Wawel Dragon (statue)

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Wawel Dragon
Wawel 2010-6.JPG
Artist Bronisław Chromy
Year1969 (1969)
TypeBronze statue
Dimensions600 cm(240 in)
Location Kraków
Coordinates 50°03′10″N19°56′07″E / 50.05278°N 19.93528°E / 50.05278; 19.93528 Coordinates: 50°03′10″N19°56′07″E / 50.05278°N 19.93528°E / 50.05278; 19.93528

Wawel Dragon Statue (Polish : Pomnik Smoka Wawelskiego) is a monument at the foot of the Wawel Hill in Kraków, Poland, in front of the Wawel Dragon's den, dedicated to the mythical Wawel Dragon. [1]

Polish language West Slavic language spoken in Poland

Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish-language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.

Kraków City in Lesser Poland, Poland

Kraków, also spelled Cracow or Krakow in English, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Smocza Jama limestone cave in the Wawel Hill in Kraków

Smocza Jama is a limestone cave in the Wawel Hill in Kraków. Owing to its location in the heart of the former Polish capital and its connection to the legendary Wawel Dragon, it is the best known cave in Poland.



The Wawel Dragon (Polish: Smok Wawelski) is a famous dragon in Polish mythology who lived in a cave at the foot of Wawel Hill on the banks of the Vistula River. One of the many popular stories about the dragon takes place in Kraków during the reign of King Krakus, the city's mythical founder. In the legend, the dragon terrifies local villagers by destroying their houses and eating up their young daughters. Desperate to solve the problem, King Krakus promises his daughter Wanda's hand to any brave man who can defeat the dragon. A cobbler named Skuba takes up the challenge and stuffs a lamb with sulphur for the dragon to eat. Skuba leaves the lamb near the dragon cave and the unwary beast devours the bait. Soon after, the dragon's thirst grows unbearable and he drinks so much water from the River Vistula that he explodes from the uncontainable volume. King Krakus then weds his daughter Wanda to the victorious Skuba. [2] In the oldest, 12th century version of this tale, written by Wincenty Kadłubek. [3] dragon was defeated by two sons of a King Krak, Krakus II and Lech II.

Krakus Polish prince; legendary founder of Kraków

Krakus, Krak or Grakch was a legendary Polish prince, king and founder of Kraków, the ruler of the tribe of Lechitians (Poles). Krakus is also credited with building Wawel Castle and slaying the Wawel Dragon by feeding him a dead sheep full of sulfur. The latter is how Krak the cobbler became Krakus the prince, and later king. The first recorded mention of Krakus, then spelled Grakch, is in the Chronica seu originale regum et principum Poloniae from 1190.

Wincenty Kadłubek Polish bishop

Blessed Wincenty Kadłubek was a Polish Roman Catholic prelate and professed Cistercian who served as the Bishop of Kraków from 1208 until his resignation in 1218. He was also a noted historian and prolific writer. His episcopal mission was to reform the diocesan priests to ensure their holiness and sought to invigorate the faithful and cultivate greater participation in ecclesial affairs on their part.

Krakus II

Krakus II was a ruler of Poland. He was the successor of and son of the alleged founder of the City of Kraków, Krakus I, and he was the younger brother of Lech II, according to Wincenty Kadłubek. He ties the family to the national story of the dragon of Wawel. In this, their father Krak sent them to defeat the dragon, which they managed, after an unsuccessful battle, by stuffing the tribute animals with straw which suffocated the dragon. After this, Krak threw himself upon Lech and killed him, though their father pretended that the dragon was responsible. Eventually the story was found out, and Krak II was overthrown and replaced by his daughter Wanda.


The statue was designed by Polish sculptor Bronisław Chromy and completed in 1969; [4] it was installed in its present location in 1972, [5] a date commonly repeated in other sources; [6] [7] [8] Bielowicz notes that the statue was made in 1969 but was not unveiled in its current location till 1972. [9] The statue is made out of bronze [10] and stands on a large limestone boulder. [8] [9] It is 6 metres (20 ft) tall. [9]

Bronisław Chromy Polish sculptor.

Bronisław Chromy was a Polish sculptor, medallist, painter, and draughtsman, and a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow.

Bronze metal alloy

Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability.

Limestone Sedimentary rocks made of calcium carbonate

Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock that is often composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, foraminifera, and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). A closely related rock is dolomite, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg(CO3)2. In old USGS publications, dolomite was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolomites or magnesium-rich limestones.

Video of the statue breathing fire
The statue breathing fire Krakowdragon.jpg
The statue breathing fire

Some early designs for the statue included a more traditional water fountain. [11] A later variant proposed that it should be partially submerged in the nearby Vistula river, but this was rejected. [9] In the end, the statue was designed to breathe fire; it was also modernized recently so that the fire breath can be triggered by a SMS text message (the statue can do so at minimum 15 seconds intervals). [8] [12] The service is popular, and has received at least 2,500 requests in one day. [12] The fire uses natural gas as fuel. [8] [13] Without any text messages, the fire breaths occur at about five-minute intervals. [13]

Vistula river in Eastern Europe

The Vistula, the longest and largest river in Poland, is the 9th-longest river in Europe, at 1,047 kilometres in length. The drainage-basin area of the Vistula is 193,960 km2 (74,890 sq mi), of which 168,868 km2 (65,200 sq mi) lies within Poland. The remainder lies in Belarus, Ukraine and Slovakia.

Fire breathing act of making a plume or stream of fire by creating a precise mist of fuel from the mouth over an open flame

Fire breathing is the act of making a plume or stream of fire by creating a precise mist of fuel from the mouth over an open flame. Regardless of the precautions taken, it is always a dangerous activity, but the proper technique and the correct fuel reduces the risk of injury or death.

Natural gas fossil fuel

Natural gas is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, or helium. It is formed when layers of decomposing plant and animal matter are exposed to intense heat and pressure under the surface of the Earth over millions of years. The energy that the plants originally obtained from the sun is stored in the form of chemical bonds in the gas.

The statue has been described as a "traditional" element of the modern Kraków landscape, [14] and as a major tourist attraction of the city, particularly for children. [8] [9]

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Stanislaus of Szczepanów Polish Catholic bishop, saint, the principal patron of Poland

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Wawel Dragon

The Wawel Dragon, also known as the Dragon of Wawel Hill, is a famous dragon in Polish folklore. His lair was in a cave at the foot of Wawel Hill on the bank of the Vistula River. Wawel Hill is in Kraków, which was then the capital of Poland. It was defeated during the rule of Krakus, by his sons according to the earliest account; in a later work, the dragon-slaying is credited to a cobbler named Skuba.

Abdank coat of arms

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<i>Chronica seu originale regum et principum Poloniae</i> chronicle

Chronica seu originale regum et principum Poloniae, short name Chronica Polonorum, is a Latin history of Poland written by Wincenty Kadłubek between 1190 and 1208 CE. The work was probably commissioned by Casimir II of Poland. Consisting of four books, it describes Polish history.

History of Kraków aspect of history

Kraków (Krakow) is one of the largest and oldest cities in Poland, with the urban population of 756,441 (2008). Situated on the Vistula river in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. It was the capital of Poland from 1038 to 1596, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Kraków from 1846 to 1918, and the capital of Kraków Voivodeship from the 14th century to 1999. It is now the capital of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship.

Princess Wanda daughter of Krakus, legendary founder of Kraków; upon her fathers death, she became queen of the Poles, but committed suicide to avoid an unwanted marriage to a German

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Wanda Mound tumulus

Wanda Mound is a tumulus located in Mogiła in Kraków, Poland. The mound is assumed to be the resting place of the legendary princess Wanda. According to one version of the story, she committed suicide by drowning in the Vistula river to avoid unwanted marriage with a German. The mound is located close to the spot on the river bank where her body was found. Archaeological studies, conducted on site in 1913 and in mid-1960, did not provide any conclusive evidence of the mound's age and purpose.

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Wawel Chakra place on Wawel hill in Kraków in Poland, which is believed to emanate powerful spiritual energy

The Wawel Chakra - a place on Wawel hill in Kraków in Poland which is believed to emanate powerful spiritual energy. Adherents believe it to be one of the world's main centers of spiritual energy . The Wawel Chakra is said to be one of a few select places of immense power on Earth, which, like a chakra point in the human body, allegedly functions as part of an (esoteric) energetic system within Earth.

The Jan Długosz Award is a Polish literary prize which has been presented annually since 1998 during the Kraków Book Fair. It is named in honour of Polish medieval chronicler Jan Długosz (1415–1480) and its aim is to popularize works in the field of humanities written by Polish authors and published the previous year which make significant contributions to the advancement of science and cultural enrichment. The award recognizes books not only targeted to the professional, scientific circles but also to the general reader, which is intended to make them the subject of a broader public debate. The winners of the award receive cash prizes and a statuette designed by sculptor Bronisław Chromy.


  1. PREKURSOR 2005, Tomasz Szymański. "Dragon's Den | Wawel Royal Castle | Wawel Krakow Poland". Wawel.krakow.pl. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  2. Teresa Czerniewicz-Umer (2007). Cracow . DK Pub. p. 63. ISBN   0756626323.
  3. Mistrz Wincenty tzw. Kadłubek, "Kronika Polska", Ossolineum, Wrocław, 2008, ISBN   83-04-04613-X
  4. "Galeria Autorska Bronisława Chromego". Bronislawchromy.pl. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  5. as noted on the official page of the Wawel Castle complex.
  6. Kazimierz Kuczman (1980). Wawel Hill: Guide-book. Krajowa agencja wydawnicza publishers. p. 1972. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  7. Roman Marcinek (2002). Poland: A Guidebook : Cultural Heritage, Landscape, History, Tourist Information. R. Kluszczyński. p. 45. ISBN   978-83-88080-54-8 . Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 "Smok Wawelski - Kraków" (in Polish). Polska.pl. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 "Smok Wawelski :. infoArchitekta.pl .: dla architekta". . infoArchitekta.pl . 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  10. Marc E. Heine (1 July 1987). Poland. Hippocrene Books. p. 113. ISBN   978-0-87052-380-9 . Retrieved 21 May 2013.
  11. "Smok wawelski". Ekrakow.org. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  12. 1 2 "Pracowity smok wawelski". E-krakow.com. 2005-09-30. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  13. 1 2 "Smok Wawelski". Przewodnik e-wyjazd.pl. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  14. "DESA Unicum | BRONISŁAW CHROMY, Rzeźba i malarstwo. Salon Wystawowy Marchand 20.04.2013 - 18.05.2013 r". Desa.pl. 2013-04-20. Retrieved 2013-05-21.