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.


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