The legend of Mr Twardowski

He gave youth to the old and cured diseases, worked on the discovery of the philosopher’s stone, and (believe it or not) made a pact with the devil: the history of Kraków’s most famous sorcerer.

The most famous magician in Kraków, Mr Twardowski – so mysterious that the dispute as to whether he was a fictitious or historical person continues to this day – worked on the invention of the philosopher’s stone, which would allow the transmutation of any metal into gold, the rejuvenation of people, and the curing of all illnesses. In return for having all his wishes granted, the magician signed a pact with the devil, to whom he was to offer his soul when in Rome. One of the feats that Twardowski achieved thanks to the devil’s assistance was the building of the Błędowska Desert. The tale makes Twardowski Rocks in Zakrzówek the venue of the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry that Master Twardowski ran. The rocks that received his name are rumoured to have originated on “a bad day” in the laboratory, that is the one when it actually exploded...

Trying to outsmart the devil, Twardowski carefully avoided going to Rome. Nevertheless, one day he guided his steps to a tavern, not knowing that “Rome is the name of that tavern”, and soon saw the devil coming to claim his soul. Not losing his wit, Twardowski quickly jumped on to the back of a rooster, and soared high into the sky. He is rumoured to still be living on the Moon and avoiding Kraków, so that his manservant – disguised as a spider – must spin a silver thread once a month and lower himself down to Kraków, to gather the latest gossip.

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