Legend of the Basilisk

In those days the house in Schönlaterngasse number 7 was a bakery. One day a maid bent over the well to get water. Suddenly she cried out in fear. „There is a dragon in the well! Don`t look down, the smell alone will kill you“, she warned everybody.

The baker`s apprentice boy just laughed at her. He did not believe in dragons and decided to climb down into the well himself to prove her wrong. However, he too cried out for help. „There is a small fire-breathing type of dragon“, he screamed.

Soon the news spread and even the doctor came to the house to investigate the matter. Being a learned man, he could identify the beast. „This dragon is called Basilisk. It is from a cock`s egg which had been hatched out by a toad“, he said.

Nobody, however, dared to climb down into the well to kill the beast by showing it a mirror, as the doctor suggested. Therefore the people decided to fill in the well with stones, so that the basilisk could not do any more harm.

To commemorate this frightful event the house was called „Basilisk House“ and the image of the fearful beast was put up on the wall of the house.

Later it was discovered that the „poisonous breath“ was just sulphurous vapours, nevertheless the legend of the basilisk is still remembered until today and a weatherbeaten image of the basilisk still looks out of a niche in the facade of the house, as it is said to have done since 1212.

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