Photo by Robert Zasadni at Krakow, 2008

City Bugle Calls in Historic Malopolska
City Bugle Calls:

In medieval Poland, cities employed a watchman with a bugle who would be posted on a high tower and periodically sound a hejnal or bugle call to announce that all was well. The hejnal playing in the background is reputed to be the one repeatedly sounded by the watchman at Krakow to warn residents of the approach of the Mongols in 1241. This hejnal is purposely interrupted because that watchman back in 1241 was slain by a Mongol arrow to his throat while frantically playing this bugle call from the high tower of the Mariacki Church.

By the end of the 14th Century, the hejnal became much more of a timekeeping tool for the benefit of the residents, played daily on the hour. The bugle calls of several cities of historic Malopolska have survived the passage of time and we are pleased to present them here for you. The hejnal of Krakow is the most famous and recognizable one of the bunch. Since 1927, it has been broadcast daily at noon by Poland's national radio service.

Dennis Benarz, Chicagoland USA 2008