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MY ISTRIA GUIDE

Dragon´s Eye - the mystical lake of Rogoznica in the heart of Dalmatia

Dragon´s Eye - the mystical lake of Rogoznica in the heart of Dalmatia

Myths and legends - explore and enjoy a natural phenomenon in the heart of Dalmatia

In addition to an abundance of natural beauties and attractions that are worth visiting during your stay in Croatia, we should certainly mention the numerous legends and myths woven into Croatian culture and history. Discovering and exploring them can only enrich your vacation and give it a special dimension.

If you have rented one of our beautiful villas with pool in Dalmatia, be sure to explore this natural phenomenon in the popular small tourist town of Rogoznica, which is 30 kilometres from the town of Sibenik, in the south of northern Dalmatia.

The small fishing village of Rogoznica has become a small tourist pearl, which due to its geographical position is shaped by a specific climate. With beautiful nature, lovely beaches for the whole family, it's cultural and gastronomic offer, the famous marina - it is also the "home" of a very distinctive and mystical lake, called Dragon's Eye (Zmajevo oko in Croatian).

view-from-the-sea-of-Rogoznica-with-houses-on-the-hill-and-a-boat-in-harbour

You have to admit that the very name of the mentioned lake, Dragon's Eye, arouses curiosity and an adventurous spirit in you :).

Before we start with the legends, a few facts: Lake Zmajevo oko is located on the Gradina peninsula, opposite the Soline bay, very close to the sea. The lake is not directly connected to the sea, but it is connected to it by underwater channels, so the water in the lake is salty. It is a lake of irregular elliptical shape, surrounded by vertical rocks up to 24 meters high, the lake is up to 15 meters deep and has an area of 10,000 m2. Scientists are still not sure exactly when and how it originated.

Apart from being used for swimming by the locals, it is attractive and special because of its shape and beautiful color - the very biological peculiarity of the lake and the fact it is a rare natural phenomenon, is cause it consists of several layers of water, each with a different color. It is green and blue on the surface, yellow and green in the middle, and there is actually no oxygen at the bottom, because it has a high concentration of hydrogen sulphide, and the water is therefore red or brown at the bottom. Don't let that deter you from swimming in the lake in any way, since the water has a constant optimum temperature, and they say that it is beneficial for the skin as well, since it contains a lot of minerals :)

Every few years, however, there is a natural occurrence, during which the layers of water mix for some reason, and the water seem as if it is "boiling". The lake then evaporates an unpleasant odor due to the sulfur that comes to the surface, it is left without oxygen and thus unfortunately all the living world in it dies :(. The good thing, however, is that life in the lake, due to the new inflow of sea water through underground canals, is slowly recovers after this phenomenon occurs.

Although there is a scientific explanation, it gives the locals enough material for various legends that "explain" why this phenomenon occurs… there is a waking dragon, a meteorite or even aliens who contact their species in space from their spaceship at the bottom of the lake, every time the water “boils”.

Legends, various beings and creatures are associated with different lakes in the world. With this beautiful lake in the heart of Dalmatia, at least 3 legends / myths are connected, no less and no more :).

However, the dragon certainly occupies a central place in the legends about the uniqueness of this lake and its name!

areal-view-of-rogoznica-town-and-bay-as-well-as-lake-near-the-coast

One version is related to Greek mythology, which says that the terrible dragon Murin, as the son of the goddess Hera and the god of the sea Poseidon, protected the local population from bandits - but for that he demanded tribute - every year he looked for the most beautiful girl to become his wife. As you can already guess, the unfortunate girls unfortunately did not survive the dragon wedding night.

So the ceremony took place every year, until one year the chosen girl was liked by the ancient Greek hero Aristoles, who appeared on the winged horse Pegasus, and challenged the terrible dragon, in order to save the girl. Legend has it that young Aristoles mortally wounded the dragon Murin, so he dug his own eyes out with his claws, threw one far behind the island of Mljet, but the other fell at his feet. The dragon's eye melted the stone, and a pit was formed, the sea water filled the pit and today's lake was created!

Another legend passed on by the locals is the story of two brothers, whose fertile field was located on the site of the present lake. After one brother was unfortunately blinded, the field was to be divided. The healthy brother deceived the blind man and this one cursed him with the words that if he did not divide the land justly, may everything turn into a lake and may he be swallowed by a dragon. Maybe that's how it was!

One of the legends says that the lake was created by the fall of a meteorite, since it has a specific shape, or that the pit was created by the fall of a spaceship with aliens!

At the end of the story about the mystical Dragon's Eye and the terrible dragon Murin, I would like to mention one sweet romantic aspect, a folk tale, that if two lovers swim together in the lake, their love will be eternal, marriage blessed and children healthy :)

Whichever of the mentioned legends you believe in, or even if you are a skeptic, or just a romantic :), we believe that there are plenty of reasons to come and swim in the Dragon's Eye, this special natural phenomenon, while you spend your vacation in one of our beautiful villas on the Dalmatian coast.


Natalie Sipak

07.01.2021
+385 1 222 70 50