A visit to the Riverhead of the Krka River in the Krka National Park is attractive 365 days a year. This entrance of sorts to the northern part of the park is located in Puljane at the Eko campus, which is set to open in April as an education center for children, students, volunteers, and researchers, as well as for those who are interested in getting to know more about the rich natural, cultural and historical heritage of Krka National Park.
Croatian Radio's Tomislav Šikić and Antonija Tomičić recently visited the Eco Campus in Puljane, while works on completing the campus were in full swing. In November of last year, deals valued at 16 million Kuna were signed with contractors, thus initiating the final phase of the construction and equipping of the Krka Eco Campus in Puljane, which falls under the project titled "Unknown Krka - the hidden treasures of the middle and upper stream of the Krka River". Our reporters were greeted at the entrance to the Krka Eco Campus in Puljane by Joško Zaninović, the head of archaeological research at the Burnum site.
"The arrangement of this complex started in 2005 after the Government of the Republic of Croatia awarded this entire military complex to the Krka National Park. The works continued in 2015 when other parts of this complex, such as these buildings were restored. As a result, today there is a two-story archeological collection with contemporary content, interactive content, and a modern restoration workshop with valuable restoration facilities. Most importantly, we have made sure that this museum setup is available to everyone, including people with poor mobility and poor vision, for instance, we have tactile segments for blind visitors, while for those whose movement is restricted, we have an elevator that brings them precisely to the exhibit premises. In this way, we have solved the problem of their active movement through the archaeological collection.
This part of the canyon is perhaps the most interesting part of the Krka canyon, as it has both some of the highest segments along the canyon as well as some of the deepest, all of which gives this part of the canyon a special feeling. It is also home to one of the oldest European hydropower plants, called Miljacka. Built in 1907, it is still in operation to this day. All of these factors have given this area something special, especially the Burnum archaeological site, which has always attracted many curious visitors, including royalty, wishing to see not only the two arches, the portico principia - the entrance into the main command building of the Roman Burnum Military Camp, but also the Manojlovski Waterfall which is actually the highest waterfall on the Krka River.
Works at the Eco campus Krka are in full swing and are largely being financed from European funds. The continuation of the works and the support of the European Union were logical given the goal of completely restoring this site and opening it up to the public. Of course, it is normal for all of us to look forward to the completion of this project, given that we know what it looked like 10 or 15 years ago and what it looks like today. It will finally enjoy its full glory."
The official opening of the Eco Campus is scheduled for the hosting of the second "Krka half-marathon" - an international race through the Krka National Park, which will be held on April 13th of this year. Puljane and the Eco Campus fall within the municipality of Promina. Just how much the Krka National Park and this project means to Promina is explained by Tihomir Budanko, the head of the municipality.
"We enjoy excellent cooperation with the National Park and we are happy to see the parkis being expanded. The center in Puljane is a good tourist destination, which already has an archaeological collection, while a natural history collection is in the works. The National Park also has a nature school, a restaurant, a conference hall, and there are also accommodations, one old building is being completely renovated in a hostel. They also offer apartments and have a small amphitheater within their grounds. Over the next two years, some 80 million Kuna will be invested in the project's completion. The next project for the Krka National Park is the construction of a bridge that should be the third in the world and second in Europe at a length of some 460 or 470 meters. It will rise 140 meters above the Krka, and with a width of 1.6 meters it will allow pedestrians and cyclists to move freely over the river. According to the latest projections, the bridge should bring in an additional 200,000 visitors over the next two years.
The bridge connects two old Croatian medieval fortifications, Nečven of the old Croatian noble family Nelipići, and on the other side with Trošenj, from another old Croatian family, the Šubići. We have an interesting historical story here, one family had good relations with the Venetians, while the other did not, and as a result, there was always friction between them. The site of the future bridge was also the old path for which a toll was paid, which is another interesting historical story.
Additionally, the bridge offers a bit of different content, adrenaline, because it will be something that each visitor will have to see, both as a viewpoint and for the adrenaline rush that is sure to come when crossing the bridge."