Wawel Dragon

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wawel Dragon is a well known Polish folktale. The dragon lived in a cave under Wawel Hill, on the banks of the Vistula River. Wawel Hill is in the city of Kraków, in Poland. The Wawel Cathedral and Kraków's castle are built on Wawel Hill. In the cathedral there is a statue of the dragon. The dragon's cave under the castle is now a popular tourist stop.

History[change | change source]

The Wawel Dragon, from Sebastian Münster's Cosmographie Universalis (1544)

There are many versions of the folk tale. This is one of them. A long, long time ago, when Prince Krak was the ruler of Kraków, many young girls kept on being lost, and no one in Kraków knew what had happened to them. It turned out that there was an evil dragon living in a big cave under Wawel Hill. The dragon was stealing farm animals and young girls. Prince Krak said: "The person who kills the dragon will get half of the country and will marry my daughter." Many brave soldiers tried to kill the dragon, but none of them could. Finally, a young shoe-maker came up with an idea! He filled a sheep's skin with salt and left it in front of the dragon’s cave. The greedy dragon saw the salt filled sheep and ate it in one bite. Soon he started to feel a burning pain in his stomach. The pain got worse. It burned more and more. Wanting water, he ran to the Vistula River and started to drink fast. He drank and drank but it was still burning. So he continued to drink, until he burst! The city was rid of the mean dragon, and the shoemaker got his prize from the ruler and married his daughter.

Wawel Dragon sculpture by Bronislaw Chromy[change | change source]

Image: Wawel Dragon

In 1970 a statue of the Wawel Dragon was placed in front of the dragon's den. It has six legs, and it breathes fire every few minutes.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Wawel Dragon at Wikimedia Commons