Mavrovo Lake - calmly rests in the famous national park
Mavrovo Lake is an artificial lake in the northwestern part of Macedonia at 1,200 m above sea level. Above the lake, high deciduous and coniferous forests are rising on all sides, which are reflected in the clear lake water. They give it a special beauty and appearance. It is bordered to the south by Bistra, to the north by Shar Planina and to the east by the slope Vlajnica. Until 1947, at the site of today's Mavrovo Lake, there was the Mavrovo Basin through which the Mavrovo River flowed. Then the way to Radika of the river was closed at the exit of the valley with a large earthen dam. Thus the valley began to be filled with water, and in its place the Mavrovo Lake was created.
The newly created lake flooded 1,370 hectares of land in the Mavrovo Field then, mostly under meadows, and accumulates about 357 million cubic meters of water. Mavrovo Lake is 10 km long and 5 to 3 km wide. The maximum depth of 50 m is reached near the dam which is 54 m high, 210 m long and 5 m wide. Today the lake, except with smaller tributaries, is filled with water from the river Radika. In winter, the lake freezes every year. Mavrovo Lake is stocked with trout and other fish, and its surroundings is rich in diverse game. Above the lake, high deciduous and coniferous forests are rising on all sides, which are reflected in the clear lake water. They give it a special beauty and appearance. Water is mainly used for the production of electricity, tourism and recreation, fishing and fish farming.
Submerged church "St. Nikola" in Mavrovo Lake
There are many places from where one can have an incredible view of the Mavrovo Lake. From the ski slopes, for example or from the road leading to Galichnik. One of the most impressive things that will leave you breathless is the submerged church in the lake itself. Only a small part of the roof and the bell tower are seen from the lake. This church is one of the most spectacular sights in this region, which is worth seeing. The church "St. Nikola" in Mavrovo was built in 1850, and was in excellent condition for 103 years. Then it was decided that the site needed an artificial lake. The lake was needed to power the electricity plant. At the time when the Mavrovo Lake was created, many parts of the old villages that were there were sunk. Among these buildings was this church. What is mysterious here is that only the church rises again, while other buildings are destroyed.
The phenomenon, the saint or God's will does not allow it to disappear into the depths of the lake. She keeps coming out of the water, and people explain it by proclaiming it a sacred place. Rarely one has the opportunity to visit the interior of the church "St. Nikola " in Mavrovo because most of the year it is under water. Only at rare moments when the lake is pulled one can enter inside the church, which the renowned United States "Huffington Post" put at the top of the list of the most beautiful abandoned churches in the world.
Tourism at the Mavrovo Lake
Mavrovo is a real challenge for every lover of nature. The green shades of Bistra, the sharp air, the silence, the lake shore, the water, all this is a sufficient incentive to visit Mavrovo and enjoy its surroundings. If you only want to make a picnic, you can found a place around the lake and camp there. The most popular places around the Mavrovo Lake are the places of Crn Kamen, Krstovi, Leunovo, Nikiforovo, which are recommended for larger groups of hikers, but every other corner that you choose yourself is also suitable. If you miss mountain climbing, you may well follow the shepherd's way and make a picnic in some of the surrounding villages, where you will find warm welcome and wonderful rural specialties.
In the villages that are located near the Mavrovo Lake, weekend settlements have been built. The owners of the houses use every free moment to visit the beautiful Mavrovo and get rid of everyday obligations and stresses caused at the workplace. A real paradise – place for relaxation. Although the Mavrovo lake is among the artificial lakes, it simply captivates by its beauty and fits perfectly into the mosaic of the landscapes of the national park. Except for fishing that is great for pleasure, this mountainous place offers you a great opportunity for long walks and camping. Around the Mavrovo Lake passes an asphalt road that you can use for a tour and visit to the ski slopes, but also the surrounding villages.
More information about Mavrovo Lake can be found on this website.