The Legend of the Dragon

According to the tradition and narrative of the folklorist D. Giannoussi (Acropolis, 11-7-54), many, many years ago, the cave was a gold mine which was guarded by a dragon. The monster breathed and breathed flames and poisoned vapors from its mouth at anyone who dared to stand on its doorstep…

Dragon's Cave - Kastoria

The first king of the city, Castor, to amuse his guest brother Polydeukis (half-brother of the Dioscuri), wanted to show him the cave. So he announced that whoever dared to mess with the dragon and neutralize it would win many gifts. Then, a young husky appeared who fought fiercely with the dragon and finally managed to strike him dead with his spear, throwing the dead man into the waters of the lake.

The people and the Dioscuri, celebrated the event and after thanking the god Pan, entered the cave holding lit torches. As they moved forward impressed by the beauty of the cave, the atmosphere became suffocating due to lack of oxygen. At a point where the passage narrowed, their torches went out and the cave was plunged into darkness. Then an eerie voice was heard saying: «He who bends down to pick up a handful of the mud he treads on will regret it but also he who does not pick up again he will regret!

Some were frightened and afraid to take anything in their hands, while the more daring ones hastily filled their butts with mud. When they emerged from the cave into the sunlight, those with the mud were surprised to find that what they were holding was liquid gold dust!

Of particular interest is the the fact that the myth was preserved in the younger generations as before the cave was opened to the public, the local parents prevented children from approaching the entrance of the cave with the claim that it has the shape of a dragon's mouth thus creating a story and continuity around the idea of a terrible monster.

Σπήλαιο του Δράκου - Καστοριά
Σπήλαιο του Δράκου - Καστοριά