Fairytale hero to attract tourists to Osilnica

Osilnica, 31 May - Osilnica, a town on the southern border, has decided to revive its tourism after the epidemic with the help of a folktale hero with super powers, Peter Klepec, hailing from the area. As part of a project dubbed Heroes of Mysterious Woods, visitors will be able to experience the life of Klepec, a poor shepherd whom a fairy gave special powers.

The river Kolpa.
Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
File photo

Also participating in the project are the nearby Kočevje and Kostel, which are also home to folktale heroes. "Osilnica is known as the land of Peter Klepec, but we have not marketed this so far," said Mayor Alenka Kovač. The concept is specially designed for families and children.

The project that highlights the cultural heritage and mythology of the area includes a Peter Klepec-themed hike, taking visitors to the house of the little shepherd who lived with his poor mother, where they can learn about the life of peasants in Klepec's time, and get to know different tree species.

They can also try some of the games that were popular in Klepec's time such as archery, boules, horseshoe pitching and tug of war.

Visitors will be able to experience Klepec's story in a digital world as well and attend a market place boasting local culinary delights, herbs, souvenirs and hand-made products celebrating the area's mythological heritage.

The Osilnica municipality hopes to attract schools as well with the new project. "We've missed a lot this year because of the epidemic, so we're already focussing on next year," the mayor told the STA.

Kovač said Osilnica in the valley of the Kolpa river had a lot to offer. She pointed to the many hiking trails in the area with panoramic views and rich vegetation, an adrenaline park, rafting and climbing.

"We have many plans but since we're small, it takes time," said the mayor of the municipality with some 400 people that lives mostly off tourism.

© STA, 2021