I believe in fairy's.
And I judge you if you don't. Already in love with Bled and Slovenia, I was even more excited when Nick told me that there were many fairy's in the folklore surrounding Slovenia. Particularly with reference to how Lake Bled came to be.
So there we were enjoying our Bled Cake whilst Nick (who, at this point, really should've been wearing fairy wings and holding a wand) told us that once upon a time that beautiful lake was a meadow where shepherds let their sheep graze. In the middle of the meadow was a hill where the fairies lived, surrounded by grazing sheep the land became slippery. The fairies asked the shepherd's to build a fence to stop the sheep grazing around their hill, but they were refused. The fairies threatened that if the shepherd's didn't fence the sheep out they would do it themselves. The shepherd's laughed at the fairies and once again ignored their request. The sheep continued to graze around their hill until one day the youngest, prettiest fairy slipped, fell and hit her head on the ground. The fairies called upon the river God's to protect them & the God's responded by flooding the area, creating the magical lake to protect the fairies and their home.
And sprinkle fairy dust!
Another legend surrounding the island in Lake Bled is that, before the baroque church the island is famous for stood there, the temple of a Slavic Goddess, Živa, stood in its place. The temple apparently disappeared during battles between Pagan and Christian's, which is when the Christian's destroyed it and built a church. Archaeologists have even discovered evidence to support this tale, including remains of 124 graves! They have are also prehistoric (11th- 8th century B.C.) and Slavic settlements on the island (9th- 10th century A.D.), it is thought a pre-Christian Slavic cult stood where the church stands today.
It is also said that if you ring the bell in the church, every wish can come true. Just ring and believe! According to legend a young widow lived in the church who had a bell casted for the chapel in memory of her husband. During the transportation of the bell across the lake there was a terrible storm and the bell sunk, along with the boat and it's crew. It is said to this day that the bell rings from the depth's of the lake. After the widow died, the Pope sent a new bell to Bled Island where it is believed whoever rings it sends honour to the Virgin Mary & thereby gets their wishes granted.
|Can you see the face of a girl?|
Moving away from Bled, in Triglav National Park there are more fairytales to hear. It was a tale that was foretold by a fairy, a newborn would try to kill the Goldenhorn! The other fairies, and nymph's refused to believe such prophecy's and turned the fairy to stone. A few years later the boy had become a hunter was protected by the white women of the valley. They taught the boy to recognise medicinal herbs and their power. If anyone came by either by mistake or on purpose their path would be blocked by landslides or heavy rainfalls.
On the rock face, grazed the white goats, owned by the white women. These goats were lead by Goldenhorn, a marvellous male goat with (you've guessed it) golden horns. The white women made him invulnerable; if a shooter were to wound him there (no matter where he fell) would grow Triglav roses. If Goldenhorn ate just the leaf of this he healed immediately, even if he had been shot in the heart.
|Goldenhorn, the mascot of Triglav National Park|
The boy, who was in favour with the white women, had fallen in love with a beautiful innkeeper's daughter. Her attention was caught by a Venetian trader who danced with her and brought her golden jewellery. When the boy approached her, she mocked him, telling him in all the time he had known her he had never even attempted to bring her a Triglav Rose. Heartbroken and desperate he enlisted help from the Green Hunter, who is said to have brought about the fate of several honest boys. They went looking for the Goldenhorn so he could bring her the elusive Triglav Rose, stalking him through the meadows, the boy shot Goldenhorn and followed his trail of blood to a sky high rock face. Between the snow and ice the boy saw a meadow of Triglav Roses and was about to give up his pursuit, but the Green Hunter mocked him so the boy continued onto the rock face. Goldenhorn had already got to the roses, regained his strength and started running at the boy. Dazzled by the shimmer of the Golden horns, the boy lost his balance and fell from the mountain. The next spring his body was brought to the vale, where the inn was, by the river Soča.
Massive thanks to Nick for reminding exactly how the story of Lake Bled came to be.
Do you know any other fairytales from Slovenia? I'd love to hear them!
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