Legends of Ojców National Park in Poland

The legends surrounding Ojców National Park in Poland are ancient stories passed down from generation to generation, narrating human, supernatural events, and encounters that have left a mark on the collective imagination of the Polish people, who have inhabited these lands since ancient times.

From tales of tragic love to stories about hidden treasures, the legends of Ojców add an aura of mystery and charm to the natural landscape, giving a different touch to your stay in the country, helping in understanding, and revealing fascinating aspects of the region’s culture and history. Through the following legends, we have the opportunity to gain a unique insight into Ojców’s past and its heritage. Immerse yourself in the folklore and magic of this iconic national park and let yourself be carried away by the stories that have endured through the centuries.


Legends of Ojców National Park in Poland

About the Łokietek Cave / Royal Cave

When at the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th, Wenceslaus II, King of Bohemia, invaded Poland and took Krakow, the legitimate ruler, Władysław Łokietek, was forced to abandon his residence and hide. To find refuge, he chose a difficult-to-access cave in Ojców, located on top of Mount Chełmowa Góra. The entrance to the cave was covered by a massive spider web, and as the pursuers approached, Łokietek was lowered into the cave by a rope. This stratagem kept the web intact and confused Wenceslaus II’s troops, who, upon reaching the entrance, found no signs of recent occupation in the cave. The locals, loyal to the king, brought him food, which the exile prepared in a small room called the Kitchen. In another space, Łokietek had his bedroom, and in a third, the Knights’ Hall, where soldiers wishing to support the monarch in reclaiming the throne swore their loyalty. Thanks to news from the outside, gathered by the inhabitants of the Prądnik Valley, the king was aware of events in Krakow and could choose the right moment to come out of hiding, return to the city, and triumphantly reclaim the crown. The memory of these events endures in the local population to this day, and the king’s refuge is known as the Łokietek Cave or the Royal Cave.

About Pieskowa Skała

The story goes that in the castle tower, formerly called Dorota’s Tower, one of the daughters of the Tęczyński family starved to death. The young woman, in love with a musician, was forced to marry a pathetic old man, the lord of the castle in the Prądnik Valley. However, her lover, disguised as a monk, broke into the castle and rescued his beloved. Tragically, the old man’s henchmen captured them. The musician was dragged by horses down the mountain slopes, and Dorota was thrown into the castle tower, where she was doomed to starve. But her loyal little dog came to her rescue. Guided by his instinct, he climbed the rock where the tower stood and brought his owner scraps of food thrown to him, thus saving her from starvation. The memory of the faithful dog has endured to this day in the name of the rock.

According to E. Sukertowa, "Legends about the Prądnik," 1928.

About the Glove Rock

During a Tatar raid in Ojców, the local population sought refuge in difficult-to-access caves, such as the Dark Cave. However, the invaders persisted and began exploring the forests and rocks of the Prądnik Valley. At that moment, the merciful Creator covered the cave entrance with His own hand, misleading the pursuers. When the danger passed and the people emerged from hiding, they discovered that instead of God’s hand, there was a rock in the shape of a hand, now known as Glove or Mitt.

According to E. Sukertowa, "Legends about the Prądnik," 1928.

About the Generous Rock

During the feudal era in the village of Prądnik Korzkiewski, a very stingy lord ruled. On top of a sandy, rocky hill, he allowed some peasants to sow three pots of barley for two years but demanded they give him a quarter of the harvest. One year, a peasant admitted to sowing four pots of barley, though it seemed the harvest would be five. Distrustful, the lord climbed the rock and began counting the grains in the ears. When he tried to reach an ear growing over the precipice, he fell from the rock and died instantly. Freed from the wicked lord, the peasants, grateful to fate, called the rock "Generous."

According to J. Zinkowa, "Legends, Tales, and Customs of Krakow," 1993.

About Hercules’ Club / Falcon Rock

When the sorcerer Twardowski was captured by the Devil in the "Roma" tavern in Pychowice, he had one last chance to save himself. According to a previously signed contract, the Devil had to fulfill three conditions of Twardowski before taking his soul to hell. One of the sorcerer’s demands was to move the described rock from another location to the Prądnik Valley and place it with the thinner end down. The effect of the Devil’s work can be admired today under the Pieskowa Rock.
Falcon Rock is the more popularly known name of Hercules’ Club. Its name is related to a popular legend that tells of a prisoner once held in the castle tower. The lord promised the man’s freedom if he brought a fledgling from a falcon’s nest, which was on top of the hard-to-reach rock. Despite pondering the problem for a long time, the prisoner could not devise a way to obtain the fledgling. Finally, exhausted, he fell asleep. At that moment, a flock of falcons flew over him and carried him to the top of the rock, and when he grabbed a fledgling, the birds carried him back to the castle. The prisoner regained his freedom, and since then, the rock has been known as the Falcon.

Hercules’ Club is a rock that stands 25 meters tall. It is located at the foot of Pieskowa Castle.

According to E. Sukertowa, "Legends about the Prądnik," 1928.

Chapel on the Water, dedicated to Saint Joseph the Worker

According to legend, this chapel was built over the waters of the Prądnik because Tsar Nicholas II issued a decree prohibiting the construction of religious buildings on Ojców land. This prohibition was circumvented by placing the church "on the water." Historical data does not confirm this legend. The chapel was originally thermal baths that were remodeled or adapted in 1901 to become a religious building. The spa visitors of Ojców at that time felt the lack of a church in the Prądnik Valley, so the then director of the spa, Dr. Stanisław Niedzielski, took action.

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