Serbian Cultural Heritage

Mt. Šara National Park

Mountain Šara National Park is a national park on Serbia’s southern border. Its present-day name derives from the Serbian word “šareno“ (colorful) – a testament to the magnificence of its alpine landscapes and the range of vivid colors it displays. It covers 53,272 hectares (532.72 km2), centered on the northern Šara Mountains, a mountain range which also extends into northeastern Albania and northwestern North Macedonia. It was declared a national park in 1986. Biogeographically and ecologically, the Šara National Park represents one of the most important protected areas in the Serbia. More than 1500 vascular plant species, of which about 20% are endemic and relict Balkan species, are distributed in the Šara National Park. Vegetation and ecosystems are highly diversified; from sub-Mediterranean communities at the foothill of the mountain to the subalpine forests of endemic Balkan pine (Pinus heldfreichii and P. peuce) up to the highest mountain summits covered by various shrubby and grassland communities on siliceous, limestone and serpentine bedrock. Fauna also, especially ornithofauna, is the richest in numerous rare bird, on the whole Balkan Peninsula. Biogeographical coordinates: Mountain Šara belongs to the transitional zone between the Meaian, east Illyrian and Scardo-Pindian subregions of the Central European region. The high parts of the massif have transitional characteristics of the Alpine and oro-Mediterranean regions.