Plitvice Lakes National Park (Nacionalni park Plitvička jezera) in Croatia is one of the most beautiful natural sights in Europe. Due to its beauty and significance, this system of 16 interlinked lakes and a large forest complex around it were set aside as a national park in 1949. In 1979 the park was inscribed on the WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage Site List. Many Germans will recognize features of the park, as many of the Karl May Westerns were shot here.
Humans have inhabited the Plitvice Lakes area for thousands of years. It was settled in turn by Illyrians, Thracians, Celts, Japods, Romans, Avars, Slavs and Turks. The area fell to the Ottomans in 1528, and was retaken by the Austrian Empire 150 years later. The Austrians incorporated it into their Military Frontier and, in addition to the native Croats who already inhabited the region, Serbs who had fled Ottoman repression settled there.