May 24, 2011

0 Krakow: Wawel Hill

Wawel Hill is one of Krakow's most historic and famous locations. 

A site of human habitation since at least the 7th century, it became the site of the Royal Palace in the 11th century.   Wawel Cathedral, with its current structure dating from the 14th Century, also sits on the hill and is where the monarchs of Poland are buried.

Statue of Tadeusz Kościuszko, an 18th Century war hero, at the Wawel Gate. 


The Cathedral.

The Royal Courtyard.  We went into the Royal Armory and Treasury as well as the State Rooms, but photography wasn't allowed.  Both were quite impressive, but the courtyard itself was magnificent.

I thought for sure this location would have been used in some movies, but according to the internet, no. If you know any location scouts, let them know what they're missing!!

A dragon gargoyle.

Legend states that a fearsome dragon lived in a den under the hill.  He terrorized the local village, demanding maidens and livestock for food and burning crops with his fire.  King Krak begged his citizens to help, decreeing that the man who defeated the dragon would be given the princess's hand in marriage.  As legends go, many a knight and brave soldier failed at conquering this dragon.  Soon, when all hope seemed lost, a young shoemaker came to King Krak.  He asked for a chance to defeat the dragon, and, despite having little faith in the cobbler, the King agreed.  The shoemaker labored away, stuffing a sheepskin with sulfur and mustard seeds.  When morning arrived, he carefully set his sacrifice at the den opening.  The dragon awoke and was eager to quench his hunger.  He ate the offering, not realizing that within a short time he would explode from the combination of his fire and the treat.  The lowly shoemaker was a hero, although he denied the prizes and glory, preferring to continue his meager but content existence. This is the dragon's den!

After bravely traversing the den, we found the dragon by the river!!

The dragon's view of the Wisla (or Vistula) River.

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