Once during one of her trips to Croatia, she heard a myth. An old nymph had talked about a nymph named Cetina, a dolphin-shifter, who was among the first of her kind. One day many thousand years ago, before the time of Epione, Cetina has been crying at the bottom of a hill when Zeus came down from heavens and sat beside her. Zeus asked her why she was crying and Cetina told him she had always wanted a baby. Zeus, being the sexual beast he was, tried to convince her that if she made love to him in the moonlight as they bathed in the salt of her tears, she would conceive a child.
Cetina was no fool and knew of Zeus and his sexual appetite and his narcissistic need to fornicate with every woman with whom he crossed paths. “Zeus”, Cetina said, “if you promise me our union will result in a child, I’ll be forever grateful, but if you leave me barren, for the rest of time no other nymphs will lay with you.” Zeus eagerly agreed and made love to the beautiful young nymph and left. After many weeks of waiting, nothing happened and Cetina knew that she had fallen victim to the empty promises of the sexually ravenous god. Again she wept and wept until her tears became a river and Cetina, drying up, turned to stone.
The Neolithic people named the river Cetina in honor of the woman who had been tricked by the gods, and it was said, those who wished to become pregnant, nymph or human, merely had to bathe in the demigoddess’s tears after a night of making love and a baby of good fortune would come.
Winter Swans by Danica Winters
The source of the Cetina river in Croatia is more than 150 meters (490 feet) deep.
It is just fascinating. First time we were there, I couldn’t stop looking into the depth of that crystal clear, blue and green water.
Cetina, as most water-rich river in Dalmatia has everything a true Dalmatian River should have; she is mysterious, calm at places and easy approachable and wild and nonforgiven when wanted.
We explored this River from her source up to the place where she kisses the Adriatic Sea; Omiš.
The banks and the mountain slopes surrounding the Cetina River shelter rich archaeological sites. A number of valuable finds, witnessing the time they date from, have been found in the surrounding karst area and in the River silt. The archaeological finds have been put on display in the Sinj Museum of the Cetinska Krajina Region.
The etymology of the River’s name has been founded on unreliable sources, as according to some the River was named by the first Croats after the river Cetyina in south Poland, whereas others tend to claim that the River’s name dates back to older times, when the Delmates referred to it as Kentona.
Water power of the Cetina River has been harnessed to some degree by the Peručko Lake reservoir, located 25 kilometres downstream from the River source.
Lake Peruća or Peruča is the second largest artificial lake in Croatia and it is just beautiful. We were driving all around the lake. It was rainy, cloudy day which gave additional mystery to lake fascinating beauty.
A day trip which began from Sinj to Cetina Source and with driving to Vrlika was one of most exciting day trips I ever had.
There is even a legend about the monster of Lake Peruca – Peruca’s Nessi. Some local fishermen claim he saw the monster.
Biologists say that a huge snake is inhabited in the lake – the largest snake in Europe – Elaphe quatuorlineata, or Kravosas, or the Dalmatian boa.
The snake can grow up to 3 meters in length. The Dalmatian boa constrictor is the largest snake in Europe.
This snake is a huge rarity, and approximately every 10-15 years there is a witness who saw this monster.
More Cetina photos in gallery…