Brno in the Czech Republic: Dragons and crocodiles?

While Andy’s looked at some of the highlights of Brno – the Czech Republic’s second city, in the east and not far from Bratislava, and a great little known European destination to visit – one thing he failed to mention was the sight that stuck in my mind the most, largely because it’s rather strange. Head through the pretty town centre of Brno and into the Brno Town Hall and you’ll find a stuffed crocodile hanging from the ceiling. My Brno friend told me it was there, and insisted she take me to see it, but until I laid my own eyes upon it, I was pretty sure the fact that she was telling me about a crocodile was going to turn out to be a translation error!

In fact, the locals refer to it as the Dragon of Brno, and its origins are a little uncertain. Some people say it was a gift from Archprince Matayas in the 1600s; others say it days back an entire millennium as a gift from Sir Albrecht Trut to the prince of the time. Whatever the true origins, it’s really seeped into the Brno culture – there’s even a Brno rugby club named the dragons after this one. So while it might be an odd thing to hunt down while you’re travelling, I do recommend checking out the “dragon”, just so you can say you’ve seen it. It costs nothing to get into the Town Hall entrance and you might consider making up your own story of its origins to tell your friends back home – you’ve got just as much chance at being right, I think!

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