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Przekaż ofiarę dla Bazyliki Mariackiej
w Krakowie z użyciem aplikacji Spark

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Przekaż ofiarę dla Bazyliki Mariackiej
w Krakowie z użyciem aplikacji Spark


lub na 70 1240 1431 1111 0000 1045 5360 (numer konta parafii)

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St. Mary’s bells

Splen­did sounds from both towers of St. Mary­’s Basi­li­ca (the tal­ler 82 meter tower and the shor­ter 69 meter tower) echo across the enti­re Kra­ków. The­se are the peals of four medie­val litur­gi­cal bells, stri­kes of two clock gongs, the sound of the bell for the dying and last but not least, St. Mary­’s bugle call, play­ed by a bugler. The St. Mary­’s Basi­li­ca ensem­ble of bells and gongs is uni­que on a world sca­le. All four litur­gi­cal bells (PÓŁZYGMUNT, TENEBRAT, MISJONAŁ AND CAMPANA ANTIQUATHE OLDEST) are suspen­ded insi­de the shor­ter tower which acts as the bell tower.

The clock gongs are sit­ting high up in the tower ste­eples. The tal­ler tower is home to a room from which a fire­man plays the bugle call eve­ry hour. It is loca­ted just under the ste­eple. A „bell for the dying” hangs on the out­si­de wall of the bell tower. Litur­gi­cal bells are in regu­lar use. 365 days a year – each one accor­ding to a spe­ci­fic sche­du­le. Addi­tio­nal sequ­en­ces toll during major reli­gio­us cere­mo­nies (Indul­gen­ce for the Assump­tion of the Bles­sed Vir­gin Mary, Pas­chal Tri­du­um, Cor­pus Chri­sti pro­ces­sion) as an ele­ment of litur­gi­cal cele­bra­tions. The bells are equ­ip­ped with elec­tri­cal (line­ar) motors, under non-stop ope­ra­tio­nal main­te­nan­ce super­vi­sion per­for­med by RDUCH and the employ­ed bell-rin­ger. The basi­li­ca­’s southern wall featu­res a sun­dial, which in the past dic­ta­ted the times at which bells and gongs were struck – a con­ti­nu­al remin­der of the pas­sa­ge of time to all tho­se in the vicinity.


Fun­ded by Polish kni­ghts in 1438. It was cast by Jan Freu­den­tal a master cra­ft­sman. Zbi­gniew Ole­śnic­ki, a Kra­ków bishop, later to be orda­ined as car­di­nal was the main fun­der of the bell and its ini­tia­tor. This is the lar­gest St. Mary­’s bell, and in the past, it was the lar­gest bell in Kra­ków. It is 180 cm in dia­me­ter and weighs approx. 4.8 ton­nes. It is suspen­ded below the other three bells, on the towe­r’s fourth sto­rey and rings in C♯1. The bell is dedi­ca­ted to the Vir­gin Mary – the basi­li­ca­’s patron. Her name appe­ars on the inscrip­tion a num­ber of times, and an ima­ge of Mary with Child figu­res on its waist next to a pla­que with an eagle.

That is whe­re coats of arms of the fun­ders and the Kra­ków crest can also be found. The king, Wła­dy­sław III of Poland, has been com­me­mo­ra­ted on the bell in a spe­cial way: his coat of arms (a double cross) appe­ars in two pla­ces. A lower part of the bell has been dama­ged. Howe­ver, the cir­cum­stan­ces sur­ro­un­ding bre­aking of a sec­tion of the sound bow rema­in unk­nown. At the moment this bell tolls eve­ry day at 9.05 pm and on Fri­days at 3.04 pm.


Foun­ded by king Wła­dy­sław II Jagieł­ło cir­ca 1388. Events of major natio­nal and reli­gio­us signi­fi­can­ce accom­pa­nied its cre­ation. The Polish-Lithu­anian union begins in Kre­va (in 1385); Jagieł­ło is bap­ti­sed, mar­ries Jadwi­ga and is crow­ned as the King of Poland (in 1386). Per­haps the roy­al couple are both respon­si­ble for fun­ding the bell. It was cast by a bell maker from Spisz. A pio­us inscrip­tion on the bel­l’s sho­ul­der bears Chri­st’s invo­ca­tion and the words: AVE MARIA. Medal­lions depic­ting the sym­bols of the Four Evan­ge­li­sts are on its waist as well as pla­qu­es with Kra­kó­w’s and Lithu­ania­’s crest and coats of arms. The­se are of immen­se histo­ri­cal value.


This magni­fi­cent bell is 175 cm in dia­me­ter and weighs 4.1 ton­nes. It was the lar­gest bell in Kra­ków until the casting of the Kni­gh­t’s Bell. It hangs on the towe­r’s 6th sto­rey and rings in C♯1.  It’s stri­ke tone sounds on Sun­days and public holi­days at 9.50 am.


Fun­ded by an unk­nown fun­der cir­ca 1387. It was cast by Jan, a Master Cra­ft­sman from Nowa Wieś Spi­ska. It is possi­ble that its name refers to the Chri­stia­ni­za­tion of Lithu­ania but also to the con­stant need to proc­la­im the Word of God. One hypo­the­sis cla­ims that Queen Jadwi­ga, known for her pie­ty, could have con­tri­bu­ted to the cre­ation of the bell. The Latin inscrip­tion on the bell is a pio­us call for peace to Christ – The King of Glo­ry. It is 136 cm in dia­me­ter and weighs approx. 1.8 ton­nes. It hangs on the towe­r’s 7th sto­rey. It rings in F1. This bell tolls eve­ry day at 4 minu­tes past noon, just after St. Mary­’s bugle call.


This is one of the oldest survi­ving bells in Poland. It was cast cir­ca 1320 by an unk­nown master cra­ft­sman. St. Mary­’s Church was con­se­cra­ted at the same time fol­lo­wing its recon­struc­tion and expan­sion. This bell could have been fun­ded join­tly by the tem­ple­’s pari­shio­ners and town inha­bi­tants for whom St. Mary­’s Church was, and hope­ful­ly is, the most sacred tem­ple. Simi­lar­ly to Misjo­nał and Tene­brat, the inscrip­tion on its waist is a ple­ad for peace to the King of Glo­ry. The sign is in beau­ti­ful Latin all caps, only found on the most ancient bells. It is 108 cm in dia­me­ter and weighs approx. 0.9 ton­nes. It hangs next to Misjo­nał, on the towe­r’s 7th sto­rey. It rings in A1. This bell tolls eve­ry day at 12.04 pm in a duet with Misjonał.


This clock bell dates back to 1530. A fire­man stri­kes it thro­ugho­ut the day on the hour befo­re play­ing the bugle call. This is done manu­al­ly, using a devi­ce com­pri­sing a han­dle, rod and a lever ter­mi­na­ting with a heavy ste­el ham­mer which stri­kes the lower part of the bel­l’s waist from the out­si­de. The gong is 165 cm in dia­me­ter and weighs appro­xi­ma­te­ly 3.5 ton­nes. It hangs within the tal­ler tower – insi­de the spi­re of the Gothic ste­eple, under­ne­ath the gold crown.


It was made in 1564 and hung insi­de the ste­eple of the shor­ter bell tower. In the past a sys­tem of rods and levers lin­ked this bell with the tal­ler tower. A fire­man manu­al­ly repe­ated full hour stri­kes on it after play­ing the bugle call. In 1939 the bell was silen­ced for 76 years. Today, fol­lo­wing a refur­bi­sh­ment, the bell tolls on quar­ter hours, struck by an elec­tric ham­mer con­trol­led by an elec­tro­nic clock. The gong is 140 cm in dia­me­ter and weighs approx. 1.7 tonnes.


Cast in 1736 by Kac­per Koeber from Wro­cław. It bears the name of Archan­gel Micha­el – the patron of „good death”. It was fun­ded by Kry­stian Jun­gling, a lay jud­ge from Kra­ków. Accor­ding to Euro­pe­an tra­di­tion it rang to anno­un­ce the death of a pari­shio­ner and the­ir birth into heaven. Simi­lar to one of the clock gongs, it was „silent” for the last seve­ral dozen years. Howe­ver, in 2015 it was refur­bi­shed and now, once aga­in, it is peals during fune­ral cere­mo­nies. This is the only acti­ve bell of this type in Kra­ków. This bel­l’s waist measu­res 22 cm in dia­me­ter and it weighs 7.5 kg. It rings in A♯3.

writ­ten by: Andrzej Bochniak
in coope­ra­tion with: Piotr Korniak



daily, at 9.05 pm
Fridays, at 3.04 pm
Sundays and holidays, at 9.50 am
daily, at 12.04 pm
daily, at 12.04 pm