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The Vrata Valley extends from the village of Mojstrana all the way to the north face of Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain. Largely uninhabited, it is considered one of Slovenia’s most beautiful valleys. Many visitors, however, pay a visit to the area not to ascend Triglav, but to experience the power and majesty of the Peričnik Waterfall. Foto: Urban Bera

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The Changing Face of a Legendary Waterfall

Slovenia Revealed
19. May 2017 ob 06:17
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

The Vrata Valley extends from the village of Mojstrana all the way to the north face of Triglav, Slovenia’s highest mountain. Largely uninhabited, it is considered one of Slovenia’s most beautiful valleys. Many visitors, however, pay a visit to the area not to ascend Triglav, but to experience the power and majesty of the Peričnik Waterfall.

The story of Peričnik began during the most recent Ice Age. When the glacier retreated, a stream created a waterfall on the edge of the newly created valley. The appearance of the waterfall changed dramatically over the centuries, and natural processes continue to shape Peričnik to this day. In fact, old photographs show that its flow has changed even within living memory. Locals recall that in the 1930s, a large amount of gravel even temporarily split the primary stream of water in two.

Today, the waterfall consists of two cascades, the largest 52 meters in height, while the smaller (and higher) is 16 meters high. Peričnik is not Slovenia’s largest waterfall – that honor belongs to Boka in the Soča Valley --, but it is certainly one of the most spectacular. It is also one of only a handful of waterfalls in Europe with a trail that enables people to walk behind it. As long as they don’t mind getting wet from a spray of water, visitors can experience the power of cascading water up close. Peričnik is especially unforgettable in wintertime when the two cascades freeze and hundreds of smaller drips form glistening icicles.

Given the magical atmosphere around the waterfall, it’s not surprising that Peričnik inspired a local legend. According to the story, an old mountain man once built himself a hut near the waterfall and would frequently steal cattle and sheep that grazed in the area. Locals from the village of Mojstrana could not get rid of him. One day, however, a beggar got free shoes from a local shoemaker, and in gratitude, told the shoemaker how to build a trap for the mountain man using cobbler’s glue. Villagers caught the man and released him only when he promised that he would leave the Slovenian Lands for good. Their livelihood was saved and the village could prosper.

A quick glimpse of the Peričnik waterfall convinces may visitors that this is a place where fairytales can indeed come to life.

Jaka Bartolj