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Krakow Trumpet Signal

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trumpeter room atop church tower in Krakow

Hourly bugle call from the tower of St Mary’s Church in Krakow   

Every full hour a golden trumpet shows above Krakow’s central Grand Square (Rynek Glowny) in the west window just below the spire of the higher tower of the Basilica of the Virgin Mary's. Then a characteristic signal trumpet melody, known and dear to every Pole, resounds all over the city’s Old Town historical district. All of a sudden music comes to an abrupt end. Next the same bugle call is played towards the east, the south and the north. At noon the whole ritual has been broadcast on the Polish national radio since the 1920s. 


St. Mary's bugle call and trumpeter from Krakow

The Krakow signal bugle call, or Hejnal Mariacki, dates back to the Middle Ages when it was announcing the opening and the closing of the city gates. The bugler also played it to alarm his fellow citizens whenever he saw a fire or the enemy forces. And the melody abrupt ending is said to commemorate a trumpeter from Krakow who was shot through his throat by a Tatar archer in 1241 when the Mongols besieged the city. 

Click here to listen to the Krakow Signal

Basilica of the Virgin Mary's
The immense Gothic church, Krakow's principal temple since the 13th century, shelters many world-class works of art.

Great Altar
The world's greatest Gothic sculpture

The Crown
Royal giant headdress tops the city of Krakow since 1666

Krakow churches
Krakow numerous churches are architectural gems, art hoards, and spiritual hubs

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