The Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival and Igra Kolo upon the 520th founding of the town of Ogulin The town Ogulin celebrates its own special day on 14th September – the Day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

On the eve of the 520th anniversary of the town beneath Klek, this year the Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival and Igra Kolo – a review of the folklore of Karlovac County, will be held uniquely together this year from 11th – 13th September.

The town of Ogulin was founded back in 1500, its builder was Bernardin Frankopan, who from his property in Modruš, after the frequent incursions by the Ottomans, chose this place beneath Klek mountain and above the chasm of the River Dobra to be his new fortress. Those turbulent years proved this to be a good strategy because Ogulin remained a place that was never conquered. Quite the contrary, over the constant course of time, Ogulin was transformed from a military fortified burg into a small baroque town surrounded by beautiful nature – a lovely place to live that celebrates fairy tales and fairy tale writers from all over the world.

The reason for this transformation, apart from the favourable peacetime conditions, is the fact that the most famous of Croatian writers Ivana Brlić Mažuranić was born right here in Ogulin. This was the beginning of a wonderful friendship between Ivana and Ogulin, a story that began to unfurl in Ivana’s imagination long before the Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival was first held back in 2006. Namely, Ivana took inspiration for her famous book Croatian Tales of Long Ago by recollecting her homeland, most of all its nature, legends and folk customs.

Based on a study of the development of cultural tourism, museologist Dragana Lucija Ratković Aydemir from the Zagreb company Muses, in cooperation with the Tourist Board of Ogulin, began a project that resulted in the recognition of both the tangible, natural and rich intangible heritage.

The producer of the Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival since 2010 has been Aleksandra Kolić Puškarić, who every year brings the best artists, plays, theatre and storytellers from all over Croatia and the world to the festival – much to the delight of young and old.

And so waiting for us this year are:

storyteller Jasna Held from Dubrovnik, storyteller and actress Tatjana Šojić from Sarajevo, the Martinius Circus and Luka Vidović, Novi Život drama studio from Zagreb, pub quizmaster Silvije Pleština, Barakuda 2020 Theatre, Bohoc Brigad Theatre Company from Pécs (Hungary), Zmajoljupci from Zagreb, Kozlići Society from Zagreb, Poco Loco Theatre from Zagreb, Krstokljun Society from Ogulin, Cirk Pozor Cultural Society from Zagreb, Zapik Theatre Company from Slovenia, and me storyteller Sabina Gvozdić from Ogulin. Also taking part in the festival are Ogulin’s secondary schools, societies, sports clubs, HGSS (the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service) and many more.

The Igra Kolo native folklore review has been held since 1996. It also promotes the history, customs and culture of Karlovac County. The participants are the guardians of the folk traditions of this part of Croatia, and with their music, dance and linguistic folklore expression they celebrate and pass on the heritage of this region. Every year cultural and artistic societies from Karlovac, as well as other counties, perform in the review. The organiser of the review is the Open University in Ogulin.

The festival locales are:

Regoč – the Frankopan Castle

Đula’s garden – the Scout’s Park (Park izviđača)

Neva Nevičica – the Open University of Ogulin, Centre of Technical Culture and Petar Stipetić Square.

Stribor – Nazorova 5 Caffe Bar

Potjeh – King Tomislav Park

It just remains to say – see you in Ogulin at the 15th Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival and Igra Kolo folklore review on the eve of the founding of the town!

Photos by Domagoj Blažević
Translation by Martin Mayhew