The last pagan of Javorníky – In the footsteps of mighty Orgoň

Deep Slovak forest that hides a mysterious Pagan story might surprise you

Garyuk31 (CC0), Pixabay

In the beautiful Slovak mountains Javorníky, there is a place with the name not even many of the locals fully understand – Orgoňova Kýčera. The second word is an archaic name for steep and bald peak.

The first word refers to the mysterious pagan hero Orgoň, who spent his life here fighting against the undefeatable enemy – an inevitable change of the world order…

he man who refused to surrender

Orgoň was an old man devoted to the pagan traditions of his ancestors. When Christianity began to spread among the society around him, he decided to pack his family and closest comrades and relocate somewhere, where they could live their preferred way of life.

Orgoň, the last pagan of Javorníky

Their settlement, located on the steep slope of nearby peak, was known as Orgoňovce – and life there wasn´t easy at all. Forest around was thick, soil hard to cultivate, winters were long and cold. But the worst of their enemies was the monarch, who tirelessly kept on sending missioners and tax collectors to push Orgoň and his folks to the very limits.

Gone with the storm

No matter how hard Orgoň tried, the change was unavoidable. Youngsters soon began to desire easier life within the wider society. They wanted to learn the tempting art of writing and reading that came with the missioners. They began to marry Christians from the nearby villages and convert to their religion. Orgoň´s dream was over. Not even mighty Perún, Svarog, Veles or Svantovít seemed to care anymore, no matter how grand offerings Orgoň brought to their feet. The old man felt betrayed, abandoned and useless in the new world he despised so much. And then, one cold and rainy night, when the storm was worse than ever before, Orgoň was gone forever.

The rumors began to spread that the stubborn old pagan decided to try the last possible thing to overturn the course of history – he offered himself as a human sacrifice to the almighty Perún, god of lightning and thunder. The history teaches as that it didn´t help as the paganism in Javorníky vanished with Orgoň forever.

However, there is something that reminds us of this man and his culture even today – the mysterious writing in runes carved into the rocks on the peak we now know as Orgoňova Kýčera.

See for yourself

If you ever visit the Javorníky Mountains (located in the Northwest of Slovakia on the border with Czech Republic), do not waste the chance to see the poor Orgoň´s last bastion for yourself.  Shortest hike to Orgoňova Kýčera begins in the village called Horná Maríková. Follow yellow touristic signs from the bus stop near the municipal office all the way through the nearby settlements of Šikovce and Máčkovce.

On the picturesque trail up into the forest you´ll see beautiful old wooden houses, many of them abandoned long time ago. Soon you will connect with the blue touristic trail that will lead you straight to the peak of Orgoňova Kýčera, which lies some 960 metres above the sea level. You can admire beautiful views of surrounding nature from the wooden lookout. Or follow the Orgoň´s tradition and leave some writings here – although you won´t need to carve anything into the rocks, as there is conventional guestbook installed now for this purpose.

However, if you want to see the mysterious Orgoň´s runes, prepare yourself for some detective / archeological work, as the rocks called Šúvalky, where it was spotted, are now covered with thick layers of moss…

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