Only a few people can remember less water in Bilecko Lake. The water is retreating every day, and on its surface are memories of the villages that were flooded exactly half a century ago. Houses, stables, and gardens from the former Zavodje village have become a real attraction these days.
Before, you could reach the only church on Bilecko Lake exclusively by using a boat. This fall, you can visit it on foot.
The ruins that are decorated with shells are mostly visited by locals and their descendants. Jovana also walked along the property of her ancestors. She knows about this village under Bilecko Lake as long as she knows about herself. Constant stories about the former Cepelica made her enroll studies to become an archaeologist.
“For me, all that talk about Cepelica and Zavodje has something that goes beyond the boundaries of archeology. For me, it is more like the identity, and I would not be me without my knowledge about Cepelica and Zavodje,” said Jovana Dzeletovic.
Vido Miseljic was 17 years old when his village Miruse disappeared in the accumulation. He can still remember every house and valley. Besides houses and estates, there are also memories of that year, when everyone was carrying as much as they could take from the village, and the properties were sold for almost nothing. Miseljic recalled that it is hard for many people to even recall that period.
Before the Bilecko Lake was created, and the water sank the valley of Trebisnjica, the residents of the five villages had to leave their homes forever. The sound of shells that burst under your feet and are scattered into pieces bring you back to reality, while you are walking on a land that was probably someone’s backyard.
If the stories about the land below Bilecko Lake are true, it was the most fertile land in Herzegovina. And if it is to judge by what we can see now, the locals of these villages were very hardworking.