‘Ajdovska Deklica’ (‘Heathen Maiden’) in Slovenia

'Ajdovska Deklica' ('Heathen Maiden')

In Slovenian, ajd literally means “heathen.” The rock formation of “Ajdovska Deklica” is usually known as the “Heathen Maiden” in English. Traditionally, it also denotes a supernatural quality.

According to folklore, the maiden was a good-hearted villager who often guided travelers through snowstorms. In some renditions, she is described as a nymph or forest spirit. The maiden also had prophetic abilities and could foretell the fates of unborn babies. One day, she prophesized about a boy who would grow to become a hunter and catch the Zlatorog or Goldenhorn, a mythical chamois buck with magical powers.

Infuriated that she foresaw the death of the Zlatorog, the maiden’s siblings placed a curse on her. So, when she returned home on Mount Prisojnik, her body was transformed into stone.

The maiden’s cursed form remains on the northern wall of Prisojnik, its rocky outcrop forming her face. It’s an unmistakable pareidolia if you’re looking at it from the right angle. 

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