The Basilisk of Vienna
The story is about the Basilisk, a mythical creature that is said to live in the sewers of Vienna. The Basilisk is a hybrid of a rooster and a lizard, with a deadly gaze that can kill anyone who looks into its eyes. The legend is that the Basilisk was born from an egg laid by a rooster and hatched by a toad. It was first sighted in the 13th century, when it terrorized the city and caused many deaths.
One of the most famous incidents involving the Basilisk happened in 1212, when a baker named Hans Resel discovered the creature in his well. He tried to kill it with a spear, but the Basilisk's gaze turned him into stone. The people of Vienna were afraid and did not know how to get rid of the monster. They consulted a wise man, who told them that the only way to defeat the Basilisk was to make it see its own reflection.
A young apprentice named Johann Rettensteiner volunteered to carry out the plan. He took a mirror and descended into the well, where he faced the Basilisk. He held up the mirror and made the Basilisk look into it. The Basilisk saw its own eyes and was instantly petrified. Johann emerged from the well as a hero and was rewarded by the city council. He later became a famous painter and sculptor.
The story of the Basilisk is still remembered today in Vienna. There is a fountain on Schönlaterngasse that depicts the scene of Johann and the Basilisk. There is also a house on Domgasse that has a relief of a rooster's head on its facade, which is said to mark the spot where the Basilisk's egg was found.