The anthem of the Republic of Krakow

In 1811 at the Krakow National Guard was formed band called janczarska (without drums). When the Russians entered Krakow in 1813, the National Guard was dissolved. However, when in 1815 the “provisional” militia was established – the band reappeared here. In 1817 a municipal militia was finally formed under the command of Colonel Karol Gordon and the band continued to operate with it.

In 1820 the band had 10 musicians under the bandmaster Wojciech Nowakowski. In 1821, the Senate officially authorized the creation of permanent military music composed of 19 musicians. In 1832 the band consisted of 6 clarinet players, 3 bassoons, 2 French horns, a trombone, a trumpet, a piculin, a drum, cymbals and bells. The musicians then received representative uniforms, modeled on the Spanish Walloon Guard.

From May 1, 1832, the orchestra played three times a week in the Planty, next to today’s underpass leading to the Main Railway Station. When marching through the streets of the city, the orchestra played a specially composed Krakowiak in a marching rhythm with a melody similar to Marseillaise. This piece was called the Krakow’s La Marseillaise or the Anthem of the Republic of Krakow. After the fall of the Republic of Krakow in 1846, the band was dissolved and the National Anthem was forgotten over the years.

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