Exploring the etymology and historical evolution of settlements within the Plitvice Lakes area reveals a fascinating journey through time and culture.
These names bear witness to the rich scope of human interaction with the region, each name telling a unique story of its origin and transformation. While the names of the lakes have been thoroughly examined and discussed on numerous occasions, we shall now dig into the lesser-explored narratives that lie concealed within the area’s settlements and toponyms.
The origin of the name “Plitvice” holds a remarkable linguistic and historical significance. This name is derived from the adjective “shallow,” used in the context of describing a low water level or a diminished water flow in a riverbed. It encapsulates the unique geographical and hydrological features of the Plitvice Lakes area, where cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and interconnected water bodies create a landscape characterized by varying water depths.
The historical evolution of this toponym further enriches the narrative. Early records mention a related name, “Plitkica,” referring to the Plitvica stream, which flows through the region. Over time, linguistic shifts and the natural progression of language likely led to the simplification of the name into “Plitvica.” This adaptation might have occurred to make the name more accessible and easier to pronounce for the local population, reflecting the organic evolution of language and the way people interact with their surroundings.
Plitvica Selo: It was once called Osredak which means middle because the whole village is settled in the middle of water and the forest.
Plitvički Ljeskovac: The region was once covered by an extensive forest of hazel trees that had to be cleared to make way for settlement.
Babin potok: It literally means The Old Woman’s Stream.
Rastovača: It is named after oak trees.
Mukinje: It is named after whitebeam tree.
Jezerce: It got name from a lake that once existed in that area.
Brezovačko polje: It is named after birch tree.
Many places are named after families who lived there a long time ago: Drakulić – Drakulić rijeka, Čorak – Čorkova uvala, Rodić – Rodić Poljana, Biga – Bigina Poljana, Čudić – Čudin klanac, Šijan – Šijanov klanac, Končar – Končarev kraj, Sertić – Sertić Poljana.
SOURCE: NP Plitvice lakes