Informant – “The trumpeter of Krakow’s responsibility was to wake up the town with his trumpet. He would give a trumpet call from the tower of the church. Supposedly he would do it from Saint Mary’s but the story takes place in the 1300’s so Saint Mary’s hadn’t been built yet. Anyways, one day the trumpeter saw the dust of the huge tartar army approaching ‘I must warn the people’ he thought. So he started to play the trumpet to tell the people that something bad was happening. He continued to play and after a while people caught on that something was wrong, that this isn’t the right time to play, bladdah bladdah bladdah. And so they fled. And as the trumpeter continued to play, an arrow from the army pierced his throat. And the trumpet call ended on a short note, a very unexpected ending. And to this day, every hour on the hour a trumpeter plays at each window of the top of the tower, north south east and west. And every time the ending is abrupt to signify the death of the trumpeter and commemorate his heroism.”
The informant heard this story from his father when he was a child.
Informant – “It’s a source of pride for me. The trumpeter is a national hero, and Saint Mary’s is iconic.”
This story did not originate as folklore. It’s based on a fictional novel written in 1929. Also, Saint Mary’s Basilica was built in the 1300’s, which is around the time the original novel takes place. It’s interesting that the informant does not associate the story with the book. It seemed like the informant was not aware of the book at all. He only knew the story his dad had told him.
For another version of this story, Kelly, Fred James, Trumpeter of Krakow.