Brno Dragon – Brno, Czechia - Atlas Obscura

Brno Dragon

This hanging crocodile is thought to be the "dragon" that once plagued a Czech city. 


Hanging in the Old Town Hall of the largest Moravian city is the carcass of an actual dragon, or so the originators of the Brno Dragon legend would have you believe.

One of the most famous legends in the city of Brno is that of the dragon that once threatened the people. It is said that the beast was savaging the citizens and their livestock and no one seemed to know how to stop it. That is until a visiting butcher had a brainstorm. The tradesman called for an animal hide (ox or sheep depending on the telling) and a large amount of caustic lime. The lime was placed in the hide and sewn up to look like a juicy meal for the dragon. The trojan feast was fed to the dragon and it was successfully vanquished. 

Unlike similar legends across Europe, the people of Brno actually have a body to back up their tale. However, it is the body of a crocodile. Supposedly the preserved reptile hanging in the town hall is the actual beast that inspired the legend, although it is more likely that the exotic animal was presented as a gift from a visiting dignitary. Given how large the taxidermied crocodile is, it does not seem that implausible that a simpler culture might think it was a creature of legend.

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