The Legend of Dżok, or Jock the dog
The green park surrounding Wawel Castle offers beautiful trails for walking, biking and even roller-skating. The terrain is ideal for a ride on a Segway. Depending on the season, you will find people of all ages sitting in the shade of trees feasting on picnics, playing Frisbee and football or simply enjoying the sunny view on the Wisla River.
The area is also home to several memorials. One noticeable monument, put in place for the original and heartwarming story behind it, is the one of Dżok – in English Jock – the Dog. Though a guide will be able to put more details into the legend, here is how it goes. Up to the summer of 1990, Dżok was a happy dog until he saw his master suffer a heart attack on Rondo Grunwaldzkie roundabout. The man unfortunately did not recover and the dog was left behind. Dżok spent a year faithfully awaiting his master’s return, never leaving the spot where he had fallen. He stubbornly escaped the Krakow Animal Shelter’s grasp. After some time, it is said that Dżok took to a woman named Maria who came regularly to feed him. She took him home until she, as well, deceased. After these events, the animal was finally sent to the shelter but managed an escape after only a few nights. He is thought to have been hit by a train soon after.
The story of Dżok, though a sad one, had become so well known that a commission was made to famous Polish sculptor Bronisław Chromy to commemorate the dog’s loyalty. Chromy, also sculptor of the famous Wawel Dragon, rendered a monument depicting a dog being held by hands, symbolizing devotion and loyalty. An inscription adorns the front of the sculpture, which reads: “Dżok, the dog. The most faithful canine friend, ever epitomising a dog’s boundless devotion to his master.” The monument was unveiled in 2001.
Dżok the Dog Info
Address Bulwar Czerwieński, Smocza 10, 33-332, Kraków, Poland
Map Ref 50.051487, 19.934934
Open at all times
Images by Stefanie Auger-Roy for Absolute Tours