Working Lives: Krakow

WATCH: Only seven people are allowed to play the trumpet at the basilica

There are only six other people in the whole world who do the same job as Zbigniew Ojczyk.

He plays the trumpet at the top of one of the spires of the St Mary Basilica in Krakow's town square.

In medieval times this was a role performed by firefighters who sounded the alarm if enemies were approaching by playing a short melody called the Bugle Call.

When an attacking Tartar shot one of the firefighters through the neck with an arrow during the Mongol invasion of 1241, the Bugle Call was cut short.

Mr Ojczyk is one of a handful of musicians - also trained firefighters - who re-enact this symbolic scene. He is paid around $1,000 a month (£630).

He works a 24-hour shift and says the nights can be difficult. He has to wake every hour to play his trumpet and it can be particularly hard in the winter when the keys freeze up.

But he sees this job as an honour and would be very proud if his son were to follow in his footsteps.

Features

  • Shinji Mikamo's father's watchTime peace

    The story of the watch that survived Hiroshima


  • Northern League supporters at the party's annual meeting in 2011Padania?

    Eight places in Europe that also want independence


  • Elephant Diaries - BBCGoing wild

    Wildlife film-makers reveal the tricks of the trade


  • Hamas rally in the West Bank village of Yatta, 2006Hamas hopes

    Why the Palestinian group won't back down yet


  • A woman dining aloneTable for one

    The restaurants that love solo diners


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.