Pančić's Peak, during winter
|Elevation||2,017 m (6,617 ft)|
|Coordinates|| / 43.26917; 20.82250 / 43.26917; 20.82250|
IUCN category II (national park)
Kopaonik National Park
|Area||118.1 km (45.6 sq mi)|
Kopaonik (Serbian Cyrillic: Копаоник, is one of the larger mountain ranges of Serbia. It is located in the central part of Serbia. Its highest point, Pančić's Peak, is 2,017 m (6,617 ft) above sea level and is located on the border between the two administrative entities.
Kopaonik is a major ski resort in Serbia, and after Bulgaria's Bansko, the largest in Southeast Europe. There are 25 ski lifts with capacity of 32,000 skiers per hour. A national park spread over 118.1 km (45.6 sq mi) of the central part of the Kopaonik plateau was established in 1981.
Kopaonik is the largest and longest mountain range in Serbia (120 km). It belongs to the region of Raška. The Kopaonik mountain massif (Kopaoničke planine) includes the mountains of Kopaonik, Željin, Goč and Stolovi. Snow exists between November and May, while there are 200 sun days.
Kopaonik has a rich historical heritage. The area was an important mining center in the Middle Ages with a notable Saxon community operating in the area. There was intensive trade with the Republic of Ragusa.
Besides old churches and monasteries like Đurđevi stupovi, Studenica monastery, Sopoćani and Gradac Monastery, there are also several early and medieval fortresses locally, built by Serbian dynasties. The nearest Serbian medieval castle is Maglič.
During World War II the Yugoslav Partisans were active in the region.
With territorial reorganization in the mid-1950s, the southern parts of Kopaonik were to be ceded from NR Serbia to its autonomous province Kosovo and Metohija. In 1959, Leposavić was incorporated into the province.
In 1981, due to its location, climate, rich forests, variety of herbs, and area for holiday and recreation, 12,000 hectares of the range were proclaimed a national park.
Kopaonik's flora has a large number of autochthonous plant species (the Balkan beech, fir, spruce, yew, several kinds of maple, pine and oak). The fauna is also diverse but its concentration varies, depending on the quality of the habitat.
In 1981, due to its location, climate, rich forests, variety of herbs, and area for holiday and recreation, 11,969 ha (29,580 acres) of the range were proclaimed a national park.
Deciduous forests and native coniferous woodland make up most of the forested land in the park. In total, there are 1,600 plant species in the park, out of which 200 grow only on Kopaonik. Special value of Kopaonik in terms of biological diversity is that 11.9% of the high mountain endemic species in the Balkans inhabits the mountain. Endemic species include Kopaonik's houseleek, Kopaonik's violet and Pančić's bittercress.
Kopaonik has many species of birds, such as rock partridge, scops owl, red-backed shrike, and the wood lark.
Soil erosion is a threat as there is a lot of logging and deforestation in the park.
The national park is situated on a relatively flat region, at an altitude of about 1,700 m (5,577 ft). This central Kopaonik plateau is called Suvo Rudište. It is surrounded by mountain peaks. To the north and northwest of this plateau stretches Banjski Kopaonik, which is the location of Jošanička Banja spa, whose strong springs' waters reach the temperature of 88 °C (190 °F). Directly below the Suvo Rudište plateau starts the valley of the Samokovska River, with its steep run, numerous rapids, falls and gorges. Kopaonik has over 200 sunny days annually and over 160 days covered by snow.
|Kopaonik ski resort|
Nebeske Stolice hotel at Kopaonik
|Nearest city||Brus, Serbia|
|Coordinates|| / 43.26917; 20.82250|
|Top elevation||2,017 m|
|Base elevation||1,770 m|
|Skiable area||62 km|
|Longest run||3.5 km|
|Lift system||28 total (8-passenger gondola (u/c), 3 high-speed 6-passenger Superchairs, 7 High-speed quad chairs, 2 double chairs, 11 Surface and 3 kid-surface)|
Kopaonik is the largest centre of winter tourism in Serbia. Sports and recreation are key factors to the tourism of Kopaonik. Kopaonik is mainly a destination for skiing and snowboarding. There are various other activities as well, such as tennis. There are several hotels, cafes, bars and night clubs.
It has 24 ski lifts, with 70 km (43 mi) of ski slopes for all categories. Currently under construction is a gondola that is planned to connect Brzece and the ski resort.
The duration and quality of snowfall and skiing grounds have attracted an increasing number of guests. Kopaonik has mild winters with high levels of snowfall.
There are on average about 200 sunny days annually with 160 days covered with snow. There is also a music Big Snow Festival from March 23 to March 29 every year. The festival gathers international reggae, jazz and electronic music performers. The ski resort has a Snow Park for extreme skiers and snowboarders. The park has expanses of grassland, forests composed of a variety of tree species, beauty spots, and river gorges. The snow blanket lasts a long time on this mountain and there are favorable conditions for the expansion of winter tourism there. The tourist resort on the Kopaonik includes hotels, rest houses, chairlifts, ski slopes, spa's, and other tourist facilities.
Kopaonik is well-connected with the main transport routes in Serbia. The central part of Kopaonik with the tourist center and ski slopes are linked with the Ibar highway, and the nearest international airport is in Niš. A public helioport is located in a military base half a mile north of the resort.
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National parks of Serbia
Geographical regions of Serbia
(*) indicates location within Kosovo