The Legend of the Trumpeter

Rising high above Krakow’s Main Market Square, St. Mary’s Tower hosts a tradition that started in the Middle Ages. Every hour on the hour, a trumpeter plays a tune to the four corners of the globe.

When Emese and I first heard it, we craned our necks to see the bell of the trumpet peeking out of the tower window. All of a sudden, the melody stopped and a hand waved from the window. We heard the melody again from another window with its same abrupt stop. This happened two more times, but it wasn’t a mistake. It represented the legend of the trumpeter.

Throughout history, trumpeters have played at the start and end of the day and to sound the alarm for Krakow residents. Legend claims that a trumpeter was warning residents of an attack when he was killed by a Tatar arrow, hence the abrupt ending.

No matter where we were—winding down in our flat, relaxing with a drink on the Main Market Square, or bustling through the Old Town streets—we couldn’t help but smile when we heard the trumpeter. I’m smiling right now just thinking about it.

This entry was published on September 23, 2014 at 11:41 am and is filed under Event, Friend, History, Markets, Poland, Sights, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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