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Atlas Obscura The Warsaw Basilisk

The basilisk is a famous monster from ancient mythology, found in Roman legends, medieval stories, and more recently, in the second Harry Potter book. In Warsaw, there is also a legend about this monstrous creature and its lair.

It is said that long ago, the basilisk lived in the basement of a ruined castle in what is now the Old Town Market Square, sleeping during the day and wandering the city at night. Under cover of darkness, the creature killed all that came across its gaze by turning them to stone. It demolished buildings and stole livestock and riches, killing many people and amassing a great fortune for itself over the years.

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Atlas Obscura 2019
0.07km
Mermaid of Warsaw

Discover Mermaid of Warsaw in Warsaw, Poland: The Polish capital has had a deep connection to its guardian mermaid for almost a millennium now.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.12km
Polish Army Museum

Discover Polish Army Museum in Warsaw, Poland: This extensive collection covers thousands of years of Polish military history.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.31km
A Monument to the Pole Who Put the Sun at the Center of the Solar System

Nicolaus Copernicus's theory said the planets revolved around the Sun.

Atlas Obscura 2017
0.24km
The Polish Children Who Fought Nazis

The Little Insurrectionist honors the young soldiers of the Warsaw Uprising.

Atlas Obscura 2018
2.96km
Czar PRL: Life Under Communism Museum

Discover Czar PRL: Life Under Communism Museum in Warsaw, Poland: This hidden collection of everyday objects illustrates life within communist Poland.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.09km
The Museum of Dollhouses, Games and Toys

Discover The Museum of Dollhouses, Games and Toys in Warsaw, Poland: A delightful museum entirely dedicated to the tiny homes of dolls.

Atlas Obscura 2020
2.11km
Oberża Pod Czerwonym Wieprzem

Discover Oberża Pod Czerwonym Wieprzem in Warsaw, Poland: Order “Proletariat’s Cutlet” at this communist-themed restaurant allegedly once visited by Lenin.

Atlas Obscura 2019
5.18km
Grave of Rudolf Kwiek

Discover Grave of Rudolf Kwiek in Warsaw, Poland: The final resting place of the last "gypsy king" of Poland.

Place
2.21km
Warsaw
Audio Guide
0.23km
Audio Guide
A walk through Warsaw
en
Atlas Obscura 2021
1.53km
The Monument Tree of Pawiak

Discover The Monument Tree of Pawiak in Warsaw, Poland: A bronze replica of an elm tree that honors the victims that perished in Pawaik Prison.

Brutalism 1975
4.95km
Uniwersus Book Store (today: ING Bank and other tenants)
Atlas Obscura 2019
3.87km
Chopin Monument

Discover Chopin Monument in Warsaw, Poland: In the summer, the area around this sculpture transforms into a vibrant concert venue.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.28km
The Canaletto Room

Discover The Canaletto Room in Warsaw, Poland: These 18th-century paintings of Warsaw were used to reconstruct the city after World War II.

Atlas Obscura 2022
4.46km
The Roundabout where Poland and Tibet Meet

Discover Rondo Wolnego Tybetu (Free Tibet Roundabout) in Warsaw, Poland: A heavily politicized roundabout discussing the state of a heavily politicized country.

World Heritage Site 1980
1.88km
Historic Centre of Warsaw

During the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944, more than 85% of Warsaw’s historic centre was destroyed by Nazi troops. After the war, a five-year reconstruction campaign by its citizens resulted in today’s meticulous restoration of the Old Town, with its ch…

Atlas Obscura 2019
4.24km
Marie Curie’s Tree

Discover Marie Curie's Tree in Warsaw, Poland: A tree planted by Marie Curie is treasured by the Radium institute that she set up.

Atlas Obscura 2021
0.62km
Warsaw Pegasus Sculptures

Discover Warsaw Pegasus Sculptures in Warsaw, Poland: This colorful and quirky set of pegasus sculptures celebrate the works of poet Zbigniew Herbert.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.05km
‘Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue’

Discover 'Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue' in Warsaw, Poland: An artificial date palm stands as a memorial to Warsaw's Jewish community.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.09km
Dollhouse Museum

Discover Dollhouse Museum in Warsaw, Poland: A delightful museum entirely dedicated to the tiny homes of dolls.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.57km
Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery

Discover Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw, Poland: The final resting place of more than 200,000 people, this is one of the largest cemeteries in Europe.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.11km
The Sad Story of Mieszko the Stone Bear

Discover Mieszko the Stone Bear in Warsaw, Poland: Legend says this is actually a heartbroken prince waiting for his true love's kiss.

Atlas Obscura 2017
5.12km
Galeria Forty / Forty

Discover Galeria Forty / Forty in Warsaw, Poland: A hidden art gallery in an abandoned Warsaw fort.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.32km
Warsaw’s Chopin Benches

Discover Warsaw's Chopin Benches in Warsaw, Poland: Special benches that play Chopin's music are scattered throughout his native city.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.15km
Gallery of Medieval Art

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Atlas Obscura 2019
0.37km
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Museum

Discover Marie Skłodowska-Curie Museum in Warsaw, Poland: This biographical museum honors the groundbreaking scientist at her birthplace in Warsaw.

Atlas Obscura 2019
1.22km
Shrine of St. Thaddaeus

Discover Shrine of St. Thaddaeus in Warsaw, Poland: Hundreds of notes give thanks to the patron saint of lost causes.

Atlas Obscura 2017
0.59km
Warsaw Uprising Monument

A tribute to of the most devastating events in the city's history.

Atlas Obscura 2019
2.08km
Battle of Grunwald Painting

Discover Battle of Grunwald Painting in Warsaw, Poland: This enormous 32-foot painting depicts Poland's greatest medieval battle in glorious detail.

Atlas Obscura 2020
0.09km
St John’s Arch Cathedral

Discover St John’s Arch Cathedral in Warsaw, Poland: The last king of Poland was interred in this church nearly 200 years after his death.

Atlas Obscura 2021
4.74km
Warsaw’s Tchorek Plaques

Discover Tchorek Plaques in Warsaw, Poland: These plaques found across Warsaw commemorate the sites where executions or battles took place during the German occupation.

Atlas Obscura 2019
0.08km
This Old Bell Is Said to Make Wishes Come True

The bell also stars in a tragic love tale.