The Sentinel Bugler of St. Mary’s Church in Cracow

The following video was a school project for children in the Polish town of Skawina, near Cracow. The children created the illustrations read the narrative for the clip, which was produced in 2014.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   The legend of St Mary’s Church bugle call
00:16   In the taller tower of St Mary’s Church [in Cracow, Poland]
00:20   which was called the Bugle Call Tower, a sentinel-bugler kept watch.
00:24   In the morning he played so that the city gates
00:28   would open for merchants and travelers.
00:32   In the evening to close them once again.
00:36   He played the bugle when he spotted a fire in the town, or an enemy army on the horizon.
00:40   It was a very important duty!
00:44   He had to be a vigilant man with a sight of a falcon.
00:48   When the terrifying news broke in the Cracow area
00:52   that merciless Tatars attacked Sandomierz [town to the east of Cracow],
00:56   the bugler began to turn his head more often to the East.
01:00   It was a beautiful Spring in March 1241
01:08   when he was doing his round in the tower. Suddenly he saw on the horizon
01:12   what seemed to be the Earth moving.
01:16   I must be tired, he thought. But when he looked through the window
01:20   for the second time he had no more doubt
01:24   that huge hordes of Tatars were approaching the city gates
01:40   The sentinel put his bugle to his mouth and played the bugle call
01:44   of St Mary’s Church. In the morning silence the music reverberated
01:49   off the walls, waking up the inhabitants.
01:53   Is the sentinel crazy? What is going on?
01:57   They asked each other, rubbing their sleepy eyes.
02:01   However, the bugle call refused to stop for a moment.
02:05   The inhabitants of Cracow now understood that he was warning them
02:09   of the danger, and they grabbed their weapons.
02:13   A fierce fight for the city ensued.
02:17   The air was full of flying stones and arrows.
02:21   Horses’ neighs were mixing with human screams.
02:25   And above all that, there was the music of
02:29   the St Mary’s bugle call, animating people to join the fight.
02:33   Tatars eventually noticed who was warning the inhabitants,
02:37   and they sent a swarm of arrows towards the bugler.
02:41   Suddenly the bugle call stopped and silence covered the town of Cracow.
02:45   The sentinel died from a Tartar arrow
02:49   without letting go of his bugle.
02:53   But the memory of his heroism is still alive,
02:57   and every day the bugle call is played from
03:01   the St Mary tower in the four cardinal directions, the same as it was 700 hundred years ago,
03:05   when it was interrupted by an enemy arrow.

9 thoughts on “The Sentinel Bugler of St. Mary’s Church in Cracow

  1. And in Brno, Moravia, the tower clock beats noon at 11AM, because of those punctual Swedes 🙂

    During the siege of Brno in 1645 by the Swedish army the General Torstenson promised that if his troops do not conquer the city by noon, they will retreat. Maybe they would have been successful, if the bells of Petrov didn´t ring noon as early as 11 o’clock. Brno thus remained unconquered.

  2. Wow! Poles teach their children about their history and culture. In Australia children are taught to be ashamed of their history and they know nothing about the men and women who built the country.

  3. And today, those who try to warn us of the ongoing invasion are being attacked. From outside the walls and within. The political class are opening the gates for the enemy. Disgusting.

  4. Walls and gates? THAT wasn’t very politically correct! We’re all equal and all brothers, aren’t we? Nobody, no principle nor set of principles, no belief nor set of beliefs is better or more worthy than any other, is it? Shame on those people of Cracow!

  5. The story goes that the bugler was hit in the throat just before he played the last note of the warning call. Today when they commemorate the event the bugle plays all but the last note of the warning call.

  6. The Polish people know from experience as I had stated in my last published essay on this blog. They have not forgotten their history or what a threat Muslims refugee Migration is. Of course those pesky Antifas children would call me a Fascist Nazi for saying that. It is a good story for children to know this horrible past.

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