Zaovine Lake
Zaovine Lake is an artificial lake in central-west Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, on the Tara Mountain
Tara Mountain
Tara , is a mountain located in western Serbia. It is part of Dinaric Alps and stands at 1,000-1,500 metres above sea level. The mountain's slopes are clad in dense forests with numerous high-altitude clearings and meadows, steep cliffs, deep ravines carved by the nearby Drina River and many karst,...

. It was created on the Beli Rzav river as a reservoir
A reservoir , artificial lake or dam is used to store water.Reservoirs may be created in river valleys by the construction of a dam or may be built by excavation in the ground or by conventional construction techniques such as brickwork or cast concrete.The term reservoir may also be used to...

 for the Bajina Bašta II reversible hydro power plant.


Zaovine Lake is located on the southern slopes of the Tara Mountain, in the direction of the Zvijezda mountain, which marks the border between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

. It spreads out between the villages of Zaovine
Zaovine is a village in the municipality of Bajina Bašta, Serbia. According to the 2002 census, the village has a population of 442 people.-References:...

 to the south-west and Mitrovac
Mitrovac is a village located on the Tara Mountain, in the Bajina Bašta municipality. The village has a recreation centre, and is home to several hotel facilities, esp. for young students....

, major tourist resort on Tara, to the north-east.


Zaovine Lake was created between 1981 and 83. The Beli Rzav river, one of tributaries of the Rzav
Rzav (Zlatibor)
The Rzav is a river in western Serbia and eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The 72 km long right tributary to the Drina river, it originates from two headstreams, the Crni Rzav and the Beli Rzav...

 river, was dammed with a 125 metres (410.1 ft) high dam and an artificial lake was created as the reservoir for the Bajina Bašta II reversible hydroelectrical power plant (630 MW). It is connected to the Drina
The Drina is a 346 kilometer long river, which forms most of the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. It is the longest tributary of the Sava River and the longest karst river in the Dinaric Alps which belongs to the Danube river watershed...

 river. Vežanje, the central hamlet of the village of Zaovine and which gave name to the lake, was flooded by the reservoir.


The lake covers an area of 15 square kilometres (5.8 sq mi) and has five branches. When the Drina river has a high water level or during the rainy seasons, water from the Drina is pumped into the Zaovine Lake through an 8 kilometres (5 mi) pipeline. During converse conditions, water runs back from the Zaovine Lake into the Drina, producing electricity by turning the turbines inside the pipeline. There are also five mini-lakes in the area (Spajića, Malo Zaovinsko, etc.) from which the water is also pumped into Zaovine Lake. The road connecting Zaovine and Mitrovac bounds the northern side of the lake. The shores of the lake are seeing increasing numbers of visitors, fishermen and campers as summer house
Summer house
A summer house or summerhouse has traditionally referred to a building or shelter used for relaxation in warm weather. This would often take the form of a small, roofed building on the grounds of a larger one, but could also be built in a garden or park, often designed to provide cool shady places...

s are being built.


The entire lake lies in the Tara National Park, one of five in Serbia. The lake is surrounded by vast woods as forestation of Tara mountain is 75%. Zaovine is the area where Josif Pančić
Josif Pancic
Josif Pančić OSS was a Serbian botanist. He was a famous lecturer at the Great School in Belgrade and the first president of the Serbian Royal Academy. Pančić is credited for discovering the new species of coniferthe Serbian Spruce.-Biography:...

, a leading Serbian botanist, discovered the endemic Serbian spruce
Serbian Spruce
Picea omorika is a rare, local spruce, endemic to the Drina River valley in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina near Višegrad and western Serbia, with a total range of only about 60 ha, between 800–1,600 m altitude...

 in 1875 on the nearby Kik hill. The hill was destroyed in the early 1980s and material was used for building the dam that created Zaovine Lake. There are over 600 plant species in the area surrounding the lake, of which 15 are protected by law, including the Serbian spurce and edelweiss
Edelweiss , Leontopodium alpinum, is a well-known European mountain flower, belonging to the sunflower family.-Names:The common name comes from German edel, meaning "noble", and weiß "white", thus signifying "noble whiteness".The scientific name Leontopodium is a Latin adaptation of Greek...

. Wildlife include chamois
The chamois, Rupicapra rupicapra, is a goat-antelope species native to mountains in Europe, including the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, the European Alps, the Tatra Mountains, the Balkans, parts of Turkey, and the Caucasus. The chamois has also been introduced to the South Island of New Zealand...

 and 14 species of fish living in the lake, including nase
The Common Nase is a potamodromous fish found in the basins of the Meuse, Rhine and Danube rivers. It is often simply called "the nase", but that can refer to any species of its genus Chondrostoma. Another local name is sneep....

, rainbow trout
Rainbow trout
The rainbow trout is a species of salmonid native to tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America. The steelhead is a sea run rainbow trout usually returning to freshwater to spawn after 2 to 3 years at sea. In other words, rainbow trout and steelhead trout are the same species....

, European chub
European chub
The European chub , sometimes called the round chub, fat chub, chevin, pollard or simply "the" chub, is a freshwater fish of the family Cyprinidae...

 and Danube Roach
Danube Roach
The Danube Roach is a species of ray-finned fish in the Cyprinidae family.It is found in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Ukraine.-Source:...

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