Triglav mountain

Triglav is with 2864 meters the highest Slovenian mountain and the highest peak of Julian Alps, as well as the only peak in Slovenia that is higher than 2800 meters. Triglav is the symbol of the Slovenian nation, our holly mountain. Julius Kugy, one of the pioneers of mountaineering in the Julian Alps, named the mountain as Kingdom. On the top of the mountain Aljaž’s tower awaits us, it is a metallic cylinder, which has been declared a cultural and historical monument. The tower was in the year 1895 brought on the top of Triglav by Aljaž and his friends. During the storms, the tower acts as a Faraday cage, as lightning strikes into exposed peak claimed casualties already among the first mountaineers. In the year, when they brought the tower to the top, so in the year 1895, priest Jakob Aljaž bought Triglav with the purpose to protect it from Germanization. In case of a storm, up to 5 persons can find shelter in the tower. Today, the tower is also used as baptistry of all, who climb to the top of Slovenia for the first time. Those got 3 symbolic rope punches to the ass for luck. Just below the top is Satnič shelter, which was carved by the order of Jakob Aljaž.

Aljaž's tower
Aljaž’s tower

We can ascent to Triglav from various directions, from valleys Vrata, Kot, and Krma, from Trenta, from Pokljuka and Bohinj. The shortest ascent to the mountain is from the valley Vrata when the easiest and the longest, 7 kilometers long, a path that goes through the valley Krma. Triglav, as a Slovenian symbol, is located also on the coat of arms of the Slovenian flag. On the northern side, we can see the Triglav glacier. With this mighty mountain, a legend about Goldhorn is connected. Triglav stands in the central part of the biggest Slovenian national park, Triglav national park, which covers the area between Bled, Kranjska Gora, Bovec, Kobarid, Tolmin, and Bohinj. From the top of Triglav opens a beautiful view, which reaches to Adriatic sea, passes the Dolomites and the High Tauern toward Karavanke, Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Pohorje, pass entire Slovenia towards highest peaks of Julian Alps.

First, ascend on Triglav was recorded on August 26th, 1778, when four men of heart climbed to the top, Luka Korošec, Matevž Kos, Štefan Rožič in Lovrenc Willomitzer. Their monument is still today located in Bohinj.

Men of heart ascend

Men of heart monument

Triglav was during the Second World War the symbol of a Liberation front, and part of the coat of arms of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia after the war. After Slovenian independence, Triglav became part of the Slovenian coat of arms and Slovenian flag. On the backside of temporary vouchers was a stylized image of Triglav, and with the introduction of the euro, Triglav appeared on the backside of Slovenian coin for 50 cents. Triglav is also part of, as a name and a symbol, numerous cultural and sport Societies. Name Triglav is also used for multifunctional ship, a patrol boat of the Slovenian army.


Tricolor on Triglav, 12. June 1991, iconic photography of Slovenian independence

Where the name of the mountain comes from is not entirely clear, for the most part, Triglav has a shape of two heads, so it is most likely that Tri-glav (en. Three-heads) got its name after the ancient Slavic pagan deity Triglav. Throughout history, Triglav had more names. According to the map from the year 1567, it was named Ocra mons, in the second half of the 17th century, Janez Vajkard Valvasor named it Krma. In the year 1452, the name Triglav appears for the first time as Terglau, after German mountain climber and professor Adolf Gstirner, but the original source was lost. From the border court record from the year 1573, Gstirner refers to the mountain as Terglaua. Other naming appeared in the year 1612 as Terglau, in 1664 Terglou, and around 1778-1789 Terklou. The names originate from the word phrase three heads, which means three peaks. The name can also be summed up, as, from the direction of Upper Carniola, it is seen as the mountain has three peaks. The highest peak of all three is named Veliki Triglav (en. Big Triglav), so it is separated from Mali Triglav (en. Small Triglav) on the east, which is 2738 meters high. The third peak is named Šmarjetna glava.

The alpine valley stretches between Bohinj and Trenta, which includes Triglav seven lakes. It was formed in hollows with water-bearing sediments between the mighty thrust of the Slatnik plate. The valley is 8 kilometers long and has always been considered one of the most beautiful parts of the Julian Alps. Here is one of the oldest mountain lodges next to the Double lake. As Alpine protection park, it was protected in the year 1924.

Next to the already mentioned name the Valley of Triglav lakes, the valley was also named Lake valley. Henrik Tuma, a Slovenian mountaineer, named it as Valley Behind-Lake (si. Dolina Zajezerom), Balthasar Hacquet, French naturalist, in the year 1778 names it the Valley Behind Lakes (si. Dolina Za jezernicami)


Triglav lake

There are many lakes and puddles in the Valley of Triglav lakes, but the seven Triglav lakes are most often mentioned, as the rest dry up several times during the year. The biggest among the lakes is Big lake (si. Veliko jezero) or Lake in Ledvice, which is located at an altitude of 1930 meters. It is 300 meters long, 120 meters wide, and 15 meters deep. Followed by Brown lake (si. Rjavo jezero) with 150 meters of length, 100 meters of width, and 10 meters of depth. Black lake (si. Črno jezero) is the warmest lake of all, Lake under Vršac (si. Jezero pod Vršacem) or Lake in Podstenje is often frozen most of the year, Puddle in Lašte (si. Mlaka na Laštah) under Zasavje hut at Prehodovci often dries out in summer, Green lake (si. Zeleno jezero) got its name because of its coloration by algae and Double lake (si. Dvojno jezero) next to the hut at Triglav lakes, which turns into one lake at high water levels.


Northern wall

It is almost 4 kilometers wide and 1 kilometer high Triglav northern wall, often called just Wall. It is among the biggest walls in Europe with many rocky pillars – Slovenian (si. Slovenski), German (si. Nemški), and Middle (en. Osrednji). On the western part, the wall becomes steep, on some parts also overhanging. The most difficult alpine ascents are going along 200 meters high wall of Sphinx, along the Middle pillar and western part of the Wall.

The Wall was formed 30 million years ago, due to the impetuous wrinkling. The layers of rocks broke under the impetuous pressure, thus wrinkling occurred. The rocks were friable, as the wall is composed of Triassic and Jurassic limestone and dolomite. This is exactly what helped, 10.000 years ago, the glacier to deepen the Wall and shape it this way. Due to its northern location, the Wall is in the shadow most of the time, and because of that, we can find snowfields below the slope and in hollows deep in the summertime. The Wall can be crossed along its entire length, along Goldhorn shelves. At the altitude of 1020 meters, Triglav Bistrica springs.