Medvednica is a mountain in central Croatia, just north
of Zagreb and marking
the southern border of the historic region of Zagorje.
Nature park Medvednica
highest peak, at 1,033 m, is Sljeme
name often used to refer to the entire mountain.
Medvednica can be translated as "bear
mountain", and there are other toponyms on the mountain using the
kajkavian dialect term
medved (bear, standard
Croatian "medvjed"), notably Medvedgrad, a medieval castle on its southwestern
Most of the area of Medvednica is a nature
), a type of preservation lesser
than a national park. The area of the park is 228.26 square
kilometers. About 63% is covered with forest.
There is a winter sports center on the northern slopes towards
Sljeme. The center has hosted four women's FIS World Cup slalom
races, in January 2005, January 2006, January
2007, and February 2008 known as the Snow Queen Trophy. It has also
hosted one men's FIS
World Cup slalom
race in February 2008. In 2009, the FIS World Cup slalom
races will be held on the 4th and 6th of
The winter sports center consists of one chairlift
for three persons and two T-bar lifts
. Equipment for producing artificial snow
has been added, and because
of that the skiing season has been prolonged to more than four
There are three ways to reach the mountain: by car, on foot (there
are numerous mountain paths) or by gondola
, which starts from the Gračani
neighborhood. The cable car
has run since
1963, and takes four people, with a 23 minute journey time.
On Medvednica there are dozen of mountain
for traditional one-day trips in the mountain.
its proximity to Zagreb, Medvednica
has many visitors, especially during weekends.
most popular sites is the Veternica cave with a 2,622 meters long
on the Medvednica mountain is
typical for Central European mountain ranges. The average annual
precipitation is around 1300 mm (Zagreb - Grič 840 mm), also the
reason for rich spring wells everywhere. The average annual
temperature is around 7ºC (Zagreb 12ºC). There is a snow cover
approximately for 100 days in a year, the thickest being in
February. The skiing slopes are also covered with artificial snow
when necessary. There is much more sunshine during the winter on
Medvednica than in Zagreb or Zagorje, so it is not surprising that
winter is the most visited season on the Medvednica mountain.
Medvednica, in comparison to surrounding lowland area, behaves as
an «island» in its climate characteristics, with more
precipitation, lower temperatures, duration and quantity of snow
cover. Medvednica area is located in temperature zone where air
temperature decreases for 0.5°C for every 100 meters elevation.
According to characteristics of annual rate of precipitation,
Medvednica is characterized with continental precipitation regime
with maximal precipitation during the warm part of the year (IV-IX
Relative air moisture is largest during the cold part of the year,
and generally is larger on stations with higher altitude because of
lower temperatures, but luxuriant vegetation.
During summer one can find pleasant refreshment on Medvednica.
During winter temperature inversion is sometimes present.
Anticyclone forms above the cold continent during winter. When its
center is close, in Zagreb it is cold and gloomy, and on Sljeme it
is warmer. Mean annual air temperature on Medvednica is 6.2°C, and
in Zagreb 11.4°C. Mean temperature in summer months is on average
6°C lower than it is in Zagreb.
On average there are 15 days with temperature below –10°C, 8 days a
year have average daily maximum higher than 25°C, and only one day
above 30°C. The coldest month is January with mean monthly air
The warmest month is July with average temperature 15.2°C.
Insolation is much bigger than the one in Zagreb , about 100 hours
annually. This difference is present during the colder period of
the year, from October to March, when there is more fog in Zagreb .
More clear skies on Medvednica than in the city are a good reason
for pleasant winter excursions.
Annual precipitation on Medvednica is about 50% higher in
comparison to Zagreb ( Zagreb 844 mm, Sljeme 1238 mm, Kraljičin
zdenac 1159 mm, Faculty goods 1142 mm). Average number of days with
hoar is 40 ( Zagreb 4). Mean annual number of days with snowfall on
the top of Medvednica is 54 days. Snow most usually falls in
January and February.
Number of days with strong wind is 91 ( Zagreb 26), and they are
more frequent during the cold part of the year, and the number of
days with storm wind is 21 ( Zagreb 2), also during the cold part
of the year.
Number of days with relative moisture above 80% is greatest on
Puntijarka (158 days annually), and it decreases with the decrease
in elevation, for example on station Zagreb-Grič it is 67 days
On all stations the most thunderstorm days are in the warm part of
the year (from April to September), when they are often connected
to showers. The most thunderstorm days occur in June (Puntijarka
Forests of Medvednica have been heavily stricken by a catastrophic
ice break which devastated forests (mainly beech) in November 1980,
and later, in February 1983 large devastations occurred as a result
of strong wing (large damage on fir). Effects of such a strong wind
can still be seen in the area of Adolfovac.
The most recent climatologic data are taken from a report "Regional
plan for area with special characteristic in Nature Park Medvednica
– Starting points and goals of regional planning. Concept, Zagreb,
Views of Medvednica
treesImage:Medvednica6.jpg|Medvednica ski map