The legend of the Wawel dragon or the Krakow Dragon is very popular in Poland and has existed since the thirteenth century. Currently, the Wawel dragon statue is one of the main attractions in this beautiful city.
The Cruel Dragon of the Wawel Hill
Many years ago, in a cave at the bottom of the Wawel Hill, there lived a terrible dragon that spit fire, which allowed him to live as he wanted and be totally free in the city. No inhabitant, including the King, knew from where that terrible monster had come.
Every week, the dragon demanded a certain number of cattle of the inhabitants of the city. If the inhabitants did not meet the demands of the Dragon, they were punished by losing an equivalent number of human heads.
No One was Able to Kill it
Many brave knights tried to kill this terrible monster that haunted the lives of the people, but whenever they got any closer to the dragon, he would become angry and spit fire and killing them. Many people claimed that there was no weapon and no way to defeat the dragon.
Time passed and the dragon felt more and more comfortable in the city, he was able to do what he wanted.
Seeing this, the King offered a reward for anyone who could kill the monster. The reward was that the person who would manage to complete this dangerous mission would marry his beautiful daughter and get a chance to become the king when he would die. This amazing reward attracted many knights from different countries, but all of them failed on that mission… there was no one able to kill the dragon.
The Brave and Smart Shoe-Maker
But one day, a young shoe-maker knocked the gates of the castle and asked to speak with the King. The young man asked for permission to try to kill the dragon; The King said he could try it, but he also realized that the young man had no horse, armor or a sword with him. The only tools he had were a needle, a thread and an exceptional mind. Regardless, the King decided to put all his faith in this young man and let him face the dragon.
To stick with his plan, the young man got a young lamb, sulfur and mustard seed. He then cut the lamb in half and put the sulfur inside it; then he took his needle and sewed the lamb.
The next morning, the young man took the dead lamb and put it right at the entrance of the dragon’s cave. After that he quickly hid behind the bushes and waited for the dragon to see if the plan could work.
The Result of His Smart Plan
The dragon finally woke up and left his cave, and when he went out and saw the lamb at the entrance to his cave, he did not hesitate a second and decided to eat it all. After a while, the dragon began to feel that his stomach was burning due to the sulfur the young man put inside the lamb.
The dragon ran into the Vistula River and began drinking hundreds of liters of water… and he kept drinking and drinking, until his stomach could not stand it anymore… and exploded! The plan worked perfectly… the threat for the city was removed and the young man earned the reward – he married the beautiful daughter of the King and they lived happily ever after… :)
If this is the first time you visit Krakow, just below the Wawel Castle you will see a statue of the dragon which launches fire every 5 minutes, you can also buy in all the souvenir shops some small dragon’s toys for you or your family and friends.