Polish Legends

Every country in the world has its own folk stories known as legends. They are mostly fiction, but they alway have some small elements of truth. Poland also has plenty of legends, which have been passed down from one generation to another. These legends tell stories of the early times of Poland, when the country was tuled by kings and many people believed in make believe monsters. In this article, you will discover some of the most famous Polish legends, which have been around for centuries and told stories that ignited the imagination of countless Polish people.

Lech, Czech, and Rus

Long ago, when Europe was enhabited by Slavic Tribes, there were three brothers – Lech, Czech and Rus. They were wise and kind men, and back then, their tribes were very prosperous. But as the population of their tribes kept growing, they were running out of food and the threat of famine appeared, so the brothers decided to find a place to settlle down permanently.
After many days of wandering, Lech reached a land with fertile fields, a forest filled with animals and a giant oak tree. At the top of that tree, there was a nest of an eagle. Lech decided to stop right here and create a settlement, which was named Gniezno, after the nest, were the eagle lived.

The legend of Popiel

Long ago, in the town of Kruszwica at lake Goplo, there was a castle, where prince Popiel and his wife, a German princess lived. They enjoyed having fun and throwing parties, but they didn’t care about their subjects. Popiel’s uncles tried to convince him to do something, but he didn’t listen to them. One day, the princess decided to throw a feast and pour poison to the cups of wine for the uncles. At the feast, everyone raised a toast, and when the uncles drank the wine, they fell dead on the floor. After that, the princess ordered the servants to thrown the bodies into the lake.

A few days later, thousands of mice came into the castle and eated Popiel and his wife alive. And that was the miserable end of the dastardly ruler.

Bazyliszek

Long ago in Warsaw, there was an armorer named Melchior, whose armors were famous all around the country, and the shield were so polished that they could be used as mirrors. One day, itinerant artists came to Warsaw, and Melchior allowed his children to go to the market square, but he warned them not to go to the stonehouse, because anyone who came in, wouldn’t come out.

But the kids followed one of the artists into the door of an old stonehouse and saw him come close to small lights. A dragon named Bazyliszek came out, the man looked into its eyes and was turned into stone. Melchior noticed that his children disappeared and decided to fight the dragon. He was holding his shield, and when the monstrous dragon came out, it only saw its reflection and turned itself into stone. Melchior became a hero, and his story quickly spread all over Warsaw.

The Wawel Dragon

Long before Poland was ruled by Mieszko I, at the Wawel Hill a settlement was created, which was ruled by king Krak. He had a beautiful daughter named Wanda and they lived happily together. But one day, a dragon came to the castle, which was eating the cattle of local people. Many knights tried to killed the dragon, but they were immediately devoured by the monstrous creature.

But then, a tailor named Skuba came up with a plan. He made a fake sheep filled with sulfur and put it under the dragon’s cave. The dragon ate it up and it felt a fire growing in its stomach. He drank so much water, that he burst and was killed.

Skuba was brought to Krak’s court, who allowed him to marry his daughter, Wanda. The wedding lasted a whole week, and Skuba gave his wife boots from dragon skin.

The Golden Duck

Long ago, a princess cursed into a golden duck lived in a castle. It was told, that she could give great richness to anyone, who would find her.
A poor tailor named Lutek decided to try his luck. He found the golden duck, who promised to make him rich, if he could spend 100 ducats in one day just for himslef, without sharing with anyone. Lutek bought himself some beautiful clothes and had a filling meal in a pub. He also tok a carriage ride and went the most expensive ticket to the theatre. But he only spent a few ducats on all of that.

But then, Lutek met an injured and starving soldier. He took pity on him and gave him some of his money. At that very moment, the princess appeared and took everything away from him. The soldier told him that you don’t earn happiness with money, but by working hard and being kind to others. Shortly afterwards, Lutek found a fine job and married a beautiful girl. He lived a long and happy life, and one heard about the golden duck ever again.

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