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St. Mary’s Basilica in Krakow (Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven) is a brick Gothic church originally built in the early 13’th century and re-built in the 14’th century, adjacent to the Main Market Square in Kraków, Poland.  It is particularly famous for its Gothic wooden altar carved by Veit Stoss (Wit Stwosz) which is the highest wooden altar in Europe and also for the trumpet signal.  On every hour, a trumpet signal—called the Hejnał mariacki—is played from the top of the taller of St. Mary's two towers. The tune breaks off in mid-stream to commemorate the famous 13’th century trumpeter, who was shot in the throat while sounding the alarm before the Mongol attack on the city. The noon-time hejnał is heard across Poland and abroad broadcast live by the Polish national Radio 1 Station.  The church is familiar to many English-speaking readers from the 1929 book The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly.
St. Mary’s BasilicaSt. Mary’s Basilica in Krakow


The first parish church at the Main Square in Kraków was founded in 1221.  It was destroyed during the Mongol invasion of Poland. Between 1290–1300 the new early Gothic church was built on the remaining foundations.  The church was completely rebuilt under the reign of Casimir III the Great between 1355 and 1365.  In the 15’th century the northern tower was raised and designed to serve as the watch tower for the entire city.  In the XV-XVI century a helmet and a gilded crown on the tower were placed. At the end of the 15’th century, In the 18’th century, the interior was rebuilt by the design of Francesco Placidi in the late Baroque style. The temple gained new murals painted by famous Polish painters: Jan Matejko, Stanislaw Wyspianski, and Józef Mehoffer.
 

Poland


 

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