Lake Bohinj - largest permanent freshwater lake in Slovenia at 2.6 km long and 1 km wide.
Formed as a shallow glacial lake within the Julian Alps, it drains off to the east to become the Sava River.
A prominent visiting spot is the statue dedicated to the legendary Golden-horn or Zlatorog, a bronze statue of a Chamois Deer placed upon a large rock by the lake side. This was inspired by a legendary Slovenian tale called Zlatorog - which also inspired the later poem of the same name Zlatorog by the German poet, Rudolph Baumbach.
The story is told:
A hunter in the Soča Valley was turned away by the object of his affections, an innkeeper’s daughter, in favour of a richer man whose flattery and rich offerings she had fallen in love with. In order to try and win back her hand in marriage, he was persuaded by a trickster to hunt down and capture the elusive Goldenhorn, a white chamois deer with horns made of pure gold and bring it to his intended wife as a bargaining trophy.
Unknown to the Hunter was that the deer had been given special powers by the elemental folk known as the White Ladies that lived high in the mountains that made it elusive and difficult to catch. The hunter pursued the deer right to the top of the highest peak in Slovenia, Mount Triglav at nearly 3000 metres. He managed to shoot the animal, injuring it. However, as the Chamois bled onto the ground, beautiful flowers and herbs sprung up from the spot it lay upon. The deer ate the flowers and began to regain its strength. As the hunter drew closer to the deer upon the peak, he was so blinded by his lust for the golden horns, he lost his footing and tumbled over a steep cliff to his death.
A moral tale warning that greed almost always leads to the downfall of a man pursuing easy riches.
The full story was adapted and written by Karl Dezman in 1868:
The Legend of Goldenhorn
The Jezéra mountain pasture near the Triglav Lakes and rocky Mt. Komna were once part of the Alpine paradise where the White Ladies lived. These were creatures with gentle and compassionate hearts. They would often appear in the valley in order to help poor people in need. They stood by the women in labor, and the boys these women gave birth to were underspecial protection of the White Ladies throughout their lives.They taught the shepherds about the medicinal powers of herbs. Thanks to them, strong grass grew on the naked rocky brinks and the poor people’s goats found their pasture there. The White Ladies didn’t like people thanking them and, if anyone came close to their high valley, they didn’t let them go any further by making threatening gestures. If anyone did come close to their dwellings by accident or by being presumptuous, huge stone avalanches, downpours, and storms made them go back where they came from.
Their snow-white chamois grazed and stood guard on the mountain ridge whose walls fall steeply down into the Soča
Valley. If an intruder approached, the White Ladies made rocks roll down the slopes. The chamois were led by a strong chamois stag with golden horns called Goldenhorn. The White Ladies made him invulnerable. Even if a hunter’s bullet hit him, a plant with magnificent medicinal power would spring up from a single drop of his blood regardless of where it fell, be it a bare rock or icy snow-covered ground. This plant, the rose cinquefoil, was called the “miraculous balm” or the “Rose of Triglav.” If Goldenhorn ate a leaf of this plant, he instantly got better, even if the bullet hit him in the heart. Even greater was the power of his horns. If someone managed to get close to Goldenhorn and take one of his golden horns, he would have the key to all the silver and gold treasures that the Many-Headed Snake kept in Mt. Bogatin (literally, “Rich Man’s Mountain”).
A gold seeker from Venice waited at the entrance to Mt. Bogatin and saw how Goldenhorn touched the snake with his horn, and the snake became gentle as a lamb and let him dip his horns in the golden stream that ran through the cave. The gold-seeker later found a piece of the golden horn that Goldenhorn scraped off on a rock. This is how he was able to get all the treasures of the world with it. His entire life he carried bags of gold out of Mt. Bogatin and they were all sent to Italy. A hunter from the Trenta Valley was not so lucky. People’s ingratitude and thoughtlessness turned the high valley of the White Ladies into a rocky wasteland.
It happened like this: At that time there were no roads in the Bovec Region, there was just a trail from Kobarid through Bovec to Tarvisio. Italian merchants used it to carry rich Venetian goods to Germany on their mules. At the confluence of the Koritnica and Soča rivers there was a very popular inn where these merchants gathered. Its excellent landlady was well known far and wide because she knew how to sweeten up their rest with a good snack and red wine. Even more pleasing was her daughter, who was virtuous and the most beautiful girl in the valley. She had many suitors, but she gave her heart to a boy from the Trenta Valley.
He was said to be the best hunter far and wide and was called “the hunter of the Trenta Valley.” He was the son of a blind widow and when she got old he took care of her with all the faithful love of a child. They also say that he was protected by the White Ladies. He knew all the trails in the mountains and he was permitted to climb the highest mountains without having to fear the stone avalanches. He would bring many fat chamois, capercaillies, and bunches of beautiful flowers down to the inn, and in this way he won the girl’s love. Because gold and finery are bound to turn people’s heads, along with all the coaxing and flattery of the Italian merchants, the girl became arrogant.
One Sunday when the winter was nearly over, some Italian merchants came to the inn carrying rich goods from Venice. One of them, a rich young gentleman, tried to seduce the girl with gold and promises. He put golden rings on her fingers and tied a pearl necklace around her neck. He treated the other guests to strong Italian wine and ordered the musicians to play, so that people could dance. Then the hunter of the Trenta Valley approached. When he asked his girlfriend for a dance, she frowned at him and, when he reproached her for wearing the Italian’s golden finery, the beauty told him with a sneer that “the Italians are polite gentlemen, much more well-mannered than my lover, who despite knowing all the treasures of the mountains, has never even brought me the Rose of Triglav.
Because mockery goes directly from the mouth to the heart, the boy felt the harshness of these words in his heart and replied in the same arrogant manner: “I know where to find the key to the treasures of Mt. Bogatin and when I do find it I’ll be a king compared to your Italian peddlers, and you are free to stay their barmaid”. He was deeply offended and left the inn. On the way he met a wicked man called the Green Hunter, who was said to have murdered many upright boys. The Green Hunter told the boy many things about the treasures of Mt. Bogatin and the beautiful girls in Italy that are visited by many treasure seekers.That same night they both set out for the mountains to stalk Goldenhorn because the hunter of the Trenta Valley knew all his favorite resting places. They spotted him in the morning and the hunter’s bullet hit Goldenhorn. Badly wounded, it found shelter on a narrow ledge in an inaccessible wall.
“Come with me,” shouted the Green Hunter, “the keys to the treasures of Mt. Bogatin are ours!” Suddenly, on the dangerous path amidst the snow and ice, the boy saw the most beautiful flowers he had ever seen, and among them also the edelweiss, which in past years he had often picked in order to brew a medicine for his mother’s eyes. The memory of his mother and his guardian angel warned him: “Stop, don’t go any further, and be happy with the Roses of Triglav. Your beloved will be ashamed and will ask for your forgiveness because she laughed at you.” Then the Green Hunter shouted: “There is still time to subdue Goldenhorn before he eats the miraculous balm. Take courage and you’ll be richer than all the peddlers that made your girlfriend unfaithful.”
The voice of evil won, and they followed the tracks of the bleeding goat marked with flowers along the path between life and death. But Goldenhorn regained his strength by eating the miraculous balm and, newly revived, he came galloping down the narrow path towards his pursuers with his horns shining in the sun more beautiful than ever. The hunter was blinded and looked into the endless depths. Goldenhorn made one more jump and the hunter lost his footing and fell into the abyss. The Green Hunter laughed maliciously and shouted after him:“Have a nice trip to Italy!”
In the meantime the girl regretted bitterly what she had done to her hunter and waited sadly for him to show up again. It was only after the swallows began returning home and the waters of the Soča began rising because of the snow melting in the
mountains that the river brought down his dead body holding a bouquet of the Roses of Triglav.
In the late summer, when the shepherds came up from the valley of Zajezeram, they found a newly desolate rocky country. The White Ladies had left the land forever and with them the white chamois were also gone. There was no trace left of the former Alpine paradise. In his rage, Goldenhorn had laid waste all the most beautiful pastures and even today the traces of his goldenhorns can be seen on the rocky ground.
Paul is available for consultations to assist with activation and connection to higher dimensional aspects of Self, manifesting and understanding Life purpose events, establishing and maintaining higher expanded consciousness states of awareness.
BOOK A CONSULTATION