The Legend of Fairy Town: Shed a Few Tears to Cross the Krka River

The Legend of Fairy Town: Shed a Few Tears to Cross the Krka River

Krka is a river with a thousand different roles in nature’s spectacle that ends with a blockbuster – Krka National Park, where Her Majesty the water is responsible for creations that are simply out of this world. Upstream, Krka is calm and tame, almost like it’s preparing for the crescendo that follows when it reaches the Adriatic Sea. The Carinska draga valley, a place that is almost unnaturally quiet, where the river flows through a sparse landscape, holds a once powerful town which can be reached via a well-preserved medieval path.

 

 The ruins of Bogočin, which the locals call “Fairy Town” (Vilin grad), lie two kilometres from the Krka Monastery, surrounded by the cliffs of the Dalmatian Hinterland and characterised by the scents of the bora wind. The legend of this town, much like the river Krka, has been kept alive by folk tales for centuries.

Stanko Ferić

A lot of water has passed over the Krka waterfalls since the wealthy Prince Bogoje lived in this area. He built a beautiful palace in Bogočin for his only son Bogdan and his beautiful fiancée Miljeva, the daughter of the powerful Ban Domagoj and his elegant wife Čika, who were established in Ključ on the river Čikola.

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A special kind of atmosphere took over the valley of dreams that day. Servants were preparing the best raiment for the nobility, while richly adorned horses neighed happily in anticipation of the grand event – the wedding of Bogdan and Miljeva.

 

A large party of seven bans and twelve county prefects set off from Ključ towards Bogočin to give away the most beautiful girl in the entire area. Prince Bogdan went to meet them, accompanied by a large entourage whose shiny armours glistened like mirrors on the water surface. All of a sudden, when the wedding party headed for the palace to celebrate the love between the bride and groom, the sky turned dark, the wind began blowing wildly, and the river nearly stopped in its track, as if afraid of what would happen next.

Stanko Ferić

With a deafening roar that cut through the quiet valley, a dragon descended on the party, grabbed the gold-haired princess and dragged her to the bottom of Lake Brljan. Prince Bogdan courageously approached the mighty beast to save his betrothed, but the monster dragged him to the icy depths of Krka as well.

The loss and sorrow turned Prince Bogoje into an old man overnight. He gave away nearly all of his wealth to the parish, and used the rest of his money to build the Aranđelovac monastery so that priests would pray for his poor son and his Miljeva.

 

A bit further downstream, he built two towns – Čučevo and Nečven – as a symbol of love between the two tragic lovers, and had two sisters locked up in the towns’ tall towers, who cried and lamented over the young couple day and night. After that, he built two bridges – one near the Roški slap waterfall and the other near the river Miljacka, where travellers paid to get across by shedding two tears for Bogdan and Miljeva.

 

Having accomplished all of this, Bogoje tore down the magnificent walls of Bogočin. What was once a joyful town was now covered by a veil of silence, and the devastated prince set off in an unknown direction. No one ever heard from him again.

Ivo Biočina

Miljeva’s mother, Baroness Čika, built a tower near the town of Ključ, where she spent the rest of her days praying for her daughter and son-in-law Bogdan. Bogočin has since been called “Fairy Town” by locals, the river beneath Ključ was named Čikola, and the area between these two tragedy-stricken towns is called Miljevci.