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Prokletije

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Template:Geobox Prokletije or North Albanian Alps, sometimes known as the Accursed Mountains, is a mountain range in the Balkans that extends from northern Albania and eastern Montenegro to north-western Kosovo[a]. Its highest point, Jezercë in Albania at 2,694 m (8,839 ft), is the tallest peak in the entire Dinaric Alps. Other peaks include Đeravica in Kosovo at 2,656 m (8,714 ft).

Both the highest peak in Montenegro, Zla Kolata at 2,534m and Kosovo, Deravica at 2,656m are located here. The highest peak in Albania though is Mount Korab which is 2,764 m (9,068 ft) high and is located in the east of the country on the border with Macedonia.

In Albanian the range is called Bjeshkët e Nemuna, meaning 'The Cursed Mountains', or Alpet Shqiptare, meaning 'Albanian Alps'. In Montenegrin and Serbian it is called Prokletije (Проклетије), literally 'The Damned' (plural). Although it does not contain any permanent glacials, signs or glacial erosion can be seen in every valley. The largest glacial in the Balkans was located in the Prokletije range.

GeographyEdit

File:Jezerca Massive.jpg
Maja Jezercë in Albania, the highest peak of the entire Dinaric Alps.
File:Bogë.jpg
The holiday resort village of Bogë in Kosovo
File:Kopranik.jpg
Part of Kopraniks large wall which also forms part of the Rugova Canyon.

The Prokletije mountain range is located in the west of the Balkans. It occupies the north of Albania, west of Kosovo and the east of Montenegro. It is a subrange or part of the 1,000 km (621 mi) long Dinaric Alps. It is the most southern part of the Dinaric Alps and also contains the highest peaks. The 450 m (1,476 ft) high fertile Metohija valley in Kosovo borders it to its east. The larget lake in the Balkans, Lake Scutari is not far from the Prokletije only being a few kilometers south-west of it.

The Prokletije range was formed by the folding actions of the African Plate which lies under the European one. Nowhere in the Balkans have glaciers left so much evidence of erosion. After the Alps these mountains are the most glacial in Europe. They have very steep slopes made out of limestone and are the most karstic mountains in the Balkans. The Prokletije range is surely one of the ranges in Europe which has not been explored entirely.

The Prokletije mountains because of their steepness are not settled by many people. Instead small villages are located in the valleys while the largest of settlements are situated on the slopes of the mountains. The largest settlement is Peć in Kosovo located at the entrance of the Rugova Canyon. It has a population of 81,000 inhabitants.

Settlements of the Prokletije

HistoryEdit

File:Illyrians.jpg
Ancient Illyria

In antiquity between 2000BC and 1000BC the Prokletije range aswell as the entire Dinaric Alps were first settled by the Illyrians. Their kingdom, Illyria which stretched through the western Balkans also included the Prokletije. The capital city Shkodra in modern day Albania was only a few kilometers south-west of the mountains. When the Romans conquered Illyria in 165 BC the mountains in Prokletije offered the Illyrians shelter and a safe place to keep their culture, traditions, customs and language alive.[citation needed] From then on the Prokletije was a part of the Byzantine Empire, Serbia and the Ottoman Empire.

Early AscentsEdit

In the year 1929 British climbers Sleeman, Elmalie and Ellwood reached the summit of Maja Jezercë on the 26th of July. These three climbers were the first to do so. Years later Austrian mountaineers scaled the summit too. Many explorers and scientists visited the Prokletije mountains collecting rocks and samples and then displayed them in museums, all of them bringing comments back.

Before any of these expeditions took place the highest peak of the range was believed to be Shkëlzen at 2,407 m (7,897 ft) high and then Maja Radohimës at 2,570 m (8,432 ft) high. By early summer 1929 all the summits were measured by Italian geodets.

Canyons and ValleysEdit

File:Cemi i Nikçit.jpg
Valley of Cemi i Nikçit in northern Albania
File:Valbona Valley.jpg
Valbona Valley

The Prokletije mountains being eroded and cut through by many glaciers have left many features behind to tell their tale. Deep river canyons and flat valleys are found winding their way around the ridges of the mountains. The largest and most popular canyon is Rugova Canyon. It is situated in Kosovo and is 25 km (16 mi) long from the border with Montenegro up to the city of Peć and is 1,000 m (3,281 ft) deep. It consists of very steep mountain slopes on both sides. Valleys are not just found on flat ground bordering mountains but also near the summits of mountains. The most known valley to be located high up on mountains is 'Buni Jezerce' in Albania. Buni Jezerce means Valley of the Lakes and it is probably why it contains 6 small glacial lakes the biggest of whom is Big lake of Buni Jezerce.

File:Rugova1.jpg
Rugova Canyon

Canyons in Prokletije

Valleys in Prokletije

  • Valbona Valley
  • Thethi Valley
  • Ropojona Valley
  • Gerbja Valley
  • Buni Jezerce
  • Cemi i Nikçit Valley
  • Vërmosh Valley

LakesEdit

File:Lake Plav3.JPG
Lake Plav in Montenegro.
File:Buni i Jezerce.jpg
One of the 7 lakes of the Buni i Jezerce Valley

Prokletije contains many beautiful lakes which are popular tourist attractions. In fact Prokletije falls in second place just behind the Alps as the range that has the most lakes.

Lakes in the range listed by size:

RiversEdit

File:Grunas.jpg
Grunas waterfall in the Thethi valley in Albania

Prokletije has many rivers that originate on its many mountains. The majority of the rivers flow in the Adriatic Sea in Albania but some flow all the way into the Black Sea. Rivers here are fast flowing and crystal clear. The longest river is the White Drin which originates in Kosovo. It flows into the Drin in Albania and when measured from its origin up to the Drin's mouth it is 335 km (208 mi) long. Although the Pećka Bistrica in Kosovo is short it is very powerful and has carved the impressive Rugova Canyon which is up to 25 km (16 mi) long and 1,000 m (3,281 ft) deep.

River in the Prokletije


Waterfalls are also found in some parts of the range. Some are just being discovered for example a small waterfall was only discoverd in 2008 in Albania. The largest waterfalls always attract the most visitors.

The White Drin Waterfall in Kosovo is a large waterfall reaching a height of 25 m (82 ft). Beacause it is not far from the city of Peć it is not hard to get there it is visited by many visitors. The Grunas Waterfall in Albania is 30 m (98 ft) in height and is located in the Thethi National Park. Its waters are clear beacause not much volume of water falls down.

Fauna & FloraEdit

File:Lynx lynx poing.jpg
Lynxs are one of the largest predators which are found mostly in Albania

Because of Prokletije's lush and high forests this place is ideal for animal life. The fast flowing streams and rivers are perfect habitat for many fish species and the predators that prey on them. Its rugged slopes and steep forests make Prokletije home to large predators and rare mammal species. Around 2,000 plant species are found in the range and two dozen or so are flora endemics. So far 140 species of butterflies are found which makes Prokletije the richest area in Europe for butterflies. Many caves in the Prokletije are home to many species of bats and other cave dwelling species.

List of Animals in Prokletije

National ParksEdit

File:Theth Radohima MajaArapit.jpg
Thethi National Park

Two national parks exist in Prokletije and both are found in Albania. The 'Thethi National Park' covers an area of 2,630 hectares and is located along the Thethi River. Trout are abundant here. The main attraction in the park is the Grunas Waterfall. The 'Valbona Valley National Park' is 8,000 hectares and is also called the Gem of Albania. It consists of the Valbona Valley and the Valbona River which is known for its crystal clear waters.

The proposed triboundry Prokletije National Park has not been created jet but it may have a bright future.

Highest peaksEdit

File:Maja Stogut.jpg
The impressive pillar of Maja Stogut at 2,264m in Albania

Peaks over 2,600 m (8,530 ft)

Peaks over 2,500 m (8,202 ft)

Peaks over 2,400 m (7,874 ft)

Peaks under 2,400 m (7,874 ft)

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

Notes:

a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008, while Serbia claims it as part of its own sovereign territory.That is why we started this kosovo.wikia.com wiki so that we dont have the serbs pushing that POV on us.

References:

External linksEdit


bg:Албански Алпи

cs:Prokletije de:Prokletije es:Montes Prokletije fr:Prokletije hr:Prokletije it:Prokletije no:De fordømte fjellene nn:Prokletije pl:Góry Północnoalbańskie ru:Северо-Албанские Альпы sq:Bjeshkët e Nemuna sr:Проклетије sv:Prokletije

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