Monday, March 19, 2012

Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel Castle was originally started in around the 11th century with parts of the castle, such as the Cathedral, dating back furthest. As a long-time royal residence, the castle retains huge historic value as parts of the fortress were constructed throughout the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Situated next to the Vistula river seen here, Wawel began to take hold as a political power center at the end of the first millenium.

Here, we can see the southern side of Wawel Cathedral. The cathedral within the castle served as the coronation location for nearly all of Poland's monarchs.

This dome actually is the entrance to the Dragon's Den, the supposed lair of a famous dragon from Polish folklore who lived in the area before the city was founded.

The story about the dragon was that it constantly ravaged the country side and particularly liked eating young girls. The King promised his daughter's hand in marriage to the one who could slay the dragon. A cobbler's apprentice through various means, managed to make the dragon extremely thirsty, so that after the dragon drank half the water of the Vistula river, it exploded. See for yourself the lair of this slain dragon!

Here, a statue of the dragon stands guard outside its lair. Stand around for a bit and you might experience the dragon's fiery breath!

Took some shots of the castle while heading back northwards.

One last shot before heading for lunch at the nearby Pod Wawelem once again to try their lunch fare.

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