MIRILA – The Mysterious Stones and Monuments of Velebit Mountain
What’s the story of Mirila, stone monuments scattered all over the mountain of Velebit? It’s the ancient story of the soul leaving the body of the dead.
Once upon a time, Velebit used to be a crowded place. Regarding Croatian history, it shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Luckily, many monuments are left to tell us the story of people living on Velebit, if we only learn to search for it.
Of those great monuments are certainly the Mirila – complexes of processed stone artefacts that tell us a lot about funeral traditions in Velebit and spiritual beliefs rooted deep in the mountain life.
Mirila first appeared in the 17th century. Social life had a great dynamic back in those days. Communication was good and people travelled on several occasions during the year.
So, when one died it turned into a highly participated social event.
When they laid the bodies of the dead on the ground, they believed the soul left the body of the deceased right there.
Turns out Mirila were more important than the actual graves because the graves were only the places to put the body in.
The soul left earlier
This custom speaks of the relationship people had with a mountain.
Holy was the moment when the body of the deceased touched the ground, so close was this relationship between men and nature.
They marked the place with two stones first, one by the feet and the other by the head. Later they’d put the stone panels in between those two and decorated the headstone.
Mirila stayed like that until these days when we have the privilege to once again discover, renew and introduce them to the world.
Your CTC Team, I.K.