What’s SMOK WAWELSKI and where is it in Poland?

Listen to the latest episode of Baron Grindwal's Polish Treasure Hunt and download the series below!

We’re on a treasure hunt! That’s a POSZUKIWANIE SKARBÓW in Polish.

We’re using Baron Grindwal’s map to learn more about POLSKA – or Poland as we call it in the UK.

Baron Grindwal was a riddler – and so to explore POLSKA, we’re going to have to solve some of his riddles.

We’re on the hunt for a famous capital city. But Poland has had quite a few capitals over the years, so we will also journey into history…

Let’s have a look at the first riddle.  Riddle 1: “Go back in time for treasures found – the best are hidden underground”

Well, what about GNIEZNO. That was Poland’s first capital and is near the centre of our map.

Legend – or LEGENDA – has it that hundreds of years ago three brothers hunted three types of prey. One followed a white eagle – a BIAŁY ORZEŁ – to its nest – that’s a GNIAZDO.

This happened over a thousand years ago when the country of Poland was founded.

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Hmm, let’s find out more with our next riddle.  Riddle 2: “Myth and a river here you’ll find– but to the south your path must wind”

Looking at the map, and to the east of Gniezno, there’s a very famous city on the Vistula River – Warsaw or WARSZAWA, which is Poland’s current capital.

Although most of the city has been rebuilt over the last century, it’s the home of myths too.

And one of the most well known is about the Warsaw Mermaid. It’s said that the mermaid – that’s SYRENKA in Polish – protects the city. So with that ancient story, we’ve certainly gone back in time.

But the first riddle talks about underground – and if anything, there’s more in the sky. Warsaw is home to some of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe – the Palace of Culture and Science is over 230 metres tall! That’s over twice as high as Big Ben in London!

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Ok, time for our final riddle.  Riddle 3: “Search on explorer – you’re nearly there when something’s lurking in it’s lair”

There’s a DRAGON – SMOK – on the map – in some caves named SMOCZA JAMA in the city of KRAKÓW! Dragon’s love a good lair!

The Legend of SMOK WAWELSKI says that a dragon terrorised the city for many years before being defeated by a brave townsman. There’s even a huge dragon statue blowing fire outside the cave today!

And Krakow is on the Vistula River too. And is right at the most southerly point of the country.

And even better, there are salt mines near Kraków which you can visit. Mines are DEFINITELY something you’d find underground – just like the first riddle.

Could the city of KRAKÓW, the second capital of Poland before Warsaw, be the treasure at the end of the Baron’s riddle?  Correct!

Click here to learn more Polish!

Click here to learn more Polish!

Related Polish words and phrases:

STOLICA – the capital
BIAŁY ORZEŁ – a white eagle
ZAMEK WAWEL – the Wawel Castle
SMOK WAWELSKI – the Wawel dragon
SMOCZA JAMA – dragon’s den
WARSZAWSKA SYRENKA – the Warsaw Mermaid
LEGENDA – Legend

More to click…

Click to find out more about Gniezno

Click to find out more about Kraków

Click to find out more about Warsaw

Click to find out more about the story of the Warsaw Mermaid

Click to find out more about the story of Smok Wawelski, the fierce Dragon of Kraków

Explore more of Poland with Baron Grindwal!

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Learn Polish with support from the Polish Cultural Institute London.

 

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