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Thursday, 1 May 2014

Marksmen's Conftraternity

1st May 2014

Marksmen's Confraternity in Cracow is the oldest paramilitary association in this part of Europe and one of the oldest in the world.

In the old times, the duty to defend the city rested on its residents. The tasks of defending specific sections of city walls were assigned to specific craftsmen's guilds, as was the defence of gates and bastions. To fulfil this duty as effectively as possible, a Marksmen's Confraternity was established. It was an inner-guild association for training the members in military arts. Now the association has a history of much more than a seven hundred years and boasts one of the most magnificent traditions in Europe. It is the oldest organisation in Poland.
The crest of Marksmen's Confraternity

Once a year, on Monday following the octave of the Corpus Christi Holiday, in addition to regular exercising members of Confraternity  used to hold ceremonial shooting contests, for which the target was a wooden rooster.It was an ancient tradition, a perfect way to improve shooting skills, an exercise fort an eye and the hand.

Marksmen brothers, all dressed up in rich , historic costumes , often participate in state and church ceremonies . Their presence at public meetings testifies to the centuries - long traditions of the Cracow burghers.

Throughout many centuries kings and emperors visited the Marksmen's Confraternity.Their gifts can be seen the Celestat Branch, of the Historical Museum, situated in Lubicz Street.


  1. Such colorful historic costumes.

  2. Oh my! What a fun occasion to observe. I love all the color and pageantry. Thank you so much for showing this to us, Gosia.

  3. Fabulous history and costumes.