In the very center of Croatia, between capital of Zagreb and industrious port of Rijeka, lies a small town called Ogulin. It is a very important site for national traffic. If you travel to Adriatic from country’s northern parts, chances are you will at least pass through Ogulin on your way. But this town is much more than a resting spot for travelers. It is a site of magic, adventure and fantasy.
It is said that surrounding forests and hills of Ogulin hide mystical, fable-like creatures. Usually, they hide from human presence, but here and there, even in today’s modern world, they show themselves to people of good heart and sometimes assist them with their magical capabilities.
Of course, Ogulin residents are not keen to believe such stories. Yet, one can’t deny that Croatia’s most influential fantasy author, Ivana Brlic Mazuranic, was born in Ogulin. She wrote about magical kingdoms long before Harry Potter stormed the world of children’s literature, and a lot of her inspiration came from childhood memories, spent in enchanted town of Ogulin.
Here are a few examples of Ogulin’s fantasy-driven side, which you can explore on your own:
The mountain of Klek
Ogulin is located under the slopes of Klek Mountain. As far as legend goes, the large hill is actually a sleeping giant of the same name. Klek was turned to stone by magical sword of Volos, a local deity against whom he rebelled many centuries ago. The gigantic being is ever since locked in his rocky dream, searching for the way to break the spell and once again take against Volos.
The peaks of Klek are usually visited by witches, who gather there in order to play games during stormy nights. You can hear their screams and yells, and some presume their magical dances are actually attempts to wake Klek the Giant, from the paragraph above.
A large rocky slope can be found on Klek, and legend says it opens every hundred years. The newly founded cave hides tons of golden coins, and a single serpent guarding it. In order to lift the spell, a brave young man must enter, and kiss the snake’s head. It will immediately turn into a beautiful maiden wishing to marry him. In addition, he can take all the gold.
In 16th century, a local girl called Dula fell in love with a young military captain Milan. He soon died in battle with Turkish invaders, and her hand was promised to an elderly nobleman. Shocked with such outcome, she threw herself into a large abyss, which can be seen even today in Ogulin. It is believed that, if you stare long enough in the cliff above the abyss, you can see a figure of captain Milan, searching the bottom for his beloved Dula.
Cesarovac water source
Ogulin’s town park is dedicated to Tomislav, the first king of Croats. There you can find a stone pump of Cesarovac, diverting the water from the nearby source of the same name. However, this is not ordinary water. It was charmed by fairies, young women capable of flying and always wearing white clothes. If a female drinks from Cesarovac, she will gain beauty, kindness and perpetual youth. Men will have a similar blessing. If they drink, they will marry a girl from Ogulin.