Public Art: Brno Dragon
Description: Ok, technically this enormous Nile
crocodile hanging from the ceiling isn't really public art but it is worth a mention for its sheer tenacity of
being suspended for so many years in order to perpetuate the myth of the Brno dragon. The Brno
Dragon, according to legend, terrorized the city in the 11th century.
Location: The Brno Dragon is suspended from the
ceiling inside the Old Town Hall, Brno, Czech Republic.
Acknowledgements: A special thank
you to Silvie Bee for kindly providing the
The Various Legends of the Brno Dragon:
1. Many centuries ago a dragon moved into a cave along the banks of the River Svratka and
began terrorizing the townfolk of Brno . No one dared venture into the town in fear of the beast.
Eventually a butcher took matters into his own hands by laying a bait laced with lime. After eating the
feast the dragon became thirsty and drank from the river. The water began to react to the lime and his belly
got bigger and bigger until he burst.
2. Many centuries ago a dragon began slaughtering the cattle in Brno and terrifying
the townsfolk. The mayor offered a generous reward for its capture. No one was brave enough to take on the
challenge except for a knight. He crept up to the dragon's lair and placed a cup of poisoned water outside the
entrance. After the dragon died he was hung from the ceiling at the entrance of the town hall.
3. The dragon was killed and stuffed by Sir Albretcht of Trautenburg's servants when they were
establishing the town in the 11th century. When Prince Oldrich appointed his son as Margrave of Maravia the
"dragon" was presented to the Prince as a gift from Sir Albetcht.
The Most Likely Explanations
The Brno is actually a Nile crocodile and was probably given to the city by the Hungarian King
Mathias Corinus II in 1608. At the time he and his ailing brother Emperor Rudolf II were
both fighting over the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. The gift was thought to be an attempt
to win over the Protestants and the Moravian people. It might just have helped as he did become
the Holy Roman Emperor in 1611.
The crocodile was brought back from one of their crusades.
It was a gift to the councilmen from a Turkish Sultan.