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Polish Legends, Folklore, Myths and Stories
Polish Legend : The Trumpeter of Krakow ( Cracow )
In Cracow (Krakow), the ancient capital of Poland, there is a Church in the Market Square. It is a tall, graceful building built of brick, in the Gothic style, with a richly adorned interior. It had two towers, one of which is a little higher than the other and more ornate. From the taller tower a fanfare is played by a trumpeter, every hour. It is repeated four times, but always ends abruptly, on a broken note. Here is the legend behind this tradition:
One day in the 13th century, an old watchman, keeping watch over the city of Cracow saw in the distance a cloud of dust which grew bigger with every passing moment. It was a large army of Tatars galloping towards the city. These invaders from the east had more than once advanced to Krakow and even farther, and they had pillaged and burned, looted and murdered and carried off the people to be slaves.
There was only one
thing the trumpeter watchman could do. He must play the Hejnal,
over and over. That would surely arouse the citizens, they would certainly
be aware of approaching danger. So he played, again and again. At first
the people of Krakow were puzzled. But eventually they realised that an
attack was imminent.
The Trumpeter of Cracow colouring page
Modern Day Polish