Fontana s Kornjačama

Useful Information

Location: 29 Ul. fra Stjepana Zlatovića, Šibenik, 22000, Croatia.
Ul. Perivoj Luje Maruna, 22000, Šibenik.
(43.7340578, 15.8942236)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstGrowing Rock
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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2006 first three turtles released by local businessman Siniša Burić in the fountain.
2012 turtles stolen.


The Fontana s Kornjačama (Fountain with Turtles) or simply Turtles Fountain is an artificial fountain in the middle of the city Šibenik. The fountain has a low, circular wall built of white limestone blocks, which contains a circular lake with a diameter of about 6 m. This lake is the home of a growing number of turtles, hence the name of the fountain. But the reason why this fountain is listed on is the high content of dissolved limestone in the water, which causes the prcipitation of limestone at the fountain and the formation of a growing rock, which consists of moss, algae and limestone and is known as tufa. This tufa formation grows continually and forms a sort of massive rock with overhanging walls. The difference is easy to see, on older pictures it is only about one meter high, and now it almost twice as high. This is a sign that the water in the fountain is from a limestone rich karst spring, it is fresh water, not circulated by a pump. This is also the reason why freshwater fish can live in the fountain, not only turtles. They need oxygen in the water, and circulated water would not have enough oxygen for them to breathe.

The top has flat parts overgrown with moss, which are quite popular among the turtles. The geology is easy to understand, but how the small turtles climb a two-meter high, overhanging cliff to reach this top is a weird riddle. The well being of the turtles is published in local newspapers, unfortunately, the geologic background was not published, and while the deductions seem valid, and we are not the only ones to come to this conclusion, it is not based on scientific research. Another guess is that the growing rock is "cut down" every few decades, and it seems a remodelling is overdue.