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The dragon of Krakow

During my travels I’ve seen a lot of statues depicting dragons. Saint Georg and the dragon is a popular motif all over Europe. I especially liked the dragons of Ljubljana, where I crossed the Dragon bridge and saw the city emblem feature a dragon. But Krakow is probably the only place I know where you can actually visit a dragon den.

Today I explored the area around Wawel Hill. The cave beneath the castle is not exactly Erebor in terms of grandeur, but it’s still 270 meters long. The oldest version of the legend surrounding the Wavel dragon dates back to the 13th century. According to legend, the Polish prince slayed the dragon Smok and built his palace on top of the dragon’s cave. During medieval times the cave acted as a tavern and brothel, while today it’s a popular tourist stop. To make sure that everyone get the message, a statue of Smok guards the entrance and actually breathes fire every fifth minute.

Smok The mighty Smok.
Dragon cave Dragon cave.

The cathedral on the hill have “dragon bones” hanging in a chain above the entrance and also features yet another dragon statue.

In short, here be dragons.

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