area of the three countries: Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo, but most of it is still in Albania. It is located at quite a distance from such famous Montenegrin resort places such as Budva, Petrovac, Kotor and Tivat. Around the mountains such settlements as: Pec, Djakovica (Kosovo), Bajram Curri (Albania), Podgorica (the capital of Montenegro and the largest city) and village Gusine, as part of the Republic of Montenegro, are arranged there.
The picturesque mountain Prokletije system is located in the Dinaric Alps, in the southern part and extends in a direction from east to west over a distance of about 100 kilometers. In Montenegro, the mountain is considered to be the beginning of the north-western terminus of the Skadar Lake. The southern slopes of the tributaries dehydrogenate from Drin River north - tributaries of Lima and the north-western - tributaries of the Moraca River.
Before the arrival of the Slavs in these places, here lived the Illyrians and there is also evidence that the Greeks and Romans visited these places. The first traces of man in these lands belong to the seventh century BC – it is confirmed, for example, by a drawing of a deer hunter (Iron Age) in the cave Grebaje, ten kilometers from Gusinje . This cave is one of the three existing in Montenegro caves with ancient drawings, located at an altitude of 1300 meters above sea level, in a remote place. A bit later drawing on a stone block was found on the mountain Popadija, not far from the abandoned summer pastures Valusnica. It depicts the struggle of men and women with a wolf, that attacked their child. It is assumed that this image, called the "Great Mother" (Magna mater), was created in the middle of the Bronze Age, 600 years BC.
The highest peak of the mountain system Prokletije is mountain Jezerca, the maximum height of which reaches 2692 meters above sea level. Among the other peaks of the mountain range it is also possible to note the following: Radohina (2570 m.), Dzheravitsa (2556 m, the highest point in Kosovo.) Shkelzeni (2407 m), Tromeda (2366 m).
The slopes of the mountains Prokletije strongly dissected and up to altitudes of 1700-1800 meters above sea level, covered with centuries-old relict trees: oak, beech, maple, chestnut, fir and pine; and above these heights there are mountain pastures (Katun) and vast, picturesque Alpine meadows, which in some places are covered with snow. The Prokletije is supported by a special microclimate, which is due to the fact, that there is snow in its gorges even in the hottest summer days. The massif is composed of limestone, dolomite and shale, karst is also widespread there.
The depth of the massif Prokletije hides many of these natural treasures: amazing glacial lakes, stunning scenery, swift waterfalls, which are among the stone walls carry their water, and clear springs.
One of the main attractions of this region are considered to be Plav Lake and Hridskoje lake.
Plav Lake is the largest among all the glacial lakes in Montenegro. It lies at an altitude of 907 meters above sea level. To date, this body of water is considered to be one of the most popular places of eco-tourism, as well as a real Mecca for fishing fans.
In Montenegro, there are no fountains, in which, according to the tradition a coin is thrown, make a wish ... Instead, in the mountains of Prokletije there is Hridskoje lake. It is also called the "Lake of happiness," as it is believed that bathing in it gives beauty, health, love and a lot of children. To make the wish come true, after swimming in the lake you need to throw some jewel or a precious thing. Although it is at a decent height, more than 1,800 meters above sea level, in the north-western side of Prokletije, but still it’s not difficult to reach the lake from Plav and Gusinje.
Its length is 300 meters and a width is about 160. In summer, the lake depth is about five meters, and in the rest of the year is much deeper due to heavy rains and melting snow. In winter it covered with thick layer of ice.
There is a variety of mythical legends and stories about the lake. One of them tells that it is created by gods, and presented it to the forest fairies to enjoy a swim. When people discovered the lake, the fairies had to leave it, and the gods in anger and sadness became to deliver thunders in the surrounding mountains, and cursed them, turning it into bare peaks. Since then, the mountains, according to legend, were named Prokletije, but the lake is left with clean, clear, healthy water. The other local legend has it, that once an avid trader of Plav heard about the miraculous lake, and secretly, at night went to the lake to collect all the jewels and pearls, which rested on its bottom. When he collected the treasure, and began to count them, by the glitter of gold and silver against the moonlight, he became blind. Mortally frightened merchant began to sob loudly, and his sobs echoed through the mountains. Since then, the lake has been called "Hridskoje".
Prokletije Mountains are adorned by other beautiful mountain lakes - Rukavicko, Bukumirsko, Ropojansko, Tatarijsko, Kolindarsko, Gardacko and a dozen of smaller lakes. With the exception of Plav Lake, the others are typical example of a natural phenomenon, received poetic name "mountain eyes". There are a lot of springs with crystal clear mountain water here. Some of them, such as the well-known sources of Ali Pasha, not far from Gusinje, are of particular value and attractiveness for tourism.
"Never until now I have not felt so much beauty of nature, the warmth and hospitality of the local people, in these mountainous regions. There, under the tall mountain peaks, everything is fine and mysterious.
This nature does not exist anywhere in the world "
Ana Lisa (well-known journalist and publicist,
employee of the London-based publisher "Bradt Travel Guides)
Also, at the foot of the massif, a monastery Visoki Dečani is located on the territory of Kosovo, which stores unique ancient frescoes.
Prokletije Mountain range, in addition to the above is also a paradise for all those, who truly appreciate active rest. Especially for those, who like climbing and paragliding, who come to Montenegro for extreme relaxation.