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‘The Krakus Mound Touches the Sky’…Nobody Ever Said That

- Marty Way

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I hadn’t been up a mountain for a few weeks and, I’ll admit it, I was pining for a little elevation. I reached to top of the escarpment and there it was- the Krakus Mound. For a site with such royal pedigree, its first impression was…well… modest. F204E082-4241-45F4-AF1F-3896A7783ADF.jpeg

The Krakus Mound was thought to be the burial site of King Krakus, who ruled the territory during the 1400s. The city of Krakow was named after the much-revered king. Krakus didn’t start out as royalty but achieved princedom in a rather unconventional way…he slew a fire-breathing dragon.

According to legend, a dragon was becoming a nuisance in the kingdom, eating livestock and snacking on the occasional serf. The king offered his daughter’s hand in marriage to any henchman who could dispatch the dragon. Several knights tried, but the dragon’s fiery breath heated up their armour, reducing them to a sizzling sauté of nobleman.

Krakus was a cobbler with a different plan. He created a fake sheep, stuffed with sheep-skins and sulphur. When the dragon snarfed down the fake sheep, he soon needed to drink water, so it slithered to the river and began drinking water. The water made the sheep-skins expanded in the dragon’s stomach… so much so that the dragon exploded like a balloon. So, Krakus was proclaimed a hero and married the princess. (He also collected some of the hide from the dragon and made unique dragon-skin shoes for his new bride…because she was into shoes).

That’s a pretty good back-story, you have to admit; just the sort of legend that gets one immortalized under a lofty burial mound. Well…it’s not true. (The burial site, that is. The dragon story stands). An archeological excavation in the 1930 revealed artifacts from the eighth and tenth centuries but no human remains. So the Krakus Mound is one of two ancient mounds, the oldest manmade structures in Krakow…the other is nearby Wanda Mound.

So, is the Krakus Mound worth a visit and the ascent? Absolutely. Trekking up the 16 meters of elevation to the summit, reveals panoramic views of Krakow.CE09CD03-3E5B-4A48-A6E3-552DEB35CC17.jpeg55A33268-1192-4D83-9826-F738871E7D90.jpegF43845BB-1678-4996-B503-ABA36015E405.jpeg

Posted by WayWayFar 19:13 Archived in Poland

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