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EEA Dragon's Den


Temporary exhibition
August 13 – October 10, 2015

The legend of the Wawel dragon, written down in the early 13th century by Master Wincenty (Magister Vincentius), called Kadłubek, inspired the curators – archaeologist Beata Kwiatkowska–Kopka and art historian Agnieszka Janczyk – to bring together in the exhibition archaeological artifacts and works of art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The title can be interpreted in many ways, but the exhibition focuses on juxt a positions of different notions of dragons, for example artifacts contrasted with visions of Polish artists, “pagan” dragons with “Christian” dragons, and the terrible beast of legends and folktales with Zofia Stryjeńska’s toy.

The exploration of “legendary history” begins with an imaginative “portrait” of the Wawel dragon and the history of the study and restoration of the Dragon’s Den, and ends with photographs of children’s “interactions” with dragons: a school play held on Wawel Hill in 1933 and contemporary art works created by partici-pants of the “Dragon x 3” workshops. Images of drag-ons from the Wawel Cathedral and a presentation of the former church of St. George on Wawel Hill fill an important spot in the exhibition.

Among the objects on view are medieval ornaments with dragon motifs uncovered in archaeological digs and works by artists such as Henryk Grunwald (1904– 958), Konrad Winkler (1882–1962), Witold Pruszkowski (1846–1896), and Marian Wawrzeniecki (1863–1943).

The exhibition is a new voice in the dialogue on the monster that inhabited the Dragon’s Den and its image in Polish art of the 19th and 20th centuries, which serves as an introduction to the rich world of the legends, fairytales, and the imagination.

Exhibition hours:

10 a.m.–4 p.m.

last entry 1 hour before exhibitions close


free admission pass must be collected from the Reservation Office

The exhibition “Two Faces of the Dragon” is part of the international Project “Preserving the Heritage of the Wawel’s Dragon’s Den” concerned with the study of both the geology and the cultural significance of the cave known as the Dragon’s Den.

The Project “Preserving the Heritage of the Wawel’s Dragon’s Den”  is realized under the aegis of the Program “Promotion of Diversity in Culture and Arts within European Cultural Heritage” within the EEA FM 2009–2014.

Beneficiary: Wawel Royal Castle
Project Partner: Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU)                          

Project Cost: 953,051.90 PLN
EEA Grant: 90%
Ministry of Culture and National Heritage subsidy: 10%

Photo: Dariusz Błażewski