The “Petrified Wedding” – a Symbol of a Great Love and a Mother’s Curse

The “Petrified Wedding” – a Symbol of a Great Love and a Mother’s Curse

The green lungs of Zagreb, Medvednica Mountain, has over 70 marked hiking trails. Its tamer side, facing the Croatian capital, is popular among day-trippers who enjoy spending their weekends there, taking in the views of the bustling city spread out in the distance. The other side of the mountain faces the Croatian Zagorje region, and is much steeper, more difficult to reach, and therefore more intimate.

 

One of the more well-known sites in this part of the mountain is the “Petrified Wedding”, a dolomite rock formation resembling a group of people. There are several trails leading to the Petrified Wedding peak. About two hours of climbing will lead you to a mountain lodge where you can enjoy the view of the quaint villages of Croatian Zagorje, with the Samobor and Žumberak Hills in the distance.

 

How a Mother Turned Her Son to Stone for Loving a Poor Girl

 

The “Petrified Wedding” got its name from a legend described in the works of one of the most influential Croatian authors of the 19th century, August Šenoa. A statue dedicated to the author can be seen if you follow the trail to the Petrified Wedding above the village of Jablanovec.

 

Local folklore tells the story of a miller, his wife and only son, who lived on the slopes of Medvednica a long time ago. They were hardworking people who made good money from the mill. The miller was happy because he was able to provide for his son’s future, and the only thing his wife wanted was a daughter-in-law that was as beautiful, happy and rich as her only child.

 

As the years went by, and still the son did not marry, his mother began worrying that something was bothering him. In order to encourage him to get married, she began listing the names of girls he could marry. He listened to her patiently, and afterwards confessed that he loved a young and beautiful girl by the name of Janja more than anything else in the world. When she heard who her son had chosen as his bride, the mother became furious because Janja was a poor girl, and she had intended to marry him off to one of the wealthier girls in the village. The fight was interrupted by the miller who told his son to marry the girl he loved.