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Blue Lake dries up, Imotski readies for unique traditional football match

Blue Lake Imotski

Blue Lake – in September 2020 – has dried up again (Photo credit: revista.lebre/Instagram)

Blue Lake, located in Imotski in the heart of the Dalmatian Hinterland, is one of Croatia’s most attractive natural attractions.

The Blue Lake lies in a deep sinkhole possibly formed by the collapse of an enormous underground cave. The total depth from the upper rim is around 220 meters, while water depth usually varied with seasons. In spring, when the snow from surrounding mountains melts, it can reach 90 m, and in 1914 it reached 114 m, overflowing the southern rim.

After a particularly dry spring and summer, Blue Lake has once again completely dried up. 

“In the past, this would really have been news, but today it is already a normal phenomenon,” daily Slobodna Dalmacija writes.

When the lake dries up there is a tradition which is respected. A football match is played on the bottom of the lake between two teams – Vilenjaci (Elves) and Vukodlaci (Werewolves). 

The unique match was first played in 1943. Since then it has taken place only a handful of times. 

Blue Lake, Imotski (Photo credit: Dreizung/CC-BY-SA-3.0)

All that remains is for a few days of dry and windy weather to dry out the still soft muddy ground and then the preparations for the match will start, Slobodna Dalmacija said. 

Locals will be closely monitoring the weather forecast. Last year the match was set to be played but was abandoned at the last minute due to rain.

Footage from the match played in 2011 below.

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