The Legend of Lech, Czech and Rus.

Eastern Europe isn’t something I know a great deal about, so when I came across the below legend I was really in awe with its story.

It seems there are many versions of the legend that gives the beginnings of three of Eastern Europe’s most famous states.  To give a synopsis hear below is a brief outline and condensed version of the legend.

‘Lech, Czech and Rus were three brothers who all decided to go in different directions.  Czech travelled to the south and Rus went to the east.  Lech travelled to the North until he came across a giant oak tree.  Within the oak tree was a giant white eagle guarding its nest, Lech took this as a good omen and decided to begin his settlement on the same spot and this place went on to be called Gniezno the first capital of Poland. ‘

Lech, Czech, Rus and the White Eagle, as painted by Walery Eljasz-Radzikowski (1841–1905)

The earliest Polish mention of the legend is found in the ‘Chronicle of Greater Poland’ which was written in 1295 in Gniezno.  In Bohemian chronicles Czech appears on his own or sometimes with Lech.  His earliest known mention as Bohemus is in Cosmas chronicle from 1125.

It seems most of the varients of the legends do stem around Poland, and then the Czechs being the other most mentioned out of the three.

It really does continue to amaze me even going back over a thousand years how inter mingled everyone was.  The beginnings of Poland, Czech Republic and Russia all falling under the same family really is quite amazing.

Lech, Czech and Rus oaks in Rogalin, Poland

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