Dno vrtače s lokvom (Foto: Marko Randić)

Kapitov Dol

Priroda Gea, Interesting facts

At the bottom of Kapitov Dol, the loveliest karst sinkhole in Viškovo Municipality, lies Kapitovac, a pond (kalić, in the local dialect) that never runs dry. Once a vital element of the area’s water supply, today it is important in terms of landscape, biology and recreation.

In August 2016, the Association “Dragodid” organised the reconstruction of the dry-stone wall enclosing the pond. The wall was in ruins and most of the cut stones had fallen off and sunk to the clayey bottom of the pond. The campaign was launched by the Viškovo Tourist Board. Not only was the wall reconstructed but an educational trail was made, complete with signposts, benches, swings and information panels. This has transformed the previously rather neglected area into a wonderful recreation site where you can have fun, relax and “recharge your batteries” in a charming forest setting.

In addition to being important in terms of landscape, the sinkhole and its pond are a small hub of biodiversity. In the springtime, before the trees begin to leaf, frogs – the most numerous being brown toads –  come to the pond to spawn. The crowns of the trees surrounding the pond give it shade, so the plant life on the pond’s south-exposed side differs from that on its north-exposed side. Growing around the pond are mostly trees that require deep, humid and nutrient-rich soil – trees typical of deep sinkholes.

The most common tree around the pond is the field maple (Acer campestre), which can be identified by its lobed leaves and by the thick covering of moss that grows on its bark because of the humid air in the sinkhole. Some trees are old, with dry trunks and branches, attracting many birds that feed on insects living in decaying trees. Among the low-growing plants there are many spring flowers on the floor of the sinkhole, with certain species belonging to “continental” flora, yet another peculiarity of the deep sinkholes and dolines of the Kastav region.