When The Witches Are Cooking On Mt. Slivnica, You Don’t Get Any Views Of the Valley …

When The Witches Are Cooking On Mt. Slivnica, You Don’t Get Any Views Of the Valley …

Mt. Slivnica, which overlooks the small Slovenian town of Cerknica together with Cerkniško jezero lake, is a popular hikers destination. But according to some local lores, it has long been a meeting place for witches who flew here on broomsticks from southern Dalmatian coast in Croatia.

Written records

Even the great 17th century Slovenian polymath Janez Vajkard Valvasor wrote about witchcraft in the area.

It was believed that in the Coprniška jama cave beneath the peak, the witches cooked up lightning and thunderstorms that they played havoc in the valleys below.

Local legend says that when the witches of Slivnica began to practice their evil magic, the hill was quickly enveloped in fog.

Scientists now know that thunderstorms in the area are the result of moist, unstable air moving in from the Adriatic. But for centuries, the locals tried to stop the storms by scaring away the witches.

Witch Uršula leading the Cerknica carnival parade.

There was even an attempt to seal off the cave. Unfortunately, the plan backfired as the rock that would have closed the entrance instead rolled down the hill and towards Cerknica, almost crushing a home.

Mt. Slivnica (named also the Mountain of Witches) is 1114 meters high; it is located north of the Cerknica field and east of the Lake Cerknica. A witch cave is located under the top of Slivnica.

The witches dancing at the Cerknica carnival!

Witches fly out for the Cerknica Carnival

Nowadays, the witches are no longer quite as feared in the Cerknica region as they were in the past. Moreover, every year a carnival parade prominently features the witches of Slivnica, who have become something of a local brand.

Visit Notranjska Regional Park web page for all the information about the nature and culture of the park!

Read also: 10 Hidden Gems in Ljubljana – (letsgoslovenia.si)

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