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The model of the “Kraków” locomotive is one of the most interesting exhibits in the collection of the Brotherhood of the Rooster (Bractwo Kurkowe). It is a model of a steam locomotive with the 1B axis system (one rolling axis in the front and two drive connected axes—average-size wheels). Such a steam locomotive was provided by the Borsig factory in Berlin in 1847 for the Kraków–Upper Silesian Railway and was designed for cargo transport.

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The model of the “Kraków” locomotive is one of the most interesting exhibits in the collection of the Brotherhood of the Rooster (Bractwo Kurkowe).
It is a model of a steam locomotive with the 1B axis system (one rolling axis in the front and two drive connected axes—average–size wheels). Such a steam locomotive was provided by the Borsig factory in Berlin in 1847 for the Kraków–Upper Silesian Railway and was designed for cargo transport. At the same time, the railway also received a steam locomotive with the 1A1 axis system (a rolling axis in the front, one drive axis and one rolling axis at the back) for passenger transportation, which on 13 October 1847 inaugurated the railway traffic in Kraków and ran on the newly–opened railway on the Kraków–Mysłowice route. This moment was captured by Teodor Baltazar Stachowicz (1800—1873) in the oil painting belonging to the collection of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków.
Initially, the steam locomotive had the Roman numeral, “I”. The name, “Kraków”, was only given in 1855, the day before opening the railway to Dębica in February 1856. This is when numerical names of other steam locomotives were replaced with individual names.
The locomotive is the abdicative gift of 1851, the so-called jewel of the King of the Rooster, Józef Schreder (1819—1897), a railway engineer and later the head of the railways. The miniature model presented here was sewn on a green velvet cushion together with other gifts of the kings of the rooster. The faithful model made of silver, with movable elements, has a high interest of visitors, standing out among other “jewels”, usually medals or coins.

Elaborated by Małgorzata Niechaj (Historical Museum of the City of Kraków), © all rights reserved

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“Train your eyes and hands for the defence of your Homeland” – About the Brotherhood of the Rooster of Kraków

The traditions of the Brotherhood of the Rooster in Europe date back to the 14th/15th centuries. They were the first formation tasked with preparing city residents to defend themselves in the event of danger.

Along with the towns founded under the Magdeburg law, fortifications were also built (over time, both the construction and defence of individual fragments of the walls...

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The traditions of the Brotherhood of the Rooster in Europe date back to the 14th/15th centuries. They were the first formation tasked with preparing city residents to defend themselves in the event of danger.
Along with the towns founded under the Magdeburg law, fortifications were also built (over time, both the construction and defence of individual fragments of the walls and towers were assigned to different craft guilds). This meant that in the event of a hostile invasion, weapons were taken up by people who used needles and twine on a daily basis (tailors, shoemakers, bakers and goldsmiths).
This potential threat was quickly recognised and the Brotherhood of the Rooster (a shooting society) was established. The task of the Brotherhood was to train people in military arts under the slogan: Train your eyes and hands for the defence of your Homeland. At first, bow shootings were organised, to be later followed by crossbow shootings, and finally firearm shootings from the 16th century.
In 1562, the city authorities of Kraków issued a decree including a set of rules governing the works of the brotherhood. According to these rules, shootings were to be held several dozen times a year; but the most important shooting was the one organised a week after the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi during which a rooster shooting competition was held to determine the king of rooster shooters. Aside from the honourable title, the prize was an exemption from all municipal taxes.
 
A rooster or a parrot?
 
Where did the tradition of rooster shooting come from and why did this bird become so important to the brotherhood that they named their organisation after it?
For centuries, the rooster had been a symbol of vigilance, and probably that is why it was recognised as a symbol that best reflected the daily attitude of the members of these shooting societies. Initially, during exercises in the art of defence, a living animal was shot at, although later those were replaced by wooden models. In appreciation of the brotherhood, the Kraków authorities donated 100 florins to the society on the 21st of October 1564, founding the so-called lordly jewel as a prize in the competition for the title of the king.
A unique and extremely valuable insignia of a silver rooster (covered with elaborate gilding, incrusted with precious stones and with an enamelled Kraków coat of arms) was created thanks to the councillors' donation. It can still be seen in the collection of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków and is considered one of the most important examples of the Renaissance goldsmithery of Kraków.
Interestingly, it is worth emphasising that not all European brotherhoods identified themselves with the rooster.
For example, in Cologne this honour was granted to ... a parrot, which was considered  to be a royal bird. And numerous brotherhoods, mainly from German-speaking areas, were called brotherhoods of the parrot (it happened, for example, in Hanover, Wismar, Bern in Switzerland, and Aalborg in Denmark).
One training place of the brotherhood was Celestat, initially located outside the walls of Kraków, later moved to the Zwinger next to St. Nicholas’ Gate in the 16th century, where it was located until it was destroyed by fire in 1794. At present, the name Celestat belongs to a Neo-Gothic palace located on Lubicz Street (near the Central Railway Station), owned by the brotherhood. A collection of mementoes of its rich history resides there (the permanent exhibition of the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków: The History of the Brotherhood of the Rooster of Kraków).
The operations of all Polish brotherhoods of the rooster were suspended on the 1st of September 1939. Subsequently, brotherhood shooting ranges became places for the execution of Poles (for example, in Inowrocław).
After several gaps in its operation, the brotherhood continues to function to this day (it is one of the oldest active organisations in Poland). Members of the Brotherhood of the Rooster wear elaborate costumes and żupans (the traditional dress of Polish noblemen) as they accompany local authorities during important municipal and state ceremonies.
 
Elaborated by the editorial team of Małopolska's Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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Model of “Kraków” locomotive

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