The Zaganjalka intermittent spring

Hydrological natural heritage


Interesting hydrological natural heritage is preserved by the Zaganjalka or Zaganjalščica spring under the village of Cerkljanski Vrh in the Volkova Grapa ravine near the Zakrog farm. The spring is located high below the Lajše hill and its water flows into the Idrijca river below the section of the Cerkno-Idrija road near Želin, known by locals as “Pirhov Klanec”. This is an interesting karstic phenomenon, for which a change in water flow is characteristic. The water dries and rises again in regular intervals, almost as in jolting movements. At regular flow it takes seven minutes before the water almost disappears and then gushes out of the depths again.

All other such springs are named after Zaganjalka in the Cerkno region in Slovene terminology.

You can see an interesting video of how Zaganjalka functions on the internet.

❤︎ The Tale of Zaganjalka ❤︎

once upon a time, a mean shrew lived in the village of Cerkljanski Vrh, who on Saturday nights met with the devil in the Volkova Grapa ravine, so that he sharpened her tongue with a grindstone. In return she brought the devil the sins of the villagers. The villagers were terribly afraid of the shrew and avoided her at a wide distance, but she was very cunning. Many a time it happened that she was waiting for someone even behind the house’s door. As soon as he stepped on the threshold words came pouring out of her. She would start at him with such force that he instantly admitted all the sins she listed even if half of them were invented, only to escape the sharpness of her tongue, which cut into his soul with such power.

The shrew terrified the villagers like this for quite a few long years. It all lasted until Tonca died, an old lady who never harmed a soul in her entire life. The devil was rubbing his hands to finally accompany someone from the village, which is so full of sins, into hell. However, in front of Tonca’s house a surprise was waiting for him. An angel was already standing there holding Tonca by the hand and taking her to heaven. The devil stood his ground and waved at the angel the long lists of sins that the shrew accused the old lady of. The angel only smiled and explained the truth about the shrew to the devil.

Enraged, the devil waited for the shrew, took her by the tongue, and plunged her so deep into the ravine that a spring was formed in the place where he buried her. This spring is not a completely ordinary spring, though, since water only gushes out of it every once in a while. The devil buried the shrew in an underground lake, which will only be emptied once she repents for all the sins that she invented. Every time she relieves herself of a sin, water bursts from the underground lake onto the surface. Since she committed so many sins in her life, water will keep gushing out of the spring until the end of time.

Once the villagers found out what happened to her, they named the spring after her and called it Zaganjalka (Slov. zaganjati – to make fast, jolting movements), since water starts flowing out of it just as the shrew would start at them.