Kamil Olszowy, the public relations manager for the Town of Poznan and my guide for the day, led me into the Old Market Square just a few minutes before noon. He pointed up to the central tower of the Old Town Hall.
“Don’t expect too much.” he said apologetically. “It’s mostly for children.”
On the appointed hour, a set of small wooden doors in the tower swung open. The crowd murmured a collective “awwwwwww” as two mechanical billy goats slid out, turned to face one another, and butted heads.
The legend behind the animated display says that many years ago a cook who was preparing a banquet for dignitaries burned the roast deer he was to serve. Panicked, he looked for an alternative and found two goats in a nearby meadow. He dragged them to the kitchen but the goats escaped and ran up a flight of stairs, emerging in the tower. When they began butting heads they attracted the attention of townsfolk, who gathered below and began to laugh. Because of the entertainment the cook was pardoned and two mechanical goats were incorporated into the new clock being made for the building.
Today, these mechanical goats are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Poznan. They may be designed more for families with children, but I found them absolutely delightful. I guess I’m just a kid at heart!
I was a guest of Poznan, Poland during my stay in their fair city. However, the receipt and acceptance of complimentary items or services will never influence the content, topics, or posts in this blog. I write the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.