Experiences from Croatia
Driving by motorway A1 (Zagreb - Split) from the direction of Zagreb towards the Adriatic sea one particular mountain will surely draw your attention. Somewhere after Bosiljevo, near the town of Ogulin, its characteristic form will not be able to pass unnoticed. Entering Ogulin, the impressiveness of the Klek mountain is becoming increasingly apparent. The starting points for hiking trails are from entering Ogulin directing you to the mountain. There are several marked mountain trails, shorter and longer. We have chosen the most visited, mountainous route known as the educational trail. The beginning of this path begins in the village of Bjelsko, more precisely at the home of the scouts.
Throughout the hiking trail, there are information boards on biodiversity and interesting information and legends in Croatian and English about the Klek mountain. Not far before the arrival at the mountaineering home in Klek, one of the inscriptions will draw your attention - "Welcome to the empire of the Klek witches".
Numerous legends and myths are associated with Klek. Even in the 17th century, Ivan Valvazor, a historian and a travel writer, wrote a legend about how the Klek Mountain was created. In those ancient times, when gods and giants lived on earth, there was a quarrel between them. The reason is that the gods took all the food and drink for themselves, and let the Giants starve. One of the giants called Klek rebelled and fought with the god of Volos. God Volos punished him because he dared to rebel and turned him with his magical sword into a stone. In difficult moments of turning into stone and a gorgeous mountain, Klek promised that one day he would awaken and revenge. During the stormy days, witches are coming to Klek who are trying to wake the sleeping giant. Indeed, when you look at Klek from afar, you will see the outline of a giant lying on his back, his head is the peak of mountain Klek, and the legs of the sleeping giant are two cliffs of Klečica peak.
After passing the mountain hut, which is exactly 1000 m above sea level, the path leads further towards the top of Klek (1173 m). This part is fairly steeper in relation to the part of the hiking route and is partially secured by rope. From the top is a beautiful view of Bjelolasica, Risnjak and the entire Ogulin region.
It is interesting to mention that Klek mountain is on the flag of the Croatian Mountaineering Association as one of the symbols.
Descending from Klek, it is really a pity not to visit, at least for a while a beautiful town of Ogulin. According to the available data, Ogulin was created at the end of the 15th century when the Frankopan noble family built a fortress, the Frankopan Fortress. Today, this castle is used as a museum.
Near the castle, is a river Dobra abyss under the name Đulin abyss. As for the mountain, Ogulin also has many legends. So one of them is tied to this abyss.
According to the legend, Đulin's abyss is named after the young girl Đula who lived in Ogulin in the 16th century. At that time the agreed marriages were normal. Thus, Đula was promised to an older nobleman for a woman. It was the time when great battles with the Turks were taking place, and in order to defend the Frankopan fortress in Tounje, the young captain Milan Juraić arrived in Ogulin. The legend says that one meeting between Milan and Đula was enough for the two to fall in love. Unfortunately, love did not last long because Milan was killed in one of the battles with the Turks. The news soon reached Đula, who was heartbroken and killed herself by throwing in river Dobra abyss. In honor of the unlucky Đula's love, locals from that time called river Dobra abyss - Đulin's abyss.
Ogulin is associated with the name of the famous Croatian writer Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, often referred to as the Croatian Hans Christian Andersen. Characters from her fantastic books like Kosjenka and Regoč, Stribor, Palunka, Vjesta, Potjeh, Malik Tintilinić, Svarožić, and Bjesomar can be seen in Ogulin in Ivana's house of fairy tale that acts as multimedia and interactive museum of fairy tales.
Because of the importance of the Frankopan noble family for the very foundation of Ogulin, near the Frankopan Fortress is the hotel Frankopan, an 18th-century building, which was built during the 19th century for administrative purpose and was later converted to the hotel and restaurant. We ended our trip here by trying one of their many delicious pancakes.
If you want to stay surrounded by nature or maybe try to catch a witch from Klek mountain during a stormy night, look for accommodation in Ogulin. You can stay in many private family accommodations in apartments, rooms or holiday homes! Friendly hosts will be happy to discover you all the attractions of the Ogulin area.
Klek Ogulin Croatian mountains