Rama Prozor Lake

The present day municipality of Prozor-Rama is located at the former confluence of the Rama and Neretva Rivers, in the northern Herzegovina. The Prozor-Rama Municipality borders in the north with Gornji Vakuf – Uskoplje, in the east with Konjic, in the south with Jablanica and to the west with Tomislavgrad and Kupres Municipalities. Rama is divided into the Gornja /Upper/ and Donja /Lower/ Rama. Gornja Rama includes the ravines and valleys of Šćit, Rumboci, Prozor and Uzdol, while the Donja Rama consists of the valleys of Gračac andi Doljani. The whole area is named after the Rama River which used to determine this part of Bosnia in Middle ages, since the 11th century, surely of the pre-Slavonic and pre-Roman etimology. The highest point of the Rama area is the Idovac peak of the Radusa Mountain, 1956 meters high. Radusa Mountain is a natural border where Bosnia ends and at the foot of the mountain Herzegovina begins. It has a fantastic view of lake Rama and one gets the feeling that winter is long present here. Radusa is a fascinating mountain stretching between Vukovsko field in the north-west, Zahum pass and artificial lake Rama to the south, Stozer mountain  to the north-east and Maklen ridge to the east. There is the upper Gornje Veliko lake on the Radusa Mt at the elevation of 1860 meters. The area of today’s Prozor-Rama municipality is framed by high and hardly accessible mountains of Makljen, Raduša, Vran, Ljubuša and Čvrsnica. The area of Rama and Prozor is abundant in lush vegetation and provides excellent conditions for fishing, hiking, mountaineering, boat ride, as well as meeting with locals and their lifestyle and wonderful costumes in the picturesque villages, scattered around the surrounding mountains and hills.
The Rama River today practically does not exist, as its course was covered by construction of the dam of the artificial lake of Rama. In the long history of this area, three rivers formed the Rama River with its fertile valley – the Rama, Buka and Krupića Rivers, and several small tributaries. When large parts of the Rama valley were covered by construction of the artificial lake in 1968, the area of Šćit remained on the small peninsula, along with the Franciscan Monastery and the church. The former confluence had almost disappeared and turned into the Rama and the Jablanica lakes. The Rama lake is of a semicircular shape, with a lot of bays, and the slight coastal drop makes it accessible from almost all sides. Its largest length is 12 km, total area approximately 1500 ha and its greatest depth approximately 100 m, while the water oscillates as much as 55 meters. Šćit peninsula with the Franciscan monastery adds to the particular beauty of the Rama lake with its appearance and content, while two smaller islands of Umac and Škarine, additionally break the monotony of the water surface and embellish the entire ambiance. The Rama lake is rich in fish such as Californian trout, brown trout, Arctic charr, pike perch, carp and chub. The scenery of the Rama lake is almost surreal and it is often listed among the most beautiful lakes in Europe.
Romans left in Rama significant traces and clues of their rule, especially the road they constructed. Fragments of Roman tombstones from the period of Emperor Adrian were excavated. Christianity relatively early was adopted in Rama area, which proves the remains of the ancient basilica in Varvara. It is hard to designate what happen to this Christian community after Slavic intrusion and demolition of the church in the 6th century. There are no historical records on Slavic presence in those areas, but without doubt Slavs populated the Rama area and most likely had merged into indigenous population. It is hard to reliably indicate if in the Rama area existed the clue of the Slavic cult on the basis of names of several localities, as the source of Svarovica in Dobrosa or Svarača in Ustirama, which would associate to the main Slavic deity of Svarog, as would the Perun on Bacina suggests that it comes for the supreme Slavic god of Perun. It is also impossible to define preciously if the Varvara was named after the Saint Barbara, Christian martyr who was tortured in 306 and proclaimed as protector of miners. There are some indicators that the old settlement on Velika Gradina was named after this martyr, especially for the fact that this settlement was populated by miners and smelters.
The Medieval parish of Rama with the town of Prozor belonged to the Middle Bosnia, and along with Uskoplje and Livno, was administered by the Bosnian rulers untill 1463. The the Hungarian King Matthew Corvinus liberated part of the Bosnian territory from the Ottomans and bestowed it to Vladislav Hercegović. After division of the Bosnian Vicariate into the Bosna Hrvatska and Bosna Srebrena in 1514, the convent of Rama is mentioned among 13 convents which remained within the Bosnian province jurisdiction. Since its foundation in the 15th century this convent was situated on Šćit peninsula, about what testify tombs found around the church during excavations of the old church in 1855, and when foundations of the new crypt were dig in 1904. Rama convent was destroyed three times (1557, 1667 and 1687) when it was eventually deserted, after its monks were tortured and killed, or forced to flee to Dalmatia. The committee for the preservation of national monuments proclaimed this cultural landscape, the area of the Franciscan monastery and the Church, the national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Within the Franciscan monastery Rama-Sćit there is the House of Peace, welcoming those who seek peace, tranquility, guidance…
The area of today’s Prozor-Rama municipality is framed by high and hardly accessible mountains of Makljen, Raduša, Vran, Ljubuša and Čvrsnica. The brahtaking Čvrsnica Mt massif, which surrounds this area from its southern side, is particularly inaccessible. Somewhat more accessible and lower mountains are located to the west and north, so the main roads that connected this area to other places were stretching there. Along waterways, especially of the Rama River, not very numerous and spacious, but very fertile valleys, of which the largest and the most fertile was the one in the upper flow of the Rama River, were located settlements. The configuration of the terrain of this municipality is the reason why some of its villages are at an altitude of only 300 meters, and even less and other above 900 meters. Climatic conditions are not harsh due to the influence of the Mediterranean climate, which penetrates along the Neretva and Rama River valleys. The Rama-Prozor area is rich in agricultural soil (73.791 ha) of which even 81% make meadows and pastures. At the locality of Pakline on the Ravanjsko Polje Field, in somehow wild area which makes the wolf paradise, exposed to cold winds, at the elevation of 1150 meters, the Smiljanic couple builds their small family estate. “It is here very hot in summer, winters are extremely cold, when temperature goes to -38 C, and strong snow cover reaches up to 5 to 7 meters. At this moment we have 700 sheep beed of pramenka, an autochtonous sheep of those areas, which provide daily only around half liter of milk, much less than, for example merino sheep. The original cheese can be produced only of milk from pramenka sheep breed, that has been produces 600 years ago, and matures at least 60 days, stored in our stone house of thick walls…. “