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Croatia Earns First International Dark Sky Place at Petrova gora-Biljeg

Astronomy Society Infinity is pleased to announce that the Petrova gora-Biljeg significant landscape in Croatia has received International Dark Sky Park (IDSP) certification. This is the first International Dark Sky Place in Croatia.

Petrova gora is renowned for its beautiful dark starry skies in relative proximity to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, which makes it an attractive destination for astronomy and science-related activities to the majority of the country’s population. Indeed, astronomy activities have been held on Petrova gora since 2007, making it one of the most popular sites in Croatia for stargazing and astrophotography.

It is important to note the Petrova gora-Biljeg significant landscape area is part of two counties and therefore managed by their respective public institutions: Public Institution Natura Viva which manages the protected natural values of Karlovac County, and Public Institution for the Management of Protected Natural Values of the Sisak-Moslavina County which manages the protected natural values of Sisak-Moslavina County. The areas’ forest land is managed by Croatian Forests, a public forestry management company in the Republic of Croatia. The initiator of the application process was Astronomy Society Beskraj (meaning “Infinity”) from Zagreb. To receive the International Dark Sky Park designation meant the cooperation of all four institutions on the protection of the night sky in the area.

Today, it is estimated that most of the population in Europe can no longer see the Milky Way. Petrova gora joins 15 other International Dark Sky Places in Europe in an effort to protect the dark night sky as part of the natural habitat of the flora and fauna, but also to preserve the beauty of starry skies for current and future generations.

This certificate follows the Croatian efforts to control light pollution, as earlier this year Croatia has enacted one of the most advanced national light pollution laws. In fact, the Law requires all protected areas in Croatia to have fully shielded light fixtures with maximum CCT of 2200K and bans lighting on billboards. The International Dark Sky Park designation for Petrova gora will raise awareness of the importance of preserving starry skies all over the country as a tourist attraction as well.


Contact: Boris Štromar, president of Astronomy Society Infinity, +385989028734, [email protected]