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Vršič, Ajdovska Deklica

One of the turbulent natural phenomena´s shaped a face of a girl on the slope of Mt. Prisank. It gave birth to the most beautiful Slovenian legend. You can still see her if you take a drive to Pass Vršič, but let us first tell you her story.

Chamois with golden horns

When you arrive at the top of the Vršič Pass, park your car and take some time to admire the high mountain peaks that safeguard the land below.

They are the guardians of the last remnants of Zlatorog’s kingdom. Alpine paradise of the vast green meadows and colorful mountain flowers that was devastated due to unfortunate events.

Zlatorog was a mythical majestic chamois with golden horns who lived in these mountains in ancient pagan times. Zlatorog and his white goats gazed the high alpine green meadows before old gods, giants, good white fairies and dragons became lost in the vail of time. Zlatorog’s main task was to lead the good white fairies through the dangerous mountain slopes safely and to protect the remarkable treasure hidden within Mt Bogatin. But let’s start this story from the beginning here on the Vršič Pass.

Ajdovska deklica

Just 15 minutes of walk from the parking stands the mountain hut, Poštarski dom. From there you can see the rocky cliffs of Mt Prisank. And if you look closely, you will be able to see the sad face of a maiden petrified to eternity.

Her name is Ajdovska deklica and her story, as written in Dušica Kunaver’s book Zlatorog in myth and reality, goes like this:

Once upon a time, a kindhearted giantess lived amid the rocky cliffs below the mountain Prisank. She helped porters on their way over the mountain pass of Vršič. If she saw they had lost their way in snow or fog, she left her shelter below the overhanging cliffs and hurried to the serpentine road over Vršič to help them. She cleared a path through the snowdrifts for the porters and showed them the right way to go.

On their way back home, the porters used to leave bread and wine for the Ajdovska deklica at the foot of Prisank, so she was never hungry or thirsty.

Besides acting as the porters’ guide, the maiden was also a fairy godmother. She visited young mothers and predicted the fate of their newborn babies.

One night, she called on a young shepherdess in the Trenta Valley. The mother, who had just given birth to a boy, was asleep in the warm cottage. Ajdovska deklica approached the cradle, bent over the child and prophesied: “when you grow into a man, you will become a brave hunter, such has never before roamed beneath Prisank. One day you will shoot Zlatorog, the white chamois with golden horns.”

Girl’s face on Mt Prisank

When Ajdovska deklica’s sisters learned of this prophecy, they laid a curse on her and turned her into stone as she reached Prisank. There she has remained to this day. Her stony eyes are still staring from Mt Prisank down to the Trenta Valley.

The tragic story of the kindhearted giantess trapped in rock holds the truth about an ancient trading route linking Sava and Soča Valleys. If you look at the steep mountain slopes you can still imagine the agony of the travellers who got caught in snow, fog or heavy storms. You can understand the strong wish of survival that gave birth to the story of this powerful protector in the massive rock.

Now, she is no longer able to help weary travelers on their way across Vršič. But her prophecy came true in another tragic story when the little boy born on that fatal night grew up.

It is said that thankful locals from the Trenta Valley kept bringing her food until the outbreak of the World War II. Now the new road and your car can safely bring you from one valley to another in less than an hour. But Vršič Pass is still closed during the winter months due to the unpredictable weather conditions and frequent avalanches. And Ajdovska deklica is still here to remind us on the powerful forces of nature.

Little boy born on that night indeed grew up into a brave hunter. His story is told in another legend – Legend of Zlatorog.

IMPORTANT INFO

OPENING HOURS

  • open at all times

ENTRANCE FEE

  • free entry

HOW TO GET THERE

  • Ajdovska deklica map
  • from Bovec take regional road Bovec – Trenta (R1 – 206)
  • when you arrive at the top of the Vršič Pass park your car on public parking by the road
  • take a walk to mountain hut Poštarski dom
  • after 15 minutes of walk you will see a viewpoint on the right side of the trail
  • there’s an info panel so you will easily find the shape of a maiden petrified for eternity

DIFFICULTY

  • moderate

DURATION OF THE TOUR

  • 30min (1km)

SPECIAL NOTES

  • in case of rain or snow the trail is slippery, so walking shoes are recommended
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