Local Legends

There are surprisingly lots and lots of local legends in Green Slovenia, plenty enough for a couple of films.. It's fun to know about some of the stories as you go around exploring here as they can sometimes help explain how a village got it's name or why there is a statue of a DogFrog or a dragon smiling down at you!

So we will give you just a few Slovenian legends now to get your teeth into and we hope you will hear about some more as you travel around!


Why does Green Slovenia have a "Little bit of Everything"?

There is quite a simple local explanation as to why Slovenia is the most varied, fascinating and beautiful country in Europe.. Well.. when the Big man upstairs had finished creating the world.. he had just a little portion of everything left and so he used it all up to create Green Slovenia.. Simples.. You will see this for yourself when you arrive here!


"Everybody knows that the only countries in the world to still have dragons are Wales and Slovenia!"


the Legend of Jakob & the Dragon from the Postojna Cave..

There are several local legends in our own area, probably the best known is the story of Jakob, the brave shepherd boy from the village of Smihel, (St Michael), next to Landol..

Well he cleverly outwitted and defeated the evil dragon from nearby Postojna cave. The dragon had been flying around terrorizing the locals.. you couldn't even hang your washing out as he would swoop down and burn your shirts and underwear just for fun!

This had been going on for some time until Jakob took matters into his own hands and put a baby cow in front of the cave for the dragon to eat, then he hid behind a rock to see the dragon return and gobble it up.. but clever Jakob had sneakily put fizzy chemicals inside the cow and these made the dragon very thirsty indeed. So the dragon drank and drank and drank until he completely exploded into a thousand pieces!

Jakob was the hero and to this day the people of Postojna are nicknamed the "Bag People".. can you think of a reason why?

Well, it is said they made leather bags from the bits of exploded dragon leather skin.. fact or fiction, you decide!

But it is a fact that you can see a huge statue of brave Jakob meeting the dragon just a 700 metre walk from Lipizzaner Lodge up towards Smihel!

the St Michael Dragon is on one of the many hiking routes we have from the Lodge..
the St Michael Dragon is on one of the many hiking routes we have from the Lodge..


the Legend of the Snake on Nanos & the 3 Brother's Churches..

The local mountain of Nanos is said to have a giant snake living up there and you can see it sliding down the hills when it rains..

There really are particular 3 churches on the local mountains here which form part of the 3 Brothers Legend, where arguing brothers were ordered by their angry dad to build separate churches in locations on Nanos mountain where each brother could sit and not have to look at the other!

Nowadays, you can still hike up to see each church and test the legend, but you probably won't find the snake!


the Cheeky Knight of Predjama Castle..

This is probably Slovenia's best known legend and you can actually walk to the amazing Predjama castle along a secret forest path direct from the Lodge!

This is the story of Baron Erazem, who really did live in our local Predjama castle in the 15th century.

When you walk from Landol through the forest and after about forty mins pop out 70 metres below the largest cliff castle in the world, hanging out of the rock side.. then you will clearly see how impossible it would be for anyone to get into this castle if they were not invited!

So the cheeky baron was perfectly safe inside here, standing on the balcony and blowing raspberrys at the Emperor's army besieging him for over a year far below..

They just couldn't work out how the naughty Baron was getting his food, but hadn't counted on a secret tunnel from under the castle into the neighbouring Vipava Valley, where Erazem sneaked off to get supplies! What a guy!

Well.. treachery got him in the end and you can learn all about his final fate at Pyjama castle! This guy was a real person, but he was truly legendary!

And you can also do a fab cave tour into that secret tunnel!


the Legend of Martin Kirpan, Slovenia's own Robin Hood!

Nearby the Lodge are some of the oldest forests in Europe and a nature park that is pretty much completely unknown to visitors, despite being just 10 mins from one of Slovenia's biggest tourist attractions, the Postojna cave!

This park is also almost completely unpronounceabubble.. Rakov Skocjan, but it hides 2 huge natural stone arches created by the collapse of a massive prehistoric cave, lots of water and an amazing stone bridge through a hidden cave in an area we call "Dragonfly Alley", (this is also an excellent place to go swimming when there is enough water).

Well.. if you are lucky enough to visit here, you will see for yourself how this stony green Karst mini region could easily hide Slovenia's own Robin Hood, known as Martin Kirpan.

He was a big strong man who smuggled salt and was always out foxing the Emperor's troops. Sometimes he would even carry his horse through the forest so as not to make any hoof noise and get captured by patrols.

One time he was summoned and actually helped the Emperor by defeating the greatest Ottoman warrior in trialled combat.. his weapon of choice was a massive axe that he swung over his shoulder and his reward for saving the Emperor's bacon?.. he just cheekily asked for a couple of bags of salt to be loaded onto his horse!

You might see various depictions of a huge man with a big hat and that massive axe on signs for hikes or kids cartoons here.. so then you will know you have found Martin Kirpan. 

And if you go to the little town of Cerknica on the shores of the biggest Disappearing Lake in Europe, then look carefully in the little town square by the main road and you will see a big bronze statue of Martin Kirpan carrying his horse through the forest!


Pretty much wherever you go in Green Slovenia there will be a local legend to discover and OFTEN these legends are depicted on the town's unique shields (identity badge), either on flags or on the road signs as you enter and leave a new municipality.. so do look carefully for these badges of honour and ask a local person what they mean.. Slovenia is so small, but has so many of these municipalities that this could even become a little "legend collecting" holiday hobby for the kids!


the Giant of Ribnica and his Friend the Big Fish..

You would be well advised to stop off in Ribnica on the way to see Cucumber castle and the River Krka to maybe visit the 2 museums by the Ribnica river.. one is the medieval tower of torture and the other is all about the wooden craftware and pottery that was made in dozens and dozens of local tradesman's workshops around Ribnica and sold all over Europe..

the Ribnica municipality flag with the Big Fish..
the Ribnica municipality flag with the Big Fish..


But check out the road signs and the flags flying in the town and and you will see the Big Fish who was the best friend of the Giant who used to live by the huge lake just outside the town.. The fish used to show his friend where all the little fish were in the lake..

Actually.. you wont find any lake nowadays..as hard as you might search.. the reason is the greedy locals caught the big fish and eat it, which made the Giant go absolutely bananas when he couldn't find his friend anymore and so he banged his fists so hard on the water that the lake disappeared for ever!


the Village of the DogFrogs..

Not too far from Ribnica in the little village of Sodrazica, you will find a strange, huge DogFrog statue and a mystery awaiting!

There was another village here, but it burnt down, (this was actually a common problem in the old days, so could well be true) and when the people from the neighbouring village rushed here to help and pump water onto the fires, the surviving villagers crawled from the devastation with ash blackened faces.. howling and hopping with pain from the sizzling embers.. well, this scared the rescuers so much they thought they were wild dogs and the legend of the DogFrog was born!

have you ever seen a creature like the DogFrog before?
have you ever seen a creature like the DogFrog before?


the Tragic Lost Village of the 17 Disappearing Lakes..

Just 15 mins from the Lodge you can find the first of 17 interconnected Disappearing Lakes of Pivka.

Each one is mysterious and miraculous enough on it's own.. as in the winter the lakes are full of water, submerging all the little roads and tracks, but in the summer these lakes completely empty and fill with flowers and butterflies instead!

The mystery deepens as one of these 17 lakes can be full and it's neighbouring lake can be empty, but the full lake can decide to empty overnight and it fills the other lake, so the water completely transfers from one lake to the other!

Legend has it that one Christmas Eve an entire village was wiped out as they walked over the ice covering one of these disappearing lakes on the way to the next village for a church service.. but the ice cracked and swallowed them ALL up.. legend maybe, but it is still possible to find that deserted village!

There is a stunning Green mini region here to explore and in the summer you can try to find some of the lakes and the tracks that disappear when the caves & sink holes flood masses of water into the 17 lakes..

There is also a wonderful little micro museum close to Pivka, (15 mins) which tells you all about these lakes, where they are and lots more about the local ecology.. Splashtastic!

   the 17 disappearing lakes of pivka slovenia    the slovenian legend of peter and the fairy

Peter and the Fairy..

It's well worth taking a trip down to the south of Slovenia to the Kolpa river, which is Slovenia's warmest river and really excellent for swimming.. This mini region area is also a great day for younger kids as you can do a more gentle version of white water rafting here..

In fact the river is the southern border between Green Slovenia and Croatia, so you could actually swim over to Croatia for fun.. (please don't though as you are not allowed to and your passport would get wet)!

On the way down to this hilly green mini region, you might spot a very large wooden statue of Peter, the local hero. He was a shepherd boy and was often teased for being weak, but one day his kindness changed his life for ever..

He spotted a beautiful fairy sleeping in the grass, but the sun was shining on her fair skin and Peter was worried that she would burn, so he stood guard over her and provided shade while she slept and slept and snored and snored!

When the fairy finally woke up she was overjoyed to see Peter standing there protecting her and she gave him a little kiss.. Peter was bright red for two reasons now..

Well, this kiss gave him incredible strength.. Peter was never teased again and he used his new power to help local people..

So next time you see a sleeping fairy, you know what to do!


the Legend of the Black Prince..

Another municipality flag has a mysterious Black Prince from Medieval times on it and you can go to Skofja Loka castle to find out a little bit more!

find out more about the legend of the Black Prince at Skofja Loka castle..
find out more about the legend of the Black Prince at Skofja Loka castle..


A black servant saved his lord from a wild boar whilst hunting in the forest and the Lord was eternally grateful.. the Black Prince lives on at the castle and on Skofja Loka's coat of arms.. legend or true story.. this is a trickier one to decide..


the Princess's Tears and Dragon's Blood..

There is a quite unkown, but incredibly beautiful lake with a little paddle steamer that goes up and down and it is one of our most favourite places in Green Slovenia!

The Soca Lake is called Most na Soci in Slovene, but you need to go on the paddle steamer ride and meet Captain Dejan to actually see the cave where the dragon lived and hear all about the legend of how the Soca lake got it's amazing turqouise colour!

Well.. the princess was captured by the dragon and her tears filled the lake.. nobody knew for sure where she was and everyone was very scared of the dragon, but a brave Prince hid by the beautiful bridge to find out where the Princess was holed up.. this same bridge that gives Most na Soci it's name.. Most = Bridge!

He came up with a plan to jump on the dragon's back when it flew under the bridge and killed it with his sword.. when he successfully did this, the dragon's blood poured into the lake and made it the ubersensational turquoise colour it is now! Wow what a story..

this is the special bridge where the dragon was killed and the beautiful coloured water of the Soca lake was created..
this is the special bridge where the dragon was killed and the beautiful coloured water of the Soca lake was created..


And the only way you can see this cave is by boat on the soca lake paddle steamer.. which also goes under that magical bridge!


When the Baby Dragons visited Ljubljana..

When you are in Ljubljana you will see lots of dragons everywhere.. it may well be that the locals were so scared by a strange event a long time ago when baby dragons came floating down their beautiful river and they were so worried that the mother dragon would turn up and be angry with them when she saw her babies disappearing off downriver..

So maybe they were inspired to build some of these dragon stautues back then, but it is true that many years ago there was a huge flood and the "River of 7 Names" that pops up from under the ground an incredible 7 times and has seven different names and goes past Ljubljana, transported some of the baby dragons living in the Postojna caves all the way to the capital. They caused quite a stir!


Sandwich Stealing Pixies..

If you go on one of the amazing Slovenian mine tours.. then when you go down the massive coal, mercury, lead or zinc caverns, be sure to look over your shoulder.. legend has it the miner's sandwiches would often go missing at lunch time down these mines and the cheeky little pixies who lived down there in the dark were always to blame!


Carnival Legends..

And don't bother reading this next bit cos you would never dream of visiting little old Slovenia in the winter time.. or would you!

   carnivals in slovenia   another dragon in slovenia

About 40 days before Easter, just before Lent, the whole of Green Slovenia goes bonkers and is transformed into a frenzy of colour, street performances, dancing wombles and witches.

There are different carnivals all over Slovenia and these are the very best places to find out about so many more local legends..

Witches leave their caves to party, frogs arrive from the disappearing lake and the odd dragon or two breathe fire on terrified small children!

Slovenia even has a secret village inhabited  with really clever people who know absolutely everything.. they know so much that their heads are huge and they often appear at carnival time too.

There are several stories about these "clever" people.. one fantastic tale involves them thinking they are fooling a man into making their house bigger for free, but instead he is a thief and steals their coats!

   ursula the witch at the carnival in slovenia   froglets appear from the lake in slovenian carnival 

And if you are here in Green Slovenia outside carnival time and want to see how some of the costumes look, then just pop to Ptuj castle where there is a fab little mini museum stuffed full of costumes from Slovenia's largest carnival location!

Email: info@lipizzanerlodge.com

Address: Landol 17, Postojna 6230, Slovenia

Phone: +386 5620 3443
Mobile: +386 40 47 0239 or +386 40 37 8037