Smocza Jama (Dragon's Cave), Krakow

(3.5/5 based on 180+ reviews on the web)
Smocza Jama is a limestone cave in the Wawel Hill in Kraków. Owing to its location in the heart of the former Polish capital and its connection to the legendary Wawel Dragon, it is the best known cave in Poland.MorphologySmocza Jama has two entrances, one natural and one artificial — a 19th-century waterwork well. They are connected by three large chambers. A side passage, discovered in 1974, leads under the St. Stanislaus and St. Wenceslaus's Cathedral. In the underground pools lives a rare crustacean troglobiont, Niphargus tatrensis, relict of the Tertiary sea fauna.Smocza Jama has the length of 276 m and vertical range of 15 m.HistorySmocza Jama was first mentioned on the turn of the 12th century in Wincenty Kadłubek's Chronica Polonorum, which is also the source of the first known version of the Wawel Dragon legend, later further developed by Jan Długosz and Marcin Bielski. The name of the cave was first given in 1551 in Marcin Bielski's Kronika wszystkiego świata.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Tickets are not expensive, immediately next to the Wawel Castle. The transition time of 20 minutes, the lightened cool in the Middle, well worth a visit.
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  • To visit the Wawel takes some patience as there is the possibility to buy more tickets for different parts of the complex (Sadormienska Tower, State apartments, basement of the Dragon, Royal apartments etc.): one of those who, especially if you have kids, you have to take (also because it has the derisory 3 or 4 zloty cost) is what will allow you to visit the wine cellar of the Dragon. Access is quite tight and there is a rather long spiral staircase that takes you into the bowels of the Earth. At the exit you are on the forecourt of the Wawel next to a statue of a dragon that breathes fire at regular intervals, to the delight of children and adults. Cute, though, perhaps, somewhat kitsch ... but if you are in Krakow, a dragon is not denied to anyone!
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  • The den of Wawel Dragon is accessible through a staircase built inside a former well placed in the courtyard of the castle (counting 137 steps; unfortunately - the route not being allowed for the use ...  more »
Google
  • It's a small cave, but be under the castle is pretty amazing. The entrance fee is not to high (€3). Outside there's a dragon statue who breath fires every 5 minutes.
  • Zejście po krętych schodach i kilka komór jaskini. Frajdatdla dzieci. Bilety warto kupić w kasie głównej bez kolejki, zamiast w automacie przy wejściu do jaskini.
  • Frankly speaking, as a cave, Smocza Jama was an average one among those I had seen so far. But I liked the feeling of vertigo while I used the narrow and steep spiral stairs to go down. After I reached the bottom, an easy short walk led me to an exit right below the Wawel Hill where I met the fire-breathing Wawel's Dragon.
  • Great place to visit especially with kids.
  • Small but cool cave at 3zł per person.