Plitvice Lakes are the largest, oldest (since 1949) and most visited Croatian national park. This Park has been on the UNESCO World Natural Heritage list since 1979 and is among the first listed in the world. According to legend the lakes were created after a long drought. People were praying for some water. And so the days passed... After a while the Black Queen passed this area, took pity on the people and gave them rain that was falling until the lakes were formed. It is believed that the park was named after a small river Plitvice, which flows into the lake. The second part of the name refers to the lakes, 16 of them, to be precise. Twelve upper lakes gradually spill in the remaining 4 lower ones. One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Plitvice is called the "Milka Trnina waterfall" for a Croatian opera prima donna. The park is located in the mountainous part of Croatia. The mountains greatly affect the climate and rich forest flora and fauna. Forest areas cover ¾ of the total park area. It is richest in beech, fir, willow, alder, hornbeam, Scots pine, and spruce trees So far 114 caves and around 1300 plant species have been registered at the park area. The park’s mascot is a bear, although there are many animals there; wolves, deer, roe deer, wild cats, lynx, otters, martens, wild boars, river and brook crabs, and butterflies. Today, Plitvice Lakes are on numerous lists as a place that should be visited. According to Lonely Planet, this is one of 10 landscapes that will leave you breathless.