History and Legends

Dragon of Wawel Hill

By Natalia Semczuk

There are many stories. Some of them are scary, some of them funny. All legends have a bit of truth, more or less reliable. You can find it also in the legend of the Wawel Dragon. How did he look, where did he live and what has happened to him? The legend sounds as follows.

Under the Wawel Hill was living a dragon. The creature of incredible strength and cunning threatened the citizens so much, that they were able to give him anything just to spare their lives. The dragon was so fastidious that he demanded only the fattest cows. This uncomfortable situation lasted for such long time that there was a shortage of cows in the region. Krak the King, wanting to save his citizens from the dragon’s rage, announced a competition. A daredevil who will kill the dragon will also get so much money to live in abundance to the end of his days. There were many volunteers, but all were killed by the dragon. Citizens started to live in fear, and the king lost his hope to defeat the beast. All of the sudden, Skuba the cobbler came to the castle and asked the king to let him fight the dragon. The king agreed regardless the social status of the boy, assuming that he will also die. Skuba has left the castle listening to the jeers of the king’s knights. He returned after a few days, bringing a sheep stuffed with sulfur. He left it near the dragon’s cave and ran away, hiding behind the nearest rock. A ravenous dragon lunged at the sheep, swallowed it all, and ran to Vistula river. The sulfur made his thirstiness to win over his stomach capacity. The dragon was drinking the water until he burst. Inconspicuous Skuba got the prize and the knights had to apologize.

 

A few are convinced that the dragon’s descendants were repeatedly returning to Wawel to avenge their brother, but no chronicler did confirm it. Nevertheless, Kraków is definitely worth visiting. The dragon is now only a sculpture near the Wawel castle. Sometimes he even breathes fire, melting the Kraków’ clouds, but it’s probably because of the sulfur that remained in his stomach forever.