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"Daddy, there's no way I am going to do karate, I want to sing!"


Long, long ago, after the death of his father, called Žibřid, Prince Bruncvík ruled in the Czech lands. Having fulfilled this task for three years he decided to set out into the world. He explained to his wife, Neoménie, the reason for his departure, saying he wanted to undertake an act of chivalry to be able to include a lion in his coat of arms. He exchanged rings with her and said: “If you don’t see my ring within seven years, I will no longer be alive”. He then had 30 horses saddled and set out accompanied by his knights.

They travelled to various countries, but once they were caught up in a storm at sea. They saw a yellow glow over an island and smelled an intense scent. The rays and scent came from the Amber Mountain which was endowed with a special power: whoever saw it and smelled its odour was bound to it for ever. Bruncvík and his knights were forced to embark on the coast. Then they tried to escape from the island in vain. Nearly all of them died of hunger. Only Bruncvík remained with an old knight called Balád who knew that a huge bird named Noh came to the island annually. In order to save Bruncvík he sewed a bag from a horse’s skin to encase Bruncvík together with his sword. It did not take long before Noh appeared and flew away with Bruncvík to the nest containing the bird’s young. The hungry fledglings were eager to devour him, but Bruncvík slashed at them with his sword and escaped into the forest. There he heard a ferocious dragon fighting with a lion. Since he had set out into the world in search of the emblem of a lion he decided to come to the lion´s aid. Audaciously he smote off the heads of the nine-headed dragon and when his strength was diminishing the lion pounced on the dragon and rent it in two. Then the lion lay down at Bruncvík’s feet. From that moment onwards Bruncvík and the lion remained together for ever.

One day when Bruncvík was standing on a high mountain he saw in the distance across the seas the castle of King Olibrium and he went there to ask for help to enable him to return home.The king, however, demanded that he first liberate his daughter Afrika from the dragon Bazilišek. To this end the king lent him his ship. Bazilišek’s castle was guarded by ferocious monsters, but Bruncvík with his faithful lion overpowered them. In the palace he found King Olibrium’s daughter surrounded by snakes. Afrika warned him against Bazilišek the Terrible who was about to return with his band, and she gave him a ring to provide him with more strength. All of a sudden the hall was full of hissing snakes which Bruncvík smote thanks to the ring endowing him with more vigour and thanks to the the lion’s help. At that point the gigantic dragon Bazilišek crashed into the hall and so a new and long battle ensued.When Bazilišek fell slain the bleeding Bruncvík also remained lying on the floor. Afrika, Olibrius‘ daughter, nursed him and, as so often happens when first aid is given, she fell in love with him. When Bruncvík recovered he returned to Olibrius’s castle, but the latter instead of enabling Bruncvík to go home married him off to his daughter Afrika. Bruncvík, however, was homesick and wanted to return to his wife Neoménie. One day he found an old, sharp sword in the dungeon and he exchanged it for his own. He learned from Afrika that the sword was endowed with a magic power: if given the command the sword smites off heads. Bruncvík made use of this and by threatening that he will have the entire court members beheaded the king let him go home accompanied by the lion.

Before he arrived in Prague Bruncvík disguised himself by putting on a hermit’s attire and together with the lion he made for his castle. It was noisy there with merry-making, because to Bruncvík’s horror his wife Neoménie was getting married. Bruncvík did not reveal his identity, but only threw his ring into Neoménie’s goblet and wrote on the gate “he that set out seven years ago is here”. And he left for another of his castles. The husband with his band set out to look for him and kill him, but Prince Bruncvík used his magic sword and cut off their heads. Then he convened his lords and yeomen and celebrated his return. Meanwhile his wife found the ring and together with her father set out to look for him. And at last the whole country rejoiced at Bruncvík’s return. He issued an order for an emblem of a white lion in a red field be placed on every gate, banner and standard.

When Bruncvík died the lion died of a broken heart on Bruncvík’s grave. The miraculous sword was walled into a supporting pillar of Charles‘ Bridge next to which there is a statue of Bruncvík with the lion at his feet. When the Czech lands are in dire need St. Wenceslas and the Knights of Blaník will seize Bruncvík’s sword and will behead all the enemies of the Czech lands.