National Park Galicica (Национален Парк Галичица)

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National Park Galicica covers an area of 25,000 ha, of which approximately 11% is privately owned.

The lowest point is the level of the lake 695 meters above sea level and the level of Lake Prespa 850 meters above sea level. The highest peak is Magaro (Магаро) at 2255 meters above sea level. The Mountain Galichica has developed relief with deep valleys and steep slopes toward the two lakes. Because the relief features, the only range of Galichica is divided into four separate sections.
The section south of “Zli Dol” is named as “Stara Galicica” (Old Galichica). It is the highest and most remarkable embossed part of the national park. Its steep sides cut off to lakes and blistered with the mountain gullies, gives the appearance of inaccessibility. In the central part a broad plateau is formed with an altitude greater than 2000 m.
On the north of it is the part Galichica. The highest peak “Vakoski Gnoj” has a central position and height of 1999 m. In this part of the mountain width is smallest (9.75 km). Slopes towards the Ohrid lake are steep and similar to those of the previous section, while milder slopes down into Lake Prespa. Central plateau is at a height of about 1400 m and from it are formed four karst fields.
The rest of the massif meridian is divided into two parts: “Petrino” which gravitates towards Ohrid and “Istok” (East) toward the Prespa Valley.

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Geology and hydrology
Basic geological foundation of Galichica is mostly of Paleozoic metemorph silicates, covered with a layer of spongy massive limestone 500 – 550 m thick. This geological structure and the presence of karst geomorphological forms on the mountain, give the appearance like the mountains of Dinara system. On Galitchica we can encounter “shkarpite”, “vrtachite”, “uvalite” and karst fields (surface karst forms), and caves and pits (underground karst forms).
Geological surface and morphology of the mountain made a big impact on increasing landscape and aesthetic values of the park and represent one of the conditions for the emergence of high biodiversity and characteristic of wildlife.
Water permeability of the limestone layer made Galichica one of the driest in the mountains of Macedonia. In its regions there are only a few permanent sources with very low yield. Sometimes in years with heavy snowfall in spring emerge water sources, which eventually dry up in summer.
Unlike the mountainous area, the coastal Ohrid area is rich in water sources. Most characteristic is the source near the monastery of St. Naum.


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It consists of thirty underwater and fifteen coastal sources, with a total capacity of about 7.5 cubic meters per second. Sources form a small lake pool with an area of 30 ha and maximum depth of 3.5 m. Within the lake are created two small islands. In recent surveys of water sources in the auxiliary natural radioisotopes confirmed the assumption that some of them come from Prespa lake, whose level is higher than the level of the Ohrid lake, for about 150 m.
Besides geological and hydrological characteristics of the source is characterized by great wealth of flora and fauna which increases its ambient value.
On the border of the national park near Ohrid are located Biljana springs “Biljanini Izvori” which are one of the most visited places on the coast.

 

Flora
The flora in the park is extremely rich and unique. In the National Park Galicica are recorded over one thousand plant species, of which 176 of wooden flora representing 58.4% of Macedonian native tree species. Of particular importance for protection is the presence of a large number of relics that Galichica in the past often served as a venue where found shelter before hitting the ice age. Of these the most important are those from pliocenic and managed to survive four periods of Pleistocene ice. Such are Morina persica, Stipa mayeri, Ramonda nathaliae and Phelipaea boissieri and others.

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Fauna
Unlike flora fauna in the national park has barely been studied. This is especially true of invertebrates whose number is certainly very large and that is characteristic of this mountain, which with its features requires the emergence of high biodiversity. Unlike invertebrates, vertebrates are recorded and partially understood. The national park is covered 171 species of vertebrates without fish, 10 amphibians, 18 reptiles, 124 birds and 19 mammals.
The presence of chamois, lynx and bear the mammals that are rare in other parts of Europe and the great and little cormorant and pelican of birds that naturally inhabit Lake Island Lake and Big City.
For connection to the lake extensive studies have been made in the spring water ecosystem in Monastery St. Naum and noted the presence of some rare species in it.
Currently there are no comprehensive data on the status and size of populations of important species in in Galicica, but generally it can be said that they are in good condition. The exception is the population of Balkan lynx that after a break of 20 years was seen again in the area, but his numbers well below the biological capacity of the space. Also, the more birds there are indications that their populations are significantly reduced compared to the previous period. This is especially true of prey and carrion birds and it is mainly due drastically reduced livestock in the area.

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Feature of the Park
Lynx lynx martinoi or Balkan lynx (Balkanski Ris, Балкански Рис) is an indigenous species which Macedonia is represented with around 30-35 units. Due to the small number and diverse threats that exposed the lynx population, which mostly result from human activities, from July 2006, the Macedonian Ecological Society (MES) began conducting a project to protect the population of the Balkan lynx in Macedonia titled “Program Balkan Lynx Recovery”.

Culture
The park has numerous monuments of great historical and artistic significance that one of the strong reasons for visiting the park. As part of the geographic area, cultural heritage is a picture of the time in which e created. The monuments in the park, despite the size and characterized by great diversity and are therefore divided into several groups: archaeological sites, churches, monasteries, cave churches and monuments.
One of the monuments in the park, after which its meaning is among the most important of its kind not only in the park and the region but also beyond, while strictly protected areas, the island is a “Golem grad” (Large city, Голем Град).

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The group of churches, monasteries, cave churches in the Park registered follow Monuments: monuments from the Byzantine style with paintings of European importance “St. Holy Mary Zaumska ” since 1361. On the church are performed conservation interventions and is in good condition available for visitors. In village Velestovo the church “Virgin Mary” which is from the XV century.
From the cave churches which were placed under protection are: the Church “Virgin Mary” in village Peshtani from the XIV century, the Church “Virgin Mary” in the camping Gradiste, Church “St. Stephen, which comes from the middle of IX century and is with preserved frescoes.
The cave churches that have not been placed under protection are: Church “St. Peter and Paul” on the Prespa Lake, near the border between Macedonia and Albania, the church “St. Petka”, between the village Stenje and village Konjsko Located on the rocks on the shore of Prespa Lake Church “St. Ilija” which is near the village Trpejca XIV century.

For more info on National Park Galicica, visit the official website

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