Der Nationalpark Paklenica ist ein Nationalpark im Velebit-Gebirgsmassiv 40 km nördlich der Stadt Zadar an der kroatischen Adria und ca. 1 km entfernt von Starigrad-Paklenica. Er wurde bereits im Jahre 1949 zum Nationalpark erklärt. ''Paklenica'' bedeutet im Kroatischen „kleine Hölle“
The Paklenica karst river canyon is a national park in Croatia. It is located in Starigrad, northern Dalmatia, at the southern slopes of Velebit mountain, not far from Zadar. It has two canyons: Mala (Small) and Velika (Big) Paklenica. Today there is no water flowing throughout Mala Paklenica. Near the entrance into the Velika Paklenica there is an artificial basement/cave complex that had been built for Josip Broz Tito during the tension between Yugoslavia and the USSR in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The area of South Velebit has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It is believed that, during the last ice age, the area was probably inhabited by small groups of Paleolithic hunters/collectors, like elsewhere in the Mediterranean. The sea level must have been 120 lower than today at the time, and Velebit Channel was a wide valley with a river flowing through it. The highest parts of Velebit were covered with glaciers. When the sea level began to rise in the late ice age, people moved to higher, hilly areas. The earliest records of humans in Velebit – Mesolithic flint tools found in Vaganačka Cave under Veliko Rujno- date back to this era.
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