Hejnał bugle call cut

The hejnał mariacki – the bugle call that has sounded in Kraków every hour on the hour in honour of a city guard killed during an invasion almost 800 years ago – has traditionally been cut short mid-melody. But now it’s even shorter, after Polskie Radio decided to broadcast just a quarter of the call.

Polskie Radio has broadcast the full bugle call at noon, since 1927. The ceremony lasts almost five minutes, but now the organisation claims that listeners don’t want to wait that long to hear the midday news. In Kraków, the bugler in the Mariacki tower plays four times on the hour, towards each part of the city – as his predecessor did in 1240 to warn the entire city of the Mongol invasion. The original bugle call was cut off when the bugler was shot with an arrow, which is why today’s bugler stops mid-tune.

Polskie Radio’s new version includes only the first rendition. The move has angered some – among them Kraków mayor Jacek Majchrowski, who said that the city’s experience was that respect for tradition always paid off.

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