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Vršič, Statue of Zlatorog

The land of the Trenta valley and the surrounding mountains are called Zlatorog’s kingdom. It was once a flourishing paradise that was devastated by a golden horned chamois. You should take time to visit the Trenta valley when in Bovec. It still is magical. But first read Zlatorog’s story …

In Kranjska Gora by the Jasna Lake you can find a statue of Zlatorog surrounded by high mountains and beautiful views.

Brave hunter from Trenta

The little boy from the Trenta Valley, to whom Ajdovska deklica prophesied the dark future, grew up to be a strong and brave young man. He hunted wild animals in the high mountains of Zlatorog’s kingdom. As all the other hunters from this lands, he was protected by white mountain fairies.

One day the hunter from Trenta saw Zlatorog – a mysterious golden horned chamois in the mountains. He raised his rifle to shoot, but all of a sudden the good white fairy appeared behind his back.

She stopped him with a warning: “You will be thrice-cursed if you aim your rifle at Zlatorog!” Zlatorog could not be killed. Even if mortally wounded, a drop of his blood on the soil was enough for a healing herb, Triglav flower, to spring up. This magical flower would then recover Zlatorog’s former health and strength … but not without terrible consequences.

Should that happen, Zlatorog would throw it’s prosecutor over the cliffs and destroy the beautiful mountain meadows forever. The white fairy left the hunter with the advice: “Hunt anywhere in these mountains, but let Zlatorog be sacred to you!”

Bitter love story

Back in the valley the young handsome hunter fell in love with the beautiful innkeeper’s daughter. The modest girl returned her affection. The simple mountain flowers that he kept bringing to her were accepted as pure treasure.

The couple seemed happy, until one day a goldsmith from Venice came to her family’s inn. Jeweler started courting the pretty girl, but she remained cold … at first. The persistent sweet talk and golden jewelery slowly opened her heart.

She no longer waited for the hunter and when he finally visited her, she mockingly turned him down. Simple mountain flowers were no longer the key to her heart.

Fatal decision

Stung by the situation, the hunter decided to win her love back … with gold. But the only treasure he ever heard of was the one lying deep within Mt Bogatin, protected by the mighty dragon. So, that’s where he decided to go.

On the way he met a mysterious stranger, a devilish green man with sharp, gleaming eyes. The green man offered to show him the way. But this stranger also told him that in order to open the cave under the mountain and defeat the dragon, he must first get Zlatorog’s horns.

The hunter instantly recalled the white fairy’s warning, but it faded away at the painful memory of his beloved girl.

The prophecy came true

In spite of all the warnings, the young man tracked down the golden horned chamois on a narrow mountain ledge. Zlatorog spotted him, but the hunter raised his rifle. A shot rang out. The amazing animal fell on the ground bleeding.

And, from its blood a tiny red flower, Triglavska roža, started to grow. Zlatorog was healed by the very first leaf from this mysterious plant and quickly became strong and well again.

As soon as Zlatorog was back on its feet the Trenta hunter realized his mistake. The strong animal started pushing him against the edge of the ledge, until there was nowhere to move anymore. Sadly, the young man fell off the cliff and ended his life. The Ajdovska deklica prophecy came true.

And the girl?

Well, the Venetian gold smith left the valley, never to return. The unfortunate girl realized that no gold is worth true love and threw all the golden gifts away. There was only one man she ever loved, but that man was also gone.

She was waiting for him every day by the Soča river, begging the crystal clear waters to bring her some news of her beloved. Until one day the river answered her prayers and brought along the body of the young hunter. The sad girl joined him in the river to be with him forever.

A kingdom lost

Next spring, the shepherds searched in vain for the green meadows in the mountains. They were gone.

Filled with rage, Zlatorog had grazed the paradise below Mt Triglav with its golden horns. You can still see the traces of his furious rage in stone gullies, narrow rock cervices and rock ledges in the Triglav mountains. Zlatorog and white fairies then disappeared into the unknown.

IMPORTANT INFO

OPENING HOURS

  • open at all times

ENTRANCE FEE

  • free entry

HOW TO GET THERE

  • Statue of Zlatorog map
  • from Bovec take regional road Bovec – Trenta – Vršič Pass – Kranjska Gora (R1 – 206)
  • just before you come to Kranjska Gora you will see a lake on the left side of the road

SPECIAL NOTES

  • if you come in the warm summer months you can swim in the lake, so don’t forget to bring your swimsuits and towels.
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