St. Mary’s Basilica at Main Market Square in Kraków, Poland

St. Mary’s Basilica is the focal point of Main Market Square in the eastern corner. The Catholic church was founded by Bishop Iwo Odrowąż in 1222, destroyed by the Mongol Empire in 1241, rebuilt by the end of the century and reconstructed again sixty years later. Then enhancements and additions were made during the next seven centuries. The towers are asymmetrical. The tallest one is Hejnalica Tower at 266 feet. Beneath the Gothic cupola, a trumpeter plays part of the Polish anthem Hejnal Mariacki four times an hour, 24 hours a day. The longest serving trumpeter played for 36 years. The Kolton family sounded the five notes for 70 years. To appreciate their arduous task, climb the 239 stairs to the top. When you are gasping for breath, imagine blowing a trumpet. This view of the Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven was taken from an arch on Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) from across Main Market Square.

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St. Mary's Basilica, Plac Mariacki 5, 31-042 Kraków, Poland

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