A noble and powerful ruler once had a daughter named Bora. Bora was admired and loved by many suitors for her beauty and intelligence who wished to take her hand in marriage, however she refused them all. She became so arrogant on account of her beauty and even dared to praise herself over the eternal goddesses. The infuriated goddesses asked the sovereign god to punish her. The god struck her with lightning and condemned her to hell and eternal damnation. Since then, each time a woman is condemned to hell (within the territory of today’s Paklenica park) for the same sin, Bora recalls her life regretting and heavily sighing. Her sighs cause the wind which is still called bora.
Petar Zoranić, “Mountains” (“Planine”) – The Origin and Name of the Bora Wind
An archbishop of Zadar was once passing through the village of Privlaka. Riding on his horse he didn’t notice the snakes hiding in the sandy soil. One of poisonous reptiles bit the archbishop’s horse which reared up and unseated the archbishop. Once on the ground, the injured archbishop cursed each poisonous snake in Privlaka. Since that day there have been no poisonous snakes in Privlaka. Scientists also claim that snakes avoid this region because of its underground waters and sandy terrain.
It was customary in Privlaka for young brides to bring cakes and apples to the water well on the first morning after their wedding night. The bride would place cake and apples on the edge of the water well and throw the remaining apples into the well. The village boys would wait all night by the well to be the first to taste the cake. Women coming to the well during the day to draw water would find apples in their buckets and know that there was a new bride in the village.
The favourite game played by the boys of Privlaka was the apple race. Legend has it that an apple thrown into one of the Privlaka water wells would reach the sea before the boy who threw it could get there. He would arrive at the coast on foot only to find the apple already there, brought by underground water currents to await its curious seeker.
The fairy Prislavka and the god Proteus had two sons, Sokolar and Novak. Sokolar fell deeply in love with Jagica and his love was reciprocated. Jagica’s best friend, a girl named Ružica, decided to win Sokolar for herself. She poisoned Jagica and the girl died. Venus, goddess of love, transformed Jagica into a strawberry. Sokolar watered the strawberry with his tears and remained inconsolable despite his mother’s earnest promises to find him the most beautiful and gentle love. The boy, overcome with sadness and pain, turned into water while lying in his mother’s lap. This water is still called Sokolar in his honour (one of the Privlaka water wells).
Petar Zoranić, “Mountains” (“Planine”) – The Legend of Transformation of Sokolar into Water and Jagica and Ružica into Flowers
The fairies Prislavka and Primorka were sisters. Novak, the son of Prislavka and the brother of Sokolar, went hunting with his cousin and Primorka’s son Dražnik. The hunt fairies Mare and Jela spotted the young men in the woods and immediately fell in love with them. Their love was reciprocated, Novak fell in love with Mara and Dražnik fell in love with Jela. When Diana, the hunt goddess, found about their love, she became furious with the fairies and killed them. As an example to others, she turned Mara into water and Jela into a tree. The death of his loved one made Novak cry into his mother’s lap so much that even he, like his brother Sokolar, turned into water. This water (one of the Privlaka water wells) is still named after him. His mother Prislavka died of sadness and the village that is home to her tomb is named Privlaka after her. Proteus, the god of the sea and Prislavka’s husband, stricken by this harsh fate, still embraces his beloved Prislavka.
Petar Zoranić, “Mountains” (“Planine”) – The Legend on How Dražnik and Novak Were Transformed into Water, Mara into a Spring, Jela into a Wood and of the Transformation of Privlaka
As well as its hardworking fishermen and peasants, Privlaka is known for its sabunjari – men who until just recently were known for excavating the sea sand in this region and for carrying it on their shoulders to the wooden ships (typical wooden ships called leut, trabakul and bracera). It is thanks to them that Zadar was rebuilt after being destroyed in the World War II. Celebrating the victory over all of life’s misfortunes and as a sign of pride and glory, today’s football team is called Sabunjar.