Smok wawelski

( Wawel Dragon )

The Wawel Dragon (Polish: Smok Wawelski), also known as the Dragon of Wawel Hill, is a famous dragon in Polish legend.

According to the earliest account (13th century), a dragon (Greek: holophagus, "one who swallows whole") plagued the capital city of Kraków established by legendary King Krak (or Krakus, Gracchus, etc.). The man-eating monster was being appeased with a weekly ration of cattle, until finally being defeated by the king's sons using decoy cows stuffed with sulfur. But the younger prince ("Krak the younger" or "Krak junior") murdered his elder brother to take sole credit, and was banished afterwards. Consequently Princess Wanda had to succeed the kingdom. Later in a 15th-century chronicle, the prince-names were swapped, with the elder as "Krak junior" and the younger as Lech. It also credited the king himself with masterminding the carcasses full of sulfur and other reagents. A yet later chronicler (Marcin Bi...Read more

The Wawel Dragon (Polish: Smok Wawelski), also known as the Dragon of Wawel Hill, is a famous dragon in Polish legend.

According to the earliest account (13th century), a dragon (Greek: holophagus, "one who swallows whole") plagued the capital city of Kraków established by legendary King Krak (or Krakus, Gracchus, etc.). The man-eating monster was being appeased with a weekly ration of cattle, until finally being defeated by the king's sons using decoy cows stuffed with sulfur. But the younger prince ("Krak the younger" or "Krak junior") murdered his elder brother to take sole credit, and was banished afterwards. Consequently Princess Wanda had to succeed the kingdom. Later in a 15th-century chronicle, the prince-names were swapped, with the elder as "Krak junior" and the younger as Lech. It also credited the king himself with masterminding the carcasses full of sulfur and other reagents. A yet later chronicler (Marcin Bielski, 1597) credited the stratagem to a cobbler named Skub (Skuba), adding that the "Dragon's Cave" (Polish: Smocza Jama) lay beneath Wawel Castle (on Wawel Hill on the bank of the Vistula River).

History
The dragon's cave

The oldest known telling of the story comes from the 13th-century work attributed to Bishop of Kraków and historian of Poland, Wincenty Kadłubek.[1][2]

The inspiration for the name of Skuba was probably a church of St. Jacob (pol. Kuba), which was situated near the Wawel Castle. In one of the hagiographic stories about St. Jacob, he defeats a fire-breathing dragon.[citation needed]

^ Sikorski, Czesław (1997), "Wood Pitch as Combat Chemical in the Light of the Jan Długosz's Annals and Some of the Old Polish Military Treatises", Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Wood Tar and Pitch: 235 ^ Wincenty Kadłubek, "Kronika Polska", Ossolineum, Wrocław, 2008, ISBN 83-04-04613-X
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