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Tara River – The Pearl of Europe And One Of The Greatest Parks To See In Montenegro

The Montenegrin Colorado is the clearest mountain river in Europe and it is the queen of Montenegrin wilderness that will take your breath away

Tara River / Photo: Nanak26 via Flickr

Tara, although not that long (about 150km), is of an immense value to Montenegro. However, what it lacks in length, Tara makes up with its stunning beauty and flawless cleanliness. Tara is formed beneath the mountain range Komovi by two small rivers i.e. Opasanica and Veruša. It runs through Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina while the last part of it runs along the border between these two countries. Together with river Piva, Tara forms river Drina.

Tara, thanks to its uniqueness is also known as the Pearl of Europe. The emerald green water is so clean that you can drink it freely from any part of the river stream. Most of the river is under UNESCO protection, for it is a part of Durmitor National Park. Tara runs through one of the most beautiful canyons in the whole world.

River Tara Canyon

River Tara Canyon, famous for its emerald green clean water / Photo: SarahTz via Flickr

Tara Canyon is 60 kilometers long, its average depth is 1073 meters, but at one point it is 1333 meters deep, which makes it the deepest canyon in Europe, and second deepest in the world only after Colorado Canyon.

But in comparison to the bleak Colorado Canyon, Tara Canyon is much more beautiful, since it has abundance of evergreen and deciduous flora.

It also has a lot of caves, many of which are not fully explored yet, and there is even some evidence of prehistoric life forms in them. Rafting in the Tara Canyon has become a tourist attraction, since it offers uncontested experience of wonderful nature and thrill.

Đurđević Bridge on Tara

Đurđević Bridge, finished in 1940, but heavily damaged during WWII. Repaired in 1946 / Photo: Groundhopping Merseburg via Flickr

Also, one of the main traits of Tara is the Đurđević Bridge. This extraordinary bridge was constructed back in 1940s. Once completed, it was the biggest road bridge in Europe and one of most grandiose and astonishing structures of this kind in the world. It has five arches, and the main arch is 116 meters long. During the World War II, in order to prevent the enemy forces from entering Montenegro, partisans took down one the arches.

This task was fulfilled by one of the engineers that took part in the construction. The engineer only collapsed the smallest arch, while the rest of the bridge remained intact. He was shot by the Italian forces near the bridge. People living in this area erected a monument in his honor, and this monument is located near the bridge.

Building a dam on Tara river

Major tourist attraction. Rafting on Tara river / Photo: SarahTz via Flickr

In the 2004, the Government of Montenegro announced the idea to flood Tara and build a dam on Drina at Buk Bijela in cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina.  But after public protests and petitions signed by more than ten thousand citizens, they decided to give up on the plan for the time being. One of the main reasons was a scientific study made by 52 globally recognized scientists, and this study claimed that the dam would cause an ecological disaster. As a result of this activity, the Declaration of Preserving river Tara was adopted by the Parliament of Montenegro on 14 December 2004. Nevertheless there are some rumors that the Governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro are still considering this possibility, and that they might build the dam regardless of the public and scientific opinions.

So, if you ever get the opportunity you should check this natural gem out for yourself, and make sure that all these stories about its beauty are true. It will leave you breathless and you will most certainly not regret it.