Human has always been trying to change nature and use it for his own “good”. This is one of the examples where nature won over the human.
Prilep’s marble has been exploited from its surrounding mountains for centuries and is known as one of the most quality marbles on the Planet. Even ancient cities like Stobi and Heraclea Linkestis in Macedonia were built with this marble, as well as the Ancient City of Damascus in Siriya.
Anyway, I’m about to share a different story today. There used to be a marble mine, like many more in the Prilep region. This region is known for having underground waters and many small lakes which usually get dry at the beginning of the winter. While exploiting this mine the workers had hit some underground spring and the mine started filling up with water. They were pumping the water out at first so that the mine can be exploited again. However thing didn’t work out as planned, so eventually they gave up and left the water fill the marble basin, creating this amazing Marble Lake.
The Lake appeared approximately five years ago and in the last couple of years became the main summer attraction for the young population of Prilep, coming for a swim especially on the weekends. People started calling it the Macedonian Pamukkale because of the similarities with the real Pamukkale in Turkey.
Everything looks so white, turquoise and clean. The water inside the marble basin makes a wonderful contrast to the dry surrounding. It also gives color to the pale appearance of the place. The colors of autumn were also there adding to the experience. Unfortunately, we were not able to arrive earlier in the morning to capture on camera the perfect reflection on the water. Even without that ideal timing, the sight is breathtaking. There was one specific thing that really intrigued me about this lake: How did the fish come to be in it?
It was a bit disappointing to see that people are interfering again. The level of the lake was much lower than its usual because, as we were told by the locals, they are trying to “restart the mining process” and drying the lake by pumping the water out is part of the process. The black line on the marble rock I’m standing on, slightly below me, marks the previous level of the lake. It’s a good idea to visit it the first chance you’ll get or it might be just another marble mine again soon.
This is how it looks while you are on the way from below.
To find this unique lake you should drive on the regional highway Prilep-Skopje and on the mountain pass Pletvar you continue in direction to the village Belovodica. At the entrance to the village, you continue to the right and the road will lead you itself. Just be prepared for a steep-no-asphalt road of approximately 4 km. It’s much better if you use an SUV or an approximately large car, a jeep preferably :).
Thank you for reading.