Archive for July, 2012

Smok Wawelski

Each place has a story behind it’s name. Same is true about Kraków. “Kraków” derives from the name of the prince who established the city – Krak.

Krak, as a wise man, decided to settle on Wawel Hill, a place surrounded by rivers (the Vistula and the Rudawa) and marshes. The hill seemed to him a place where his people would be free from any danger. However, even though no enemy could cross the rivers, the waters brought to the vicinity of Krak’s settlement what was to become a greater danger, a baby dragon.

A baby dragon hidden among the leaves

The dragon grew and it turned into a vicious fire-blowing and sheep-eating beast.

The sheep weren’t enough for Smok Wawelski. It delighted in cattle and didn’t shun human meat either. Understandably, the good but desperate Prince Krak called all his knights to arms. However, neither the knights nor the Prince himself could kill the dragon.

Prince Krak fighting the dragon.

An alternative way of destroying the beast needed to be found. And it was found by a smart shoemaker. The man decided to take advantage of the dragon’s weakness: sheep.

He took the skin of a sheep, filled it with sulphur and tar and put it in front of the dragon’s den. The dragon didn’t think much: as soon as he saw the ready-made sheep, he ate it. And his belly started burning. The Vistula was nearby so he drank and drank and drank … and drank and finally EXPLODED!

Krak and his people rejoiced. They hung the bones of the dragon by the entrance to the cathedral and in the former dragon’s den they opened a pub.



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