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October 4, 2009
Newcastle upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom
November 27, 2006
The Dragons Den is just one of many icons that can be found on Wawel Hill. There are so many in fact that one can't really see them all in one go, so it is wise to pick just a couple for each visit you make. You can buy a ticket which gives entry to two sights and tell the salesperson which two you want to see. We opted for the Dragons Den as one of them and the price probably worked out around £3 for entrance to the Dragons Den.
First things first - if you have mobility problems or would have problems going into a fairly dark cave then this is not a sight for you. The spiral stairs are narrow and quite steep and some parts of the cave are narrow too. The Dragon's Den is a karst cave - but not just any old cave. Firstly, there is a legend attached to it - it is said to be called the Dragons Den because this is where Prince Krak rid the city of a belligerent dragon that had been eating not only the city's farming stock but also its virgins - imagine! Furthermore, it is the oldest dwelling place in Poland - it was inhabited from the stone age until the sixteenth century. Sadly there's not much else to say of this cave. Inside it's quite impressive - the central hall is 200 feet long and it has some interesting formations - but that's about it. You don't go with a guide; you simply show your ticket - the entrance is inside the Wawel Castle Gardens and you start to descend.
We went on a really hot day and could quickly feel the temperature plummet as we went further underground. Once you make your way through the central cave, you descend a little more before exiting through an opening on the west slope of Wawel Hill. This results in a beautiful view of the sweeping curve of the Vistula and the farm land on the other side of the river. You also see the fire breathing statue of the Dragon next to the exit. It is a rather quirky contemporary metal sculpture with breathes fire at intervals - kids love it!
I guess this attraction would appeal to children though it needs a little something more to make it more appealing. It could easily do this without becoming too commercial and tacky - perhaps a small exhibition? For adults it is a pleasant enough diversion but unlikely to be a highlight of your trip.
From journal Enjoy Some Polish Spirit