Baptism on the Savica

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The Baptism on the Savica (Slovene: Krst pri Savici) is the Slovene national epic. It was written by the Slovene Romantic poet France Prešeren in 1835 and published for the first time in 1836.


The epic has three parts. The first part of the poem is a sonnet, dedicated to the recently deceased Prešeren's friend Matija Čop. The second part, named Introduction (Uvod), describes the final battle between Christians and pagan Slavs, led by the hero Črtomir. It is composed of 25 three-line and one four-line stanza and focuses on the destiny of a nation. The third one, named Baptism (Krst), is about the romantic relationship between Črtomir and Bogomila, who had been the priestess of the goddess Živa but is now a Christian. She persuades Črtomir to get baptised too. It is composed of 53 ottava rimas. It has less of an epic character as it mainly focuses on emotions and the destiny of an individual. The epic contains themes including Slovene identity in the context of the conversion to Christianity.


A motif from the poem is depicted at the right side relief on the pedestal of Prešeren Monument at Prešeren Square, the main square in Ljubljana. It is titled Farewell (Slovo) or Črtomir and Bogomila (Črtomir in Bogomila). It was created by the sculptor Ivan Zajec in the early 20th century.[1] It has a Classicist composition, a Realist cadre, an impressionist final touch, and emphasise Prešeren's Romantic poetry with its content.[2]

The motifs of the waters of the lake below and golden light above are emblazoned on the present-day Slovene coat of arms.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Šavc, Urška. "France Prešeren – slikovno gradivo" [France Prešeren – Pictorial Material]. In Šmid Hribar, Mateja; Golež, Gregor; Podjed, Dan; Kladnik, Drago; Erhartič, Bojan; Pavlin, Primož; Ines, Jerele. Enciklopedija naravne in kulturne dediščine na Slovenskem [Encyclopedia of Natural and Cultural Heritage in Slovenia] (in Slovenian). Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Beja, Boris (5 November 2011). "Prešernov spomenik" [Prešeren Monument]. Planet