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  28.08.2015, 08:48h

Exhibition about the history of industrial architecture on the Krka River

On the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the first hydroelectric power plant on the Krka River, the Krka National Park has opened an exhibition about the history of industrial architecture on the Krka River.

This permanent display was opened on Friday, the 18th of August at 6 pm in the water-driven mill at Skradinski Buk Cascades. The exhibition has been created in cooperation with the State Archives in Šibenik, and contains archival photographs, plans, explanatory models, and old documents collected from State Archives throughout Croatia and from the private collection of the Šupuk family. Visitors will be able to see a very detailed model reconstructing the original hydroelectric plant on the Krka, as well as original plans for electric plants as yet unknown to the public, including some that were never actually built: on the right bank of the Skradinski Buk Cascades and at the Bilušić waterfall.

The exhibition was opened on a very important historical day, when the Krka Hydroelectric Plant first started work on the 18th of August 1895, only two days after the first electric generating plant at Niagara Falls, with the first transmission of alternating current at a significant distance in Croatia. Thanks to its builders, the mayor of Šibenik Ante Šupuk and the councilman Vjekoslav Meichsner, Šibenik received electric lighting before many other European cities. The construction of the complete system of the production, transmission, and distribution of polyphase alternating current, which consisted of the hydroelectric plant on the Krka River at the Skradinski Buk Cascades, power lines from the Krka River to Šibenik, and further to consumers in Šibenik, was a venture by a true visionary and exceptional individual of his time, Ante Šupuka, who should be proudly remembered and presented to one and all.

The water power of the Krka River was utilized for another three hydroelectric plants built at the beginning of the 20th century. Even today, they still produce electricity and are a part of the unified electrical system of the Republic of Croatia. The Krka National Park is proud of its diverse cultural and historical heritage, which includes the facilities where man transformed the power of water into something useful – first for mills, and then for industrial plants. However, in considering the future and sustainable development in the Krka National Park, the priority remains the protection of nature and the preservation of the ecosystem of the Krka River.