Hajdučka Vrata – Čvrsnica
Another beautiful mountain in Herzegovina, alongside Prenj, is Čvrsnica.
Due to its height, we often call it the ‘roof’ of Herzegovina.
Čvrsnica is the third largest mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Located in northern Herzegovina, about 60 km from Mostar, near the town of Jablanica, it is part of Dinarides mountain chain. It belongs to municipalities of Jablanica, Posušje, and Mostar. It is also an integral part of Blidinje Nature park – a beautiful vast plain on the height of 1185 meters. Largest mountain lake in the country is also located in Blidinje.
The Popularity of Čvrsnica
Because of the odd beauty of its natural environment, mountain Čvrsnica is one of the regular destinations of hikers from all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but from the region also. The highest peak of Čvrsnica is Pločno – 2228 meters above sea level. Next to it is Veliki Vilinac with 2118 meters. Čvrsnica altogether has more than 10 peaks over 2000 meters. It is surrounded by rivers – Neretva from the east, and its tributaries, Doljanka from the north and Drežanka from the south. From the west the mountains Vran and Dugo Polje field surround it. Neretva river divides it from its ‘fellow’ mountain Prenj.
On the largest part of the climb to the top of the Čvrsnica, peak Pločno, dense pine forest with its enchanting dark green color, is dominating the terrain. Čvrsnica is also a habitat of endemic species of pine ”munika”. After exiting the forest, undergrowth and rocky terrain are taking over the last part of the climb. Čvrsnica is also well known as the home of chamois. Lake Crvenjak on Čvrsnica is the most elevated mountain lake in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Because Čvrsnica was also of military and strategic interest, the military of ex Yugoslavia built its base on Pločno peak. In the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was bombarded and damaged. Part of it is still in use for civil purposes. Telecommunications and TV relays are located there now.
Unique natural phenomenon of Čvrsnica are Hajdučka Vrata (Outlaw’s Gate). They are a remarkable stone circle, formed during thousands of years by wind, rain, sun and other natural conditions. Its beauty and the view from there are simply breathtaking. The legend says that Hajduci proclaimed themselves there, and everyone who passed the gate became bullet proof. Hajduci were an outlaws in the area of Southeastern Europe. Their main enemy was Ottoman state, therefore, they were rebels and fighters for freedom among folk.
A little known fact is that one of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogies was supposed to be filmed on the site of Hajdučka Vrata. That didn’t happen because of the inaccessible terrain.
Due to its aesthetic and ambiance value, Hajdučka Vrata are protected as Natural Monument in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1985.
Panoramic spot Žlijeb is breathtakingly beautiful also. It is located on the edge of the 1800 meters deep canyon of river Diva Grabovica. From there amazing views are spreading all the way to mountains of Prenj and Velež, rivers Neretva and Drežnica…
On Čvrsnica you can also find mountain lodge Vilinac. It is the most elevated mountain lodge from Slovenia all the way to Albania. It is located on 1964 meters above sea level.
Čvrsnica can sometimes be very unpredictable, in one hour wind can bring rain, clouds, fog, and cold. Although rough and with periodically heavy terrain, it is one of the mountains that you need to see especially if you are a mountain lover. We recommend not to climb it on your own but in the company of an experienced guide.
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