Located near Beddgelert is Dinas Emrys, the lofty mountain home of the Welsh red dragon.
In the fifth century the Celtic King Vortigern chose the area as the site for his castle.
Every day his men would work hard erecting the first of several proposed towers, but the next morning they would return to find the masonry collapsed in a heap.
Vortigern was advised to seek the help of a young boy who turned out to be Merlin.
He explained that the hill fort could not stand due to a hidden pool containing two dragons. Vortigern commanded his labourers to dig deep into the mountain and they did indeed discover an underground lake.
Once drained, the red and white dragons that lay sleeping there awoke and began to fight.
The white dragon represented the Saxons and the red dragon the Welsh. Eventually, the white dragon fled and the red dragon returned quietly to his lair.
Vortigern’s castle was built and duly named after Dinas Emrys. The red dragon has been celebrated ever since.
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