Salamanders have long held a significant place in the folklore and mythology of many different countries around the world. Fantastic powers and attributes have been bestowed upon them giving them a place in mythology, alchemy, heraldry and popular culture that is perhaps surprising, for what in reality is a rather small, humble creature.
The real salamander is a very different creature to the one of legend so how did it come to be given attributes that makes it a popular emblem on the Coat of Arms for Royalty, nobility, insurers, local authorities and many other organizations?
Most of the popular myths are believed to originate from the European species, the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), which hibernates in hollow, decaying logs of wood during the winter months. With wood being the main fuel in ancient times this may explain their sudden appearance amid flames when a fire is lit or replenished with a salamander inside. Woken abruptly from hibernation, or sleep, the natural reaction would be to make a quick escape giving the mistaken appearance that they were born, or generated from fire and flame. Read more