Sunday, May 15, 2011

Poznan - Old Town Hall's Goats

Every day at noon Poznan's Old Town Hall goats (Poznanskie koziolki) butt each other's heads to the entertainment of tourists and locals alike. I decided that also Anil should experience the spectacle, so on our second day in Poznan we went to Old Market Square.

I was very surprised that despite the cold there were several hundred people waiting in front of the Town Hall for the goats to make the appearance. At noon the clock struck twelve times and immediately afterward two goats appeared and started butting each other, also twelve times. At the same time a trumpeter started playing a traditional bugle call.

According to a legend the goats were added to the Town Hall's clock due to an unfortunate cooking incident. A cook, while preparing a banquet for some local dignitaries, burnt a roast deer and tried to cover up for his mistake by stealing two goats from a nearby meadow. The goats managed to escape and ran up the town hall tower, where they began to butt each other. They were so loud that they attracted attention of both townspeople and dignitaries waiting for their dinner. Luckily, the dignitaries found the goats so entertaining that they decided not only to pardon them and the cook, but also decided that two mechanical goats should be incorporated into the new Town Hall's clock.

The Old Market Square's Town Hall in Poznan was originally built in the late 13th century, but it was rebuilt in mannerist style by Giovanni Battista di Quadro in the middle of 16th century:

The mechanical goats:

The tower's trumpeter:

Prozerpina Fountain in front of Old Town Hall, a popular meeting point: