Thursday, June 15, 2023
One of the most beautiful Cracovian traditions is the Lajkonik Parade: on the octave of Corpus Christi, the dancing rider on a wooden horse, in a bright Tatar outfit and surrounded by a noisy pageant, once again travels from Zwierzyniec to the Main Market Square where he collects a tribute from the Mayor of Kraków and joins him in raising a toast to the city’s residents.
The custom dates back to the mid-18th century, but the popular legend on Kraków being saved from a Tatar raid by plucky raftsmen goes back even further.
Make sure you don’t miss Lajkonik's frolics, and don’t shy away from strikes of his mace – they will bring you luck in the coming year!
1, Senatorska Street – the seat of Krakow Water.
The colourful procession leaves from outside the Krakow Water Company. Children can count on a sweet treat from Lajkonik here.
Na Stawach Square
Lajkonik visits local merchants and collects the “tribute”, payable to the leader of Tatars.
The Rudawa bridge
The Convent of the Norbertine Sisters
In the convent courtyard Lajkonik performs the first dance, followed by a short rest at the hospitality of the convent abbess.
The Rodła boulevard. Lajkonik meets the rafters of Krakow and visits the Water Police Station.
March through the Kościuszki Street
Lajkonik and his entourage visit the roadside shops in order to get the “tribute”.
The procession rests in the “Smil’y” inn.
The procession crosses the intersection with the Krasiński Avenue.
March down the Zwierzyniecka Street.
Also here Lajkonik visits the local merchants.
Crossing close to the Krakow Philharmonic
Near the place where the defence walls once stood, behind which Krakow lay, traffic is temporarily stopped so that Lajkonik can perform his second dance.
March through the Franciszkańska and Grodzka Streets to the Main Market Square.
The procession rests at the “Nienasycenie” bar.
The Main Market Square
Lajkonik enters the stage under the Town Hall Tower. He stands before the Krakow City officials and receives a tribute in a big moneybag. Together with the Mayor he makes a toast to the success of the Krakow citizens and then he performs his third dance, called urbem salutare (an obeisance to the city).
Final march of the procession round the Main Market Square.