Nature monument Cetina River Springs

About the site

Vukovića vrilo Spomenik prirode Vrela rijeke Cetine

CATEGORY OF PROTECTION: hydrological nature monument

YEAR OF PROTECTION: 1972

SURFACE AREA: 2,13 ha

POSITION: municipality of Civljani – about six kilometres northeast of the settlement of Civljani

The Cetina River Springs and the first 200 metres of the water course are made up of several springs that are upwellings of isolated underground streams of the Dinaric massif, which well up to the surface where they meet up with the impermeable marl. There are three main springs: Cetina vrilo, Wolfovića vrilo and Batića vrilo. The springs lie at the foot of the Dinaric massif, at an average altitude of 380 m, in the northwestern part of the Cetina field near to Vrlika. In addition to their scientific importance, the springs also have great aesthetic value and are among the loveliest karst springs in Croatia. The Cetina spring is a submerged speleological structure that has been investigated to a depth of 150 m. About 600 m north of the spring and at an altitude of 430 m, in the village of Milaši, is the cave Gospodska pećina, which was explored and described by Croatia’s first speleologist, Ivan Lovrić (of Sinj). To date, it has been explored to a length of about 2800 m. Remnants of stone and flint tools from the Neolithic age, fragments of ceramic pots and bones of the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) from the Pleistocene have been found in the cave.

Three fish species that are included in the Red Book of Freshwater Fish of Croatia live in the cold waters of the Cetina vrilo spring

Near to the springs are the ruins of the Early Croatian Church of the Holy Salvation from the 9th century. The church was an important pre-Romanesque structure, with the oldest bell tower in Croatia. The largest investigated necropolis, with more than a thousand graves, surrounds the church, and many important archaeological finds have been discovered within.