Thursday, March 30, 2017
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The Legend of the Wawel Dragon

On the top of the Wawel hill in Krakow there is a grandiose castle - a residence of Polish kings since the Middle Ages. The Wawel Royal Castle is probably the most prominent tourist attraction not only in Krakow, but in Poland. The legend of the Wawel Dragon makes Krakow even more attractive.

At the foot of the hill there is a cave which was once a medieval inn and brothel. Nowadays it is a tourist attraction from the beginning of May until the end of October, but it is closed during the winter time due to danger of slipping on icy stairs inside. Near the entrance to the cave we can admire a stone dragon statue "exhaling" fire every two minutes! The statue was designed by a famous regional sculptor Bronislaw Chromy in 1972. According to the legend, this cave was inhabited once by a dragon (Polish: smok).

Read more: The Legend of the Wawel Dragon


Countess Urszula Dembinska - Lady of Szczekociny

One of the most interesting figures from the aristocratic family of Dembinsky (Dembinski) is Countess Urszula Dembinska (maiden name Morsztyn, coat of arms Leliwa). When she was just 16 years old, in 1762, she married subprefect Franciszek Dembinski, coat of arms Rawicz.

Read more: Countess Urszula Dembinska - Lady of Szczekociny


Wawel Dragon in Children Plays and on the Street Bazaars

The Wawel dragon (smok Wawelski) is the most famous beast in Poland. It is rooted in Krakow`s tradition and culture and is well known to every Polish child. The dragon symbol can be find on the streets, in schools, offices, radio and TV stations, literature and theatre, advertisements and commercials. Wawel dragon is not the only dragon known in Poland, Warsaw has its own dragon called Bazyliszek.

Read more: Wawel Dragon in Children Plays and on the Street Bazaars


Storks in Mythology and Literature

An old Polish folktale tells us that frogs, lizards, snakes, and other similar animals became so numerous and caused so many problems that God put them all in a sack to get rid of them. He gave the sack to a a human, with instructions to empty the sack into the sea. Curiosity overcame the weak human, who opened the sack to see what was inside. All of the animals escaped and hid, so God changed the man into a stork to hunt them and clean up the mess (Knab, 1996)

Another tale describes how the stork got her colors of black and white, and why she travels from Poland to Africa each year. You can read this tale at Poppyfield Press, where you will also see beautiful notecards with the image shown here.

Read more: Storks in Mythology and Literature


Lady of Dzialdowo Castle

Poland is a country of rich history and many castles. Over hundred castles -fortesses were built by Teutonic Knights mainly in Northeastern part of Poland (regions: Masuria and Warmia called also East and West Prussia).

Teutonic Knights were invited to Poland in 1226 by Polish prince, Konrad Mazowiecki (Conrad of Mazovia). Their initial mission was to convert pagan Baltic tribes, especially Prussian into Christianity. As the history showed, inviting Teutonic knights was not a smart decision since they not only eradicate the pagan tribes but also were invading and destroying Poland several times until their liquidation and secularization in XVI century. But Teutonic knights build also incredibly fortified and beautiful castles. Throughout 200 years of their occupation, they built over 70 castles-fortresses. The biggest and most famous is Malborg (Marienburg), the capital of Teutonic order.

Read more: Lady of Dzialdowo Castle


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