Zlatorog – ‘Golden Horn’

The legend of Zlatarog, the golden horned, white chamois, is centred on the mountains of Triglav. The story tells of a young hunter who falls in love with a beautiful local girl and wins her heart by bringing her wonderful mountain flowers. Her head is turned by a merchant fromVenicewho brings her gold instead of flowers, and the young hunter is driven to try and catch Zlatorog. He is urged on by the Green hunter, an evil character, who tells him that Zlatorog’s horns hold the key to finding the golden treasure of the mountains. The young hunter succeeds in finding and shooting Zlatorog and the Green Hunter tells him to kill the animal before it can eat the flowers that have sprung from its blood (the Triglav flower – Potentilla nitidus). He is not quick enough and Zlatorog springs back to life and the young hunter falls from the mountain path and is killed.

The story of Zlatorog is very well known inSloveniaand parts ofItalyandAustria. It was first written down in 1868 and later made into an opera. As well as the Zlatorog legend there are many folk legends specific to Bohinj which have been collected and written down by Professor Maria Tsevtok.