Ljubljana and me

Glimpses,photos & experiences of a foreigner living in Slovenia, Ljubljana

Puppet Theatre Clock and Martin Krpan

For a smile, make sure to find yourself in front of Ljubljana Puppet Theatre clock!

        Martin Krpan and his Kobilica , are doing each hour a cute scene , from the Slovenian story Martin Krpan from Vrh ,by Fran Levstik (created on the basis of the Inner Carniolan oral tradition).

Every hour they chase each other P1070917aaa  🙂

..and if you wanna know the  story of  Martin Krpan from Vrh – Martin Krpan z Vrha,part of Slovenian folklore… it goes like this:

“There is a village in Slovenia, Vrh is its name. Martin Krpan, a strong vigorous man, used to live there in the old days. He carried English salt from the sea on his mare, which was forbidden even then. It was winter and snow was lying all around. Only a narrow path – just wide enough for a man to walk on – connected the villages, because there were no roads like there are nowadays. On this path Krpan was carrying a couple of hundred kilos of salt on his mare, when a beautiful carriage came his way. On the carriage was emperor Josef, heading for Trieste, but Krpan was a farmer and didn’t know who the man was. So he lifted up the mare along with the load and put it on the side, so that the carriage wouldn’t knock it down. This was as easy for him as moving a chair for somebody else.

As the emperor saw this, he ordered his carriage to stop. He asked the man who he was and Krpan answered that he was Martin Krpan from Vrh od Svete Trojice. “What are you carrying?”, the emperor asked again. Krpan made up something fast “I have loaded amadou and some whetstones”. This surprised the emperor: “If they are whetstones, why are they in bags?” Krpan answered quickly that he was worried the stones might crack in the cold, so he put them in bags.

A year and some days passed and Krpan was still carrying salt through hills and valleys. Then a terrible giant came to Vienna, Brdavs was his name. He lured all the heroes of the empire into fight. The emperor had many a brave man to fight him, but whoever went into the fight was defeated. And the giants’ heart was not merciful, he murdered anyone whom he defeated. The emperor was scared that he would not stop, but go on and murder everybody.

The coachman heard this and reminded the emperor of Martin Krpan, and how he moved his horse together with the load. If this man couldn’t defeat Brdavs, no one could. So they sent a big beautiful carriage for Krpan. When the carriage reached the place, the emperor’s courier saw Krpan fighting fifteen men, and he knew immediately that he was in the right place. Krpan asked him what he wanted. And the courier replied: »Fast, put your mare in the stall and put your best clothes on, we are going to Vienna to see the emperor.« He explained to him what was happening in Vienna and that he was the empire’s last hope. So off they went.

When they came to Vienna, everything was covered in black and people were crawling sadly like ants. It was the day when Brdavs killed the emperor’s son. The emperor was glad to see Krpan and asked him how he was going to tackle Brdavs. Krpan said they should leave it to him and with what he was going to fight Brdavs. So they gave him something to eat and drink before the emperor showed him the armory. Krpan was taking a long time to choose the weapon, for everything he lifted crumbled in his hands. Therefore Krpan decided to make the weapon himself. In the blacksmiths’ workshop he forged a weapon similar to a butcher’s axe and then he saw a young linden tree in the courtyard, which he meant to use in the fight. It was the empresse’s favorite tree and it made her very angry. When the moment came to choose a horse, he pulled all the best horses from the emperor’s stables by the tale out of their places. He said: »There is no horse good enough for me here. Get me my mare, she is the only one I am going into the fight with. « Although the emperor was very offended by Krpan, they sent for his mare, which was very small and meager, but strong indeed.

Soon the time for the fight came. When Brdavs saw his enemy, he started to laugh, because Krpan looked foolish on his little mare. But when the rivals shook hands, Krpan squeezed his hand so strongly, that blood came from underneath the nails of Brdavs. But Brdavs only smiled and thought for himself: »Yes, the man is strong, but he is only a farmer and farmers can’t fight like heroes can! «.

But Krpan killed Brdavs in the fight and returned to the court very proudly. The people on the way were shouting: »Krpan saved us, long live Krpan, the brave one. «. When he arrived at the court, everybody was waiting. The emperor said he could take anything he desired –  money, wine, even his daughter. But Krpan refused to take anything that was offered to him. Instead, he told the emperor what he was really carrying in the winter when they had first met. He asked for the permission to carry on with the transportation of salt. Indeed, he received a written permit, along with some money, and simply returned home to Vrh. ”


One comment on “Puppet Theatre Clock and Martin Krpan

  1. Pingback: Martin Krpan as a tragic superhero | Andraz Tori Blog

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