The legend of Nawojka

A tale of a girl who preferred studying to marrying.

Nawojka is said to have preferred learning to marrying. Yet, as she was a daughter of the Headman of Dobrzyń, it was the latter that custom had in store for her. When a husband was found for Nawojka, she escaped to Kraków, where she attended Kraków Academy in boy’s clothes. In 1409, after completing her exams successfully and receiving the title of bachelor, she proudly walked out in her new gown into the streets of Kraków. Unfortunately, someone incautiously poured a whole bucket of water onto her, and suddenly the loose gown was discovered to disguise the figure of a woman. For violating good habits, the church court is rumoured to have sentenced Nawojka to a life penance in a convent. There she was to beg the Creator to pardon her daring to learn.

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