St. Mary’s Basilica Towers

About St. Mary’s Basilica

The St. Mary's Basilica Krakow, or Koció Mariacki is one of the finest examples of Polish Gothic architecture, it was constructed in the 14th century although its foundations date back to the early 13th century. It is notably well-known for its wooden altarpiece, which Veit Stoss crafted and is 80 m (262 feet) tall. Jan Matejko, Poland's foremost historical painter, created some of its enormous polychrome paintings (1898-1891). It was included in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites in 1978, together with Kraków's Old Town. Two recognisable St. Mary's Church towers of varying heights and architectural styles may be seen on the façade of St. Mary's Basilica.

The higher north tower of the St. Mary's Church towers, which stands 82 m tall, is also known as the Bugle Call Tower or the Excubiarum Watchtower. The shorter tower is 69 m tall and holds the church bells, serving as the bell tower. The taller of St. Mary's Church towers plays a trumpet signal known as the Hejna mariacki every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

St. Mary’s Basilica Towers

St. Mary's Church towers were constructed in Gothic style on the preexisting foundations and dedicated in 1320 after Tartar incursions in the 13th century left the former church in a heap of rubble. Of the two towers of St Mary's Basilica, the northern one was enlarged to 80 m in height and converted as a watchtower for the city in the early 15th century, giving the towers their recognisable shape today.

The North Tower

The Excubiarum Watchtower and Bugle Call Tower of the St. Mary's Church towers are other names for the 82 m higher north tower. It has a square layout but morphs into an octagon at the ninth level height, with two stories of windows and pointed arch recesses. Stone ledges divide the various storeys of the entire tower. A Gothic dome from 1478, created by master Maciej Heringk, tops the tower. A ring of eight lesser steeples surrounds the octagonal pointed steeple that forms the cupola. St. Mary's Bugle Call is sounded from a height of 54 m every hour.

The South Tower

The bells of St. Mary are housed in the 69-meter-tall south tower of the St. Mary's Church towers, which serves as the bell tower. Its square construction and distinct level divisions with windows and ledges make it similar to the larger tower in height. The Renaissance chapel of the Convert of St. Paul is located on the bell level and is accessed through a Renaissance balcony constructed by Italian artisans from the Bartolommeo Berrecci shop. The bell, which was made in 1736 by Kacper Koerber of Wroclaw, hangs outside over the chapel window and beneath the three-hipped roof.

Construction of the St. Mary’s Basilica Towers

According to historian Jan Dugosz, Iwo Odrowąż, the Bishop of Kraków, constructed Saint Mary's Basilica in the city's Main Square in 1221–1222. When the Mongols invaded Poland, the structure was demolished. On the surviving foundations, a new early Gothic church was erected between 1290 and 1300. 20 years later, in 1320, it was consecrated. Let us explore the legends surrounding the construction of the St. Mary’s Basilica Towers.

The Legend Of Two Brothers

According to legend surrounding the St. Mary's Church towers, two brothers were employed to construct St. Mary's towers. The brothers were regarded as two of Kraków's top construction workers. The initial stages of construction progressed according to schedule and at comparable speeds. However, it quickly became apparent that the elder brother's south tower was obviously taller than his brother's north tower. The unfinished south tower was to be capped with a cupola when the younger brother killed his elder brother in a jealous frenzy. Then, according to his design, he finished building his now-taller north tower.

The younger brother, however, was overcome by remorse. He ascended to the top of his tower on the day of consecration while carrying the knife he had used to murder his brother. He leapt after openly admitting to the murder.To this day, the murderer's knife remains at the Cloth Hall gate in the Main Square to serve as a constant reminder of these horrible events.

Legend of the Bugle Call

The higher tower of the St. Mary’s Basilica towers, which functioned as the city's watchtower throughout the medieval times, was where the bugle call was played. It gave notice of the closing or opening of Kraków's gates as well as, more importantly, fire outbreaks or enemy assaults.The call ends abruptly. According to history of history of St mary's basilica , a guard was posted in St. Mary’s Basilica Krakow towers night and day to ensure the security of the residents during Poland's 12th-century Tatar invasion. He began to play the call to alert the unwary inhabitants of the imminent peril as soon as he saw the approaching Tatars. He was hit in the throat by a Tatar arrow while he was playing.

St. Mary’s Basilica Towers FAQs

When were St. Mary’s Basilica Towers built?

One of the finest examples of Polish Gothic architecture,St. Mary’s Basilica Krakow towers was constructed in the 14th century although its foundations date back to the early 13th century. It is 80 m (262 feet) tall and is renowned for the wooden altarpiece that Veit Stoss carved into it.

Who built the St. Mary’s Basilica Towers?

It is said that Veit Stoss built it in the 14th century. However, two brothers were employed to construct St. Mary's towers. The brothers were regarded as two of Kraków's top construction workers.

What is special about St. Mary’s Basilica?

It is a superb example of Polish Gothic architecture, and its interior conceals a magnificent wooden altarpiece crafted by Veit Stoss.

How big is the North tower of St. Mary’s Basilica?

The North tower of St. Mary’s Basilica is 80 m or 262 feet high. Among the two towers of St. Mary’s Basilica, the northern tower is bigger in size.

Where is St. Mary’s Basilica located?

Saint Mary's Basilica is located next to Kraków's Main Market Square. It is one of the most famous places in Krakow

What is the best time to visit St. Mary’s Basilica?

The yearly celebration of St. Mary's Basilica is held in September, making that month the ideal time to visit.

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