The Dragon of Wawel Hill
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Panoramic photo by Karol Kwiatek EXPERT Taken 22:59, 30/07/2008 - Views loading...

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The Dragon of Wawel Hill

The World > Europe > Poland > Krakow

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Smok Wawelski, also known as The Dragon of Wawel Hill or simply The Wawel Dragon, is a famous dragon in Polish folklore. He laired in a cave under the Wawel Hill on the banks of the Vistula river, although some legends place him in the Wawel mountains. In some stories the dragon lived before the founding of the city, when the area was inhabited by farmers.

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Nearby images in Krakow

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A: The Royal Castle - Wawel

by Adam Czapla, 20 meters away

The Royal Castle - Wawel

C: Wawel Hill

by PanoArt Kraków, 50 meters away

Wawel is an architectural complex erected over many centuries atop a limestone outcrop on the left ba...

Wawel Hill

D: Dragon krak back side

by Jan Mulder, 50 meters away

Dragon krak back side

E: Wawel

by Maciej G. Szling, 60 meters away

Wawel

F: The fire sptting dragon Krak

by Jan Mulder, 60 meters away

Photo's taken on december 27, 2010.

The fire sptting dragon Krak

G: Bronze model at the Wawel hill

by Jan Mulder, 70 meters away

Photo's taken on December 31, 2012.

Bronze model at the Wawel hill

H: At the wawel hill fortress

by Jan Mulder, 80 meters away

Photo's taken on December 31, 2012.

At the wawel hill fortress

I: Gardens at Wawel castle

by Jakub Hruska, 130 meters away

The Wawel Castle stoods, surprisingly, on the Wawel Hill above the Vistula River. The castle was buil...

Gardens at Wawel castle

J: Kraków

by Maciej G. Szling, 130 meters away

Kraków

This panorama was taken in Krakow, Europe

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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.

The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.

Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".

Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.

In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. 

Text by Steve Smith.

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