Zmejca Cave – v. of Gradeshnica

Category: Преданија - Legends - Μύθος

Zmejca is a cave in the area of the Mariovo village of Gradeshnica. The place at a time was called Dragon’s hole.

On the Day of St. Peter and Paul there is snow and ice in the cave. The old descended down in the cave using branches to take ice. Ever in the cave Dragon lived. He had a wife who was called Jana.  Below the cave in the locality Dobro Pole (Good Field) was a lake in which other dragon, the water one lived. The two dragons are not tolerated each other and consistently argued. The dragon from the lake who was younger and more handsome, constantly yelled at the other dragon, "You are like a dog hiding in the cave! Come out if you're a man!" The first dragon yelled at the water one, "You are lying in the mud like a pig!" and once they started to fight. All around has shook. Water dragon fell down to the earth and then Jana, who quickly fell in love with him, stepped on the belt of her husband to save the other. But she got scared and ran away. She had wings and flew fast. The husband threw the wooden handle to hit her, but did not hit. The handle fell to the place now called Rachkovec after the wooden handle of the Dragon. Jana flew further and saw red dogwood glowing on the sun. She wanted to eat and landed over the dogwood. Her husband - Dragon raised a huge plate and threw it on Jana. Jana died remaining under the slab. The slab exists even now and the folks call it the slab of Jana. The slab looks like a tomb and the people express piety to the beautiful and unfortunate Jana. None defiles it and nobody eats the dogwoods around. We see that this legend is composed of three legends. The first is for the two dragons, for the second for the locality Rachkovec, and the third for Jana’s slab.

Done Panovski, Legends from Mariovo and Meglen, published in Miscellany, Folklore and etnology in Mariovo and Meglen, Prilep, 1994, 113.


Expert report on the natural/historical monuments in the municipality of Novaci
Prepared by: Igor Tasevski,
April 2014