Saturday, September 16, 2017

St. Mary's Basilica In Kraków

St. Mary's Basilica in Kraków (also known as Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven; Polish Bazylika Mariacka w Krakowie) in a black gothic church located at the heart of Krakow. The history of Church dated back to late 13th century on the foundations of a former Romanesque church and the new temple was consecrated around 1320. The chrch underwent numerous reconstructions over centuries.

St. Mary's Altar
The church is particularly famous for its wooden altarpiece. The altarpiece was carved between 1477 and 1484 by German sculptor, Veit Stoss. 

Over view of St. Mary's Altar
In addition, a trumpet signal—called the St. Mary's Trumpet Call; Polish Hejnał mariacki—is played from the top of the taller of Saint Mary's two towers. It is played every hour on the hour, four times in succession in each of the four cardinal directions, by a trumpeter on the highest tower. 

Image from Wiki
When I first heard it, I thought it's played by machine/player, programmed to play a song every hour but it is played by real human being! The noon performance is broadcast via radio to all of Poland and the world.

The church is familiar to many English-speaking readers from the 1929 book The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly.

The Baro­que altar of the Holy Cross was built in 1735 from black mar­ble incrusted with pink mar­ble. It holds a Gothic sculp­tu­ral master­pie­ce – the sto­ne cross sculp­ted by Veit Stoss in late 15th cen­tu­ry.

The façade of St. Mary’s Basilica has two characteristic towers of various height and architecture. The tal­ler south tower is 82 m high and is also cal­led the Bugle Call Tower or the Excu­bia­rum Watch­to­wer. The shor­ter south tower, called bell tower where Polish Miles Davis plays every hour, is 69 m high. 

Tourist information can be found here. The admission of pres­by­te­ry and its main altar costs 10 PLN. Personally, it's worth it. Ticket office is located adjacent to the church. 

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