Stone Dolls of Kuklica – the legend of the Petrified Wedding

Ancient legends still roam the lands about wedding turned to stone

susan-lu4esm (CC0), Pixabay

Eastern Macedonia – has wonderful sights and one of them is Kuklica, the village which is known for the weird and unusual revelry known as the Petrified wedding. This place is situated in Kratovo, a small town in Eastern Macedonia and it’s also known under the names Merry Wedding, Kuklitsi, Dolls and Drunk Matchmakers.

This unusual locality abounds with high earthen pillars and pyramids that look like dolls, and that’s how the place got its name Kuklica; Мacedonian: kukla (кукла) means doll. It should be noted that similar phenomenons exist in Serbian devils town and Russian Altai Mushrooms.

The legend says this:

Once upon a time, in the village Kuklica lived a bricklayer who could not choose which of the two girls to marry, so he scheduled a wedding with both of them. Both were named Stojanka, the one wasn’t beautiful but she was rich, and the other one was poor but beautiful. The rich girl lived in Dolno Maalo (Bottom Neighborhood), and the second in Gorno Maalo (Upper Neighborhood). However, the bricklayer decided to marry the rich girl.

When the other girl heard the music while waiting for the matchmakers to come and take her to her wedding, she decided to visit the other neighborhood and check what was happening. When she arrived, the wedding of the bricklayer and the rich girl Stojanka has already started. Angry and offended, she approached the groom and asked to kiss him for the last time, then threw a curse by saying: “May God allow that all of you get petrified, including me and you!” After the bride and the groom kissed, the curse became reality and all of the guests transformed into stone dolls. However, the matchmakers kept the smiles on their faces and the lovers were left stuck in an embrace, so the villagers in Kuklica named the place “Merry Wedding.”

Seen from a realistic and scientific aspects, these erosive forms are formed by nature. The whole place covers an area of 0.4 km 2 with an altitude of 420 meters. The rocky pyramids and pillars were created between Eocene and Pliocene as a result of a volcanic mass and they are old more than 10 million years.

Similar place like the “stone town” in Macedonia exists in Bulgaria, near the town of Kardzhali and Zimzelen village. It is also known as the Stone Wedding.

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