The Storytelling Fairy Tale Route in Ogulin

Ogulin is located halfway between Zagreb and Rijeka, in a wide valley bordered by forest. The city was founded 520 years ago, and Bernardin Frankopan was the builder of the city. Founded as a defense against the Turks, from its inception to today, it underwent a transformation from a military fortified town to a town that celebrates fairy tales and fairy tale writers from around the world.

The birth of Ivana Brlić Mažuranić in Ogulin in 1874 and her visits, mentions, descriptions, research, and special connection with her birthplace and its natural and intangible beauties – are strong enough reasons for the Storytelling Fairy Tale Route in Ogulin – a route that combines the work of Ivana Brlić Mažuranić with localities in and around the town.

This route combines Ivana’s literary work and the main attractions of Ogulin, such as Đula’s Abyss – the River Dobra, Klek mountain, and the small center of the town with the Frankopan Castle.

The storytelling route of fairy tales in Ogulin has already been visited by thousands of visitors, both young and old, big and small, and as a souvenir, they have taken the stories and fairy tales of this region away with them. We look forward to seeing more and more visitors exploring what is on offer such as storytelling on the peak of Klek. Or even a personalized fairy tale or story for someone.

As the cradle of Croatian mountaineering and alpinism, Klek is a mountain that has attracted nature lovers for centuries. Many legends and stories are connected with Klek, and its wonderful form has inspired many writers, poets, travel writers, and painters. One of the authors who was inspired by Klek and the legends about Klek was Ema Božičević, who was also born in Ogulin and who published two collections of stories and a novel. One of her stories is called Vještica (The Witch), and visitors and I have experienced a special feeling about the telling of the story after the climb up Klek.

It is a great feeling to tell stories at the top of Klek and tour the fairy tale route with small private groups, most often with families.

Ogulin is located at the foot of Klek, in a vast valley dominated by two rivers, both underground streams, vast meadows and arable fields, villages alongside forested valleys, rivers, and lakes, caves, and underground passages. Šmitovo Lake and its source Rupećica are a couple of the favorite hidden parts of the town. Nature lovers particularly enjoy this mystical lake. There is also the large Sabljaci Lake and Lake Bukovnik with a path along the River Dobra. It takes just a weekend to get to know this place, including the climb up Klek or a trip to Šmitovo Lake. Along with the excellent tourist infrastructure needed for guests to arrive and stay, one can experience and see something different in Ogulin. This is offered by the small business Živa Riječ (Living Word) that has been telling and working with fairy tales and stories exclusively for years. If you would like more information about storytelling in Ogulin please visit:

About the storyteller:

I was born in Ogulin, educated in Zagreb I began working in the primary school in Plaški as a teacher where I gained valuable experience in working with children who during the war abandoned their homes and settled in Plaški, in the search and need of a more peaceful life. My next position was for the mission of OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) in Croatia, at the office in Karlovac, where I also gained valuable experiences in working with people from all over the world. For several reasons this job made a deep impression on me because by touring the field and people I got to know families and individuals who were left without their property and rights; and I heard and listened to their stories, their life stories.

Over time, as part of the Ogulin Fairy Tale Festival, I attended a workshop for storytellers led by Jasna Held and I discovered my new love, i.e. the job I wanted to do in the future. I have continued to work according to the mentor’s instructions and I combine all my previous business experiences together… I combined the art of storytelling with my training as a tourist guide, and in 2013 I started my own small company Živa Riječ (Living Word), which I still run to this day. I provide storytelling services for young and old and I am also a registered tourist guide in two counties in Croatia.

I have visited many schools, kindergartens, associations, and institutions with fairy tales, and many groups from schools, kindergartens, associations, and families and individuals from all over Croatia and the EU have also visited me in fairy tale Ogulin – to everyone’s delight!

I’m waiting for you too…

Storytelling is a synergy of creation because it happens directly. Whatever the occasion, when the storytelling begins, we revive some distant and magical world.

So, if you want to enrich a special occasion, birthday, or event in real-time with a story or a fairy tale, prepare a special surprise or gift – please get in touch.

Maybe your fairy tale is already waiting for you!

For more information and arrangements contact:


Authors: Sabina Gvozdić, Martin Mayhew /

Photography: Domagoj Blažević, Zvonimir Pribanić

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