Karuč - About place

Skadar Lake is the biggest lake in the Balkans. It extends on about 530kmsq, of which 2/3 belong to Montenegro and the rest to Albania. In 1983 it was declared National park. So far there have been registered 281 types of birds and about 50 kinds of fish. It represents the most valuable ornithological object in Montenegro and as such, it is best explored by cruising. The lake itself is a crypto depression, which means its biggest part is under sea level. In 1995, it was designated as a wetland of international importance by Ramsar Convention.

Besides enjoying natural beauty of the lake and its coast covered with cane and yellow water lily, there can also be seen flocks of water birds. Nearby Karuč, a fishing settlement where cruising starts, there is a sunk ship named “Skender-beg”, the biggest steam boat that cruised around Skadar Lake in the time of the Kingdom of Montenegro. During the cruise, many fishing villages are passed by, and some of the largest are Dodoši and Prevlaka.

Visitors will also be able to see the biggest Montenegrin island Ondrinska gora, and also Monastery Kom, built on a small island with the same name between 1415 and 1427, a branch of Ondrinska gora. It is best to be visited in summer when water level allows it. It represents a legacy of Đurađ and Alexa Crnojević. In 1831, Njegoš was ordained to archimandrite, and Ivan Crnojević’s parents were also buried there. The monastery complex, which comprises the remains of residence and the Church of Holy Assumption of Mother of God, is surrounded with stone walls with two gates where the lake is reached by steps.

Besides many cultural monuments south from Gornje blato, there is Žabljak Crnojevića, that was the first capital centre of former ruler of Zeta, Ivan Crnojević (1465-1490), in the 15th century. Inside the walls of this medieval town there was the Crnojevićs’ court, a church devoted to Saint Đorđe, a rainwater tank and other buildings of economic, military and dwelling character. It is protected as the first category monument.

In addition that Skadar Lake was an important transition trade area in Old Montenegro, where lake traffic started, there may be seen many types of birds in its wild swampy areas. The colonies of small and big cormorant, heron, white beard tern, grebe and pelicans distinguish. For its warm water, it serves as a trout hatchery. It is also home for endemic fish species - bleak and carp, and kasoronja - lake megnut, the plant that grows only in its water. It is adorned by two kinds of yellow water lily giving the lake a charming and unique look.