Mystic town of Imotski


The town of Imotski is a part of the Imotski's landscape, back in the 10th century it was founded near the border of Croatia with Bosnia and Herzegovina and is a part of the Dalmatian hinterland. It is considered one of the most beautiful Dalmatian towns due to the old town core which is made of carved stone. But apart from the beauty of this area, it has some truly special features. On its western edge, this town ‘hugs’ one of its most famous lakes and attractions. It is the Blue lake, and only one kilometer away stands the widely known Red lake, the deepest lake in Europe, named after the red rocks surrounding it. Blue lake becomes a bathing spot during the summer, while you can’t enter the Red lake because of the steep rocks surrounding it.

The Blue Lake story tells that the lake was deep like a secret, and to people who lived on its shore were as important as health. Legend has it that in the past, the good and evil spirits settled into the caves. Good spirits had their days, and the people who bathed in it on those days became good themselves. According to legend, fairies surrounded the lakeshore at night and danced around the Blue Lake. Evil spirits just wanted to do some evil to the people and didn’t even allow children who went down to the water to touch the lake.

They say that because of evil spirits all kinds of wonders could’ve been seen in the waters of the lake, and in the night on its cliffs, a painful weep has spreaded, a weep of the lake that didn’t want to belong to any evil spirit, no matter his enchanted effigy.

But one night, people heard a terrible scream of the wind and a thunder of stones. That night was the time of evil, since in the morning there was no lake, but only the gapping, dry mouth of the Earth. Evil had dug deep holes in the ground and let all the silver lake water flow through them.

Even today it dries out from time to time, and at the rock bottom of it locals play a unique soccer match between "Elfs" and "Werewolfs", thus preserving and transmitting the legends of this region, which is characterized by numerous mystical stories of mouth-to-mouth tradition.

West of the Blue lake stands the famous Red Lake, the deepest karst lake in Europe. Rare individuals dived deep into its water, and only recently its depth was confirmed as well as the record. Its waters, unlike the Blue Lake’s, never run dry because they are constantly recruit by the underground river.

Very few visitors did not attempt to throw stones into the waters of the Red Lake, but only the rare ones succeeded in that attempt . The scientific explanation says that the reason for this phenomenon is in the drift above the lake that is so strong that it attracts stones like a magnet back between the rocks of the cliff making it almost impossible to throw a rock into the water.

Other explanation is related to the story of the birth of this mystical lake.

The protagonist of this historic tale is a man named Gavan who had a large estate in the field of today’s Red Lake.

Gavan was a very rich but very greedy man for whom the locals said he had a face of a man, but a soul of the devil. He had so much money and treasure that he didn’t know the number of it, but the soul he did not have. He also had a wife, Gavanica, of a same temper, children and a lot of servants. Gavan was not only known for his wealth but for his arrogance. He mistreated all his servants and people who came to him. To convince of Gavan’s arrogance, an angel descended to the ground disguised as a beggar, seeking charity from Gavan. Gavanica opened the door, and didn’t want to give him any food or water. The angel then asked Gavanica, "Are you afraid of God?", to which she replied that she was not afraid of anyone while her Gavan is there.

 At that moment the earth rumbled, the thunder and the lightning striked, and the whole Gavan estate, Gavan, Gavanica, and the children drowned into the land that has opened due to earthquake. That is how the site of today's Red lake was made. When the cold and sharp wind Bura blows, whistling through these rocks, the inhabitants of Imotski say that they still hear the cries of Gavan and Gavanica from the depths of the lake, and when the weather is fine, the sky is clear, and the water is calm and there is no many people around, even today You can see the Red lake with the remains of old Gavan's courtyard walls!

Everyone who finds himself over the cliffs of the Red Lake pauses in the glorious scenery without breath and words. The beauty of Imotski lakes is really like a fairy dance: unreal, irresistible, scary and attractive, and the fairy dance wheel, the oldest villagers say, still takes place overnight by the waters of lakes of Imotski.

In 1998, the lake was explored by fifty speleologists of a great international expedition, but despite all this, the final depth of the lake has not been established for years. It was only recently discovered that the lake was deep astonishing 252 meters!

Still, the Red Lake, despite the somewhat scary story of Gavan, is one of the most beautiful pearls of Imotski as well as the Blue lake, which is also linked to a multitude of mysterious stories and legends we can trust, like the local population, or we don’t have to. Just point to this mystical area and decide for yourself whether this story is anything more than a legend.

We invite you to explore this (fairy)tale yourself,

of course, with T & T.


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