Vladimir’s cross is kept by the Andrović Brotherhood, which considers it its most important relic. Each year, on Trinity Day, the cross is taken to the peak of Rumija, to the place where, according to tradition, the church was located. It is believed that people who take part in the procession should take one stone with them, since, according to the tale, the church will revive by itself after enough stones are collected. People who take part in the procession are believers of all three confessions.
After St. Marija’s Church in Krajina was demolished, the cross was found and has been kept by the Andrović Brotherhood for centuries. The cross, 45cm tall, 38cm wide and 2.5cm thick, was made of wood, and plated with gold leaf on the outside. The place where the cross is kept is known only by the two eldest members of the family.
The story about the cross is related to the Duke of Duklja, Vladimir (980 - 1016) whose capital was in Krajina (Ostros). In the war with the Macedonian tsar in 997, Duke Vladimir was captured and taken to the dungeon in Prespa. The daughter of Tsar Samuilo, Teodora (Kosara) fell in love with the handsome Duke of Duklja. He seemed to her “sweeter than honey and honeycomb” and she told her father that she would drown herself in the lake unless she married Vladimir. Very soon they got married and lived in a palace, not far away from the monastery called the “Virgin of Krajina” on Skadar Lake.
After Tsar Samuilo’s death, Vladislav became the successor to the throne and very soon invited Duke Vladimir to visit him in Prespa. As a token that he would not be hurt, he sent him a golden cross. Knowing how cunning Vladislav was, Duke Vladimir asked him to send a wooden cross, since the “Redeemer was crucified on one”. Vladislav sent three monks with a wooden cross, but as soon as Vladimir arrived at Prespa, he was murdered at the church door. At the moment of his murder, in his hands he held a wooden cross, which was buried with him in Prespa.
Vladimir’s wife Kosara took his dead body to the “Virgin of Krajina” Monastery. She entered the monastic order and she was, in accordance with her wishes, buried beside the Duke. Duke Vladimir was declared a saint.
The legend of fairies, fairy coins and Fairy Cave
The legend of fairies, fairy coins and the Fairy Cave is related to the locality of Asprica, situated on the slopes of Sutorman, the mountain located above the city of Bar, abundant in stone, water and trees.
Fairies used to live around the mountains, while their true residence was one cave, inaccessible, situated in the rock under one of the Sutorman’s peaks, Lonac (1,004 m), which was even named after the fairies – Fairy Cave. According to folklore, no one ever managed to enter the cave except Ivo Dragišić from Limljani (in the 19th century)
According to the tale he told to his descendants, after he had climbed down the ropes into the cave, fastened to the tree trunks, he saw a round stone carved dining table, stone kneading tables and eating utensils in the first part of the cave. He could not enter the second part of the cave, nor was he allowed to, since the fairies warned him that the whole village would be cursed if he did that.
According to legend and folk-tales retold from generation to generation, beautiful and diligent fairies gladly helped cripples, lonely and all unfortunate people, by finishing work which they had not managed or did not know how to finish, during the night. Fairies used to advise people, reprimand and console them, watch the many springs and wells of Sutorman, take revenge on and warn those who were dishonest and insincere. They were friends with shepherds and often helped them.
It is said that once, one fairy, returning from a man who lived alone and whom she helped cooking, was seen by some young villagers. That is the reason why fairies, who according to the tradition must not be seen by people during the day and among people, decided to leave this area and their cave.
The fairy that was seen said: “I swear by the 365 springs of Sutorman, there is no place for us here any longer!”
However, they did not want people who lived in that area to remember them for evil, but only for good. Leaving the mountain, they threw fairy coins around, granting anyone who passes that way and finds at least one fairy coin, with fortune in life.
It is not easy to notice and find fairy coins, neither is it easy to find fortune in life.Besides the unusual and unforgettable experience, the challenge of finding fairy coins and a unique trip to the history of the legend, the locality of fairy coins and the Fairy Cave is very attractive and rich in numerous streams, healing springs, and fresh air enriched by the preserved oak and beech forests on Mount Sutorman.
The legend of garnet from Crmnica, the colour of red wine
Hidden from time and human eyes, in the village of Brijega in Crmnica, there is a small deposit of the mineral garnet whose crystals are the colour of red wine. Garnets are the size of pepper grains and have 16 facets with satelit. They are all identical and belong to the group of minerals called spesarini.
According to tradition, in the ancient world, during the period of grape-gathering, the first poured wine was carried by a virgin in a jug. She spilt it in the woods, in token of gratitude to the goddess of the Earth. A girl carrying the jug with the famous wine on her head was once caught at night time on her way to the destination. Not even the moonlight could help her find her way and the girl got lost. Finding herself in an unknown area full of dark shadows, the girl became paralysed with fear and the jug smashed; at the place where the wine was spilt, the earth’s depths delivered garnets the colour of red wine. The former tradition was abandoned and a new one was created. According to the new one, garnet crystals are collected and kept in the first poured jug of wine, as a fertility amulet for a good grape harvest