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Krupa Canyon – The land of Turquoise Waters and Barren Land

Krupa canyon – the hidden beauty of the Zadar region. Some beauties are well hidden. The beauties you must seek to find. And it is worth it.

Watermill on Kupa Kanyon
Watermill on Kupa Kanyon

Only a generation or two ago, people lived in close touch with nature. Yes, it’s true! Such a strange concept nowadays, but nature used to determine the lives of all those who came before us.

Our grannies can tell us all about it. Or we can choose to see it ourselves.

But, to take a closer look at men teaming up with nature… to provide genuine happiness and prosperity for all… one has to leave the cities and escape the spectacle of well-advertised tourist points.

Krupa canyon - Turn off the main roads for only a couple of miles and the past times will spread before your eyes

In just 30 minutes driving from the centre of Zadar, you can find a place like that. Place of exceptional beauty where men managed to take advantage of what nature had to give. And still, coexist in harmony.

Before the asphalt roads were built, Krupa canyon, at places 300 meters deep, wasn’t easy to approach.

However, the river was feeding people of Bukovica (the name of the wider area) for centuries. Thanks to the watermills built down the stream.

Krupa Canyon: People were thankful. No one complained. And so they were allowed to stay and enjoy the beauty extraordinaire.

The river flows for 11 kilometres, breaking its way through the karst, until it finally surrenders its waters to the river of Zrmanja, heading towards the sea.

Crystal clear waters of Krupa turn the surrounding soil into fertile ground.

Quite surreal is the contrast between the barren karst of the canyon above the river, and the blue-green fertility prevailing its bottom.

Kupa River
Kupa River

There are 8 watermills along the Krupa canyon.

Watermills were milling for the people of Bukovica for centuries. Until they were replaced with electricity.

Eight watermills of Krupa have surely seen better days. Some of them have been renewed, but others are shamefully neglected.
Nature is a fast eraser. If we don’t conserve the artefacts of the past, they disappear fast.

That’s why a visit to Krupa canyon is an experience no price can be charged for.

The watermills tell stories blurred with local beliefs and romance.

Such is the story of Kudo’s Bridge.

Kudo was a boy who fell in love with a girl on the other side of the river. He could cross the river, but the girl couldn’t. So, he built her the bridge and took her hand.

Or the story of The Neck-breaker.

A boy and a girl fell in love, again. But, this time they were singing to each other, from the opposite cliffs. Their parents disapproved their love, so the lovers jumped from the cliffs, only to finally meet, after they’re dead, in the waters of Krupa canyon.

Kupa River in Spring
Kupa River in Spring

And finally, there is the story of Babo’s Town.

A fortress, actually, built at the rock face of the canyon.

Babo was a Turkish soldier who fell in love with a local girl. She loved him back, so Babo took the girl home to be his wife. Not long after, she died. And Babo came back to the canyon and built a fortress there. When the building was finished, he entered, locked himself in, and never came out again.
Now, it’s Babo’s Town.

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Stories like these, still echo through the Krupa canyon. Stories of love, with no grace in it. Only hard life & tuff choices. That’s what life is like, in a canyon.

Your CTC Team, I.K.

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