On the 1st of September 1939 Poland was invaded from the west by the Nazi German army and on the 17th of September 1939 Poland was invaded from the east by the Soviet army (Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, called also the 4th partition of Poland). On that day Hitler ordered a huge bomb attack on the government offices in Warsaw to show the Polish nation that the end had started.
The Royal Castle in Warsaw, the seat of the Polish kings and the presidents of Poland was ablaze… The clock on the tower stopped at 11:15.
Despite being damaged the construction of the Royal Castle survived until the Warsaw Uprising 1944. During the 5 years of the German occupation the clock showed the hour 11:15…
It was blown up by the Germans during the Warsaw Uprising in September 1944. The past Royal Residence was razed to the ground and lay in ruins.
The construction of the Royal Castle was rebuilt only in the year 1974. During “the finish of the first part of the reconstruction ceremony” the new clock was started, also from the symbolic hour 11:15. It took 10 years more to reconstruct the interiors of the Royal Castle.
Many clocks from the collection of the last elected Polish king Stanisław August Poniatowski, that you can now admire in the Royal Castle – Museum, were purposely set at 11:15.
In the Royal Castle – Museum in the last room of the exhibition “The Royal Castle – from Destruction to Reconstruction” you can see the pointers of the original clock dug out from the ruins and also a money box with a clock face and the pointers set at 11:15.
Every day at 11:15 the bugle call is played from the Clock Tower towards the Royal Square. It was based on the soldier melody from the Second World War (listen to it by clicking). It is played 3 times because the Clock Tower has 3 windows, but also it refers to the Polish Army’s values: “God, Honour, Fatherland”.