St Mary Church
St. Mary Church - St. Mary's Basilica
One of the most beautiful gothic churches of Cracow stands directly on the Market Square - the St. Mary Church (St. Mary's Basilica). It is the Cracow parish church, built and financed by the Cracow bourgeoisie from the 13th to 15th century. By entering St. Mary's Basilica one gets immediately impressed with the splendid interior decoration of this church. Besides St. Mary Church is home to one of the most valuable Cracow attractions - the Altar of Wit Stwosz (Veit Stoss), the largest gothic high altar of Europe!
Wit Stwosz Altar - Veit Stoss Altar
In the year 1477 sculptor Wit Stwosz (Veit Stoß) from Nuremberg began to carve the new high altar of St. Mary Church. He needed 12 years to accomplish the work. The Veit Stoß Altar consists of four panels and every day apart from Sunday the altar is opened with a short ceremony at 11:50 a.m. The main scene in the center shows the moment Mary is passing away in the presence of the Twelve Apostles. A bit higher the Assumption of Mary can be seen and on the very top the coronation of Mary. The panels paintings present scenes from the life of Mary and Jesus. The sculptor Veit Stoß characterises a styl of great expression and very detailed representation.
Trumpet Signal - Cracow Bugle Call
From the higher tower of St. Mary Church every hour a trumpeter plays the Cracow Bugle Call called Hejnał. This tower has always belonged to the city of Cracow and on its top a guard had to check if there were enemies next to the city walls or if a fire had broken out. The melody of the Cracow Bugle Call stops abruptly what is due to a Tartar attack. At that time the trumpeter began to play, but he couldn't finish for a Tartar shot him an arrow throuht his throat.