The Dragon Trail on the Pilatus – steeped in legend and myth
Take your children on a journey of discovery. There are many legends and myths associated with the Pilatus. In the Middle Ages people believed that dragons with healing powers lived in the rugged clefts and crevices of the Pilatus.
In the summer of 1421 an enormous dragon flew to the Pilatus and crashed to the ground so close to the farmer Stempflin that he fainted. When he came to, he found a lump of clotted blood and the Dragon Stone, which was legally declared as having healing powers in 1509.
The chronicle of Petermann Etterlin describes how Landamann Winkelried slew one of the Pilatus dragons. He wrapped thorny brambles around a spear and thrust it into the open jaws of the dragon, finishing the job with his sword, but a drop of the poisonous dragon blood squirted onto his hand. This drop – and the poisonous breath of the dying dragon – froze the blood in Winkelried’s veins and he also died.
In the early morning hours of 26 May 1499 there was a wondrous spectacle in Lucerne. After a terrible storm a gigantic, wingless dragon emerged from the tumultuous waters of the Reuss river near Spreuer bridge. The storm had probably caught the Lindworm by surprise and swept it from the Pilatus into Krienbach stream, which flows into the Reuss downriver of the Jesuit church. Several honorable and educated citizens vouched for the authenticity of this story.
Once in the fall a young man on the Pilatus fell into a deep cavern and found himself lying between two dragons. But they didn’t do anything to him. When spring came, one of the two dragons left its winter grounds and flew off. The other gave him to understand that the time had come to move out. The dragon crawled to the exit, extended its tail toward the man, and pulled him out of the cavern.