King Krak and the Dragon
Once upon a time, a fierce dragon was terrifying the neighbourhood, his favourite prey being
pretty maidens, whom he would drag back into his cave at the base of Wawel Hill to devour.
One day, a local shoemaster's apprentice, a giant named Krak, hit upon a clever idea. He
threw the dragon a sheep soaked in burning pitch, whereupon the former ate it and expired
in a mass of smoke and flames. Krak went on to found Krakow, becoming its first prince.
He is commemorated by a great eighth century mound, the Kopiec Krakusa, across the Vistula in
the south of the city.
The dragon himself has been immortalised and placed outside his cave on the banks of Vistula,
where it belches fire every couple of minutes.