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Serbia » Srbija | 99 is Tara National Park. The territory of Tara, covering an area of 24,991.82 hectares, gained the status of a national park on13th July 1981. Located in the far west of Serbia, it encompasses the area bordered by the course of the river Drina between the towns of Višegrad and Bajina Bašta. When it comes to elevation, Tara is classified as amedium-highmountain, with an average altitude of 1,000 to 1,200 metres above sea level, while its highest peak is Zborište (at 1,544 m). A typical forested area, in terms of the preservation and diversity of forest ecosystems it ranks among Europe’s richest and most valuable areas of forestland. Tara is dominated by mixed forests of spruce, fir and beech (over 85% of forested areas), and what renders it specific compared toothermountains of the Balkan Peninsula is the large number of endemic forest species and communities that call Tara home. Here special value and importance are attached to the Pančić spruce (Picea omorika), an endemic and relict species that managed to survive the last ice age thanks to the shelter provided by the gorges and deep ravines of the middle course of the Drina. According to the results of research conducted to date, the territory of Tara is home to 59 species of mammals, about 140 species of birds, 12 species of amphibians, 12 species of reptiles and 19 species of fish. Serbia’s largest population of brown bears also lives here, while themost famous local species,which couldbe said tobe a symbol of Tara’s invertebrates, is the Pančić grasshopper (Pyrgomorphulla serbica). The area of the park boasts numerous archaeological sites and culturalmonuments that date fromthe Neolithic period to modern times. The most important monument is RačaMonastery, an endowment of King Dragutin that dates back to the 13th century andwas one of the most important centres of medieval Serbian literacy. Foto: Depositphotos Foto: Depositphotos / Peter Way