Zeskanuj, aby wesprzeć Bazylikę

spark-qr mobile

Przekaż ofiarę dla Bazyliki Mariackiej
w Krakowie z użyciem aplikacji Spark

Nie masz aplikacji? Wejdź na spark.pl

Przekaż ofiarę dla Bazyliki Mariackiej
w Krakowie z użyciem aplikacji Spark


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

Aplikacja dostępna dla platformy

St. Mary’s towers

The façade of St. Mary’s Basilica has two characteristic towers of various height and architecture.


The tal­ler north tower is 82 m high and is also cal­led the Bugle Call Tower or the Excu­bia­rum Watch­to­wer. It is set on a squ­are plan and trans­forms into an octa­gon with poin­ted arch reces­ses and two sto­reys of win­dows at the height of the ninth sto­rey. The indi­vi­du­al sto­ries of the who­le tower are sepa­ra­ted with sto­ne ledges.

The tower is crow­ned with a Gothic cupo­la from 1478, made by master Maciej Heringk. The cupo­la is com­po­sed of an octa­go­nal poin­ted ste­eple sur­ro­un­ded with a ring of eight smal­ler ste­eples. Eve­ry hour, St Mary’s Bugle Call is play­ed at the height of 54 m.

At the nor­thern base of the tower, the­re is a rec­tan­gu­lar annex with the sto­ne sta­irs leading insi­de. On the left of the entran­ce, the­re is a grand bron­ze pla­que of King Jan III Sobie­ski, which is based on the design of sculp­tor Pius Weloń­ski to com­me­mo­ra­te the 200th anni­ver­sa­ry of the Bat­tle of Vien­na. The­re is a d‑tone clock bell with the dia­me­ter of 165 cm from the year 1530 on the tal­ler tower.

The shor­ter south tower is 69 m high and houses the church bells, thus acting as the bell tower. Like the tal­ler tower, it is built on a squ­are plan and its sto­reys are cle­ar­ly mar­ked out with led­ges and win­dows. The bell flo­or is home to the Rena­is­san­ce cha­pel of the Conver­sion of St. Paul, which can be ente­red thro­ugh the Rena­is­san­ce bal­co­ny built by Ita­lian masters from the shop of Bar­to­lom­meo Berec­ci. Out­si­de, abo­ve the cha­pel win­dow and under the three-hip­ped roof, hands the bell ‘for the dying’, which was cast in 1736 by Kac­per Koer­ber of Wro­cław. The tower is top­ped with a late-Rena­is­san­ce cupo­la made in 1592, which is com­po­sed of an ellip­so­idal dome set on an octa­go­nal drum and crow­ned with an open­work ligh­tho­use. The­re are four smal­ler cupo­las in the cor­ners, which are set on short hexa­go­nal foundations.


As the legend goes, two bro­thers were hired to build the towers of St. Mary’s. The bro­thers were known as two of Kraków’s best buil­ders. The older bro­ther was sup­po­sed to build the south tower whi­le the youn­ger was to han­dle the north one.
Ini­tial­ly, con­struc­tion went on as plan­ned and the­ir paces were simi­lar. Howe­ver, it soon tur­ned out that the south tower, which was being built by the older bro­ther, was cle­ar­ly tal­ler than his brother’s north tower. In a fit of jealo­us rage, the youn­ger bro­ther kil­led his older sibling and orde­red that the unfi­ni­shed south tower be crow­ned with a cupo­la. He then pro­ce­eded to com­ple­te his now tal­ler north tower accor­ding to plan.
Howe­ver, the youn­ger bro­ther was con­su­med by guilt. On the day of con­se­cra­tion, he clim­bed to the top of his tower hol­ding the kni­fe he used to mur­der his bro­ther. He public­ly con­fes­sed to the mur­der and jumped.
The murderer’s kni­fe hangs in the gate of the Cloth Hall in the Main Squ­are to this day to remind us of the­se tra­gic events.
A dif­fe­rent ver­sion of the legend says that, after the mur­der of the older bro­ther, the south tower was com­ple­ted by super­na­tu­ral for­ces befo­re the youn­ger bro­ther, who lost his balan­ce in fear and fell off the scaf­fol­ding to his death.


In the mid­dle ages, the bugle call was play­ed from the tal­ler tower, which served as the city’s watch­to­wer. It anno­un­ced the ope­ning or clo­sing of the gates of Kra­ków and, more impor­tan­tly, out­bre­aks of fires or ene­my attacks.
The call abrup­tly cuts off. As the legend goes, when Poland was being attac­ked by the Tatars in the 12th cen­tu­ry, the­re was a guard up in St. Mary’s Tower day and night to watch over the safe­ty of the locals. When he noti­ced the inco­ming Tatars, he star­ted to play the call to warn the unsu­spec­ting town­spe­ople of the appro­aching dan­ger. As he was play­ing, he was shot thro­ugh the thro­at by a Tatar arrow.
To this day, the bugle call cuts off at the same moment in memo­ry of the hero­ic bugler, thanks to whom Kra­ków was able to rise to bat­tle with the invaders.