I was looking forward to the Erasmus+ project, as I am interested in mythology and old beliefs. The lecturer described the time when he first encountered Slavic myths and legends. He introduced us to the farm, where he took note of the stories and gave us a few examples of how these are still being shown today (for example Belin’s throne – medicinal stone).
Next, he showed us Bled Island, on which stood the supposed shrine. He also supported this with evidence, which can still be found on the island (ceremonial fireplace, spring and ceremonial stone). He explained all this in relation to a ceremonial angle equal to the angle of the propensity of the Earth’s axis, which is 23.5°. Several examples of architecture in Slovenia followed where this angle appears (on the Three Bridges and the statue of Prešeren in Ljubljana, and elsewhere), and works of many important artists such as Plečnik and da Vinci.
He also explained the division of the worlds of the old Slavic religion to the heavenly world (Prav), the Earth (Jav) and the underground world of ancestors (Nav). A snake is an animal that can travel between these worlds and is one of the main symbols of paganism. It is for this reason that it often appears – either in the form of a snake or a dragon – in Slovenian architecture.
I have not really explored Slavic myths and legends before, as we had never discussed them and, for this reason, they had not aroused my interest. I was surprised that they still connect so strongly with architecture and art today.
Although I was interested in the subject of the lecture, I was a little disappointed by the content. I expected more stories about beings, more myths and legends, and less theory and evidence about the connection of these myths to the present. It also seems to me that the lecturer could have spoken more coherently, and his presentation could have been more clearly structured. But, as he himself claimed to hope, I was inspired and I decided to explore old Slavic beliefs in greater detail.
Špela Hriberšek, 3. a