The Hilarious Must-See Goat Clock of Poznań, Poland

The Legend of the Goat Clock of Poznań

Settle in for the tale of the goat clock of Poznań, Poland that’s going to make your trip there so much better. In Poznań of old, there was a great fire that destroyed the Town Hall. The mayor subsequently ordered it rebuilt, with the addition of a special clock facing the market square. When the new building was complete, the town council threw a big banquet to celebrate. They invited many important guests from all across the region and planned an elaborate dinner to include venison. It was a BFD.

The town hall of Poznań Poland which houses its famous goat clock.

The legend says a young cook named Pietrek was placed in charge of cooking the main course. But while the venison was cooking over the fire, Pietrek left the kitchen to go have a look at the fancy new clock. You know what’s coming – we’ve all done it. He took his eyes off the cooking for too long, and when he returned he discovered that the venison had fallen into the fire and burned to a crisp.


He panicked. His life flashed before his eyes. He knew he had to serve something, so he quickly ran to a nearby field where many locals kept their grazing animals. He managed to wrangle two unsuspecting goats and bring them back to the kitchen. But before their planned demise they escaped, and took off out the door and up the stairs of the bell tower, reappearing on the turret! The rightly agitated goats began to butt heads right there in front of everyone!

In the square below, the guests looked up to see what the commotion was all about, and witnessed a truly unforgettable spectacle! Reports said that everyone laughed uproariously, and the mayor not only forgave Pietrik but also, in White House Thanksgiving style, he pardoned the goats too. ❤

And they all lived happily ever after

The goats make an appearance in the goat clock of Poznań
There they are!! Adorbs!

In memory of the hilarious event, the mayor ordered a pair of goats added to the new clock. And so the goats, which emerged every day at noon to butt heads, were installed in 1551. In 1675, after damage occurred to the tower, the goats had a couple centuries off. A new pair of fully restored goats returned to the clock in 1913. The Town Square Museum houses the original pair of goats, but unfortunately a “closed for renovations” sign hung on the door when I arrived. You can CLICK HERE to get to the museum’s website and find out the status of the renovations and if they are partially or fully open to the public yet.

But the “new” goats still appear at noon every day and butt heads 12 times. We got to witness this unique event and it was fabulous! The goats even sported Ukrainian colors in solidarity. Quite a few cafés line the square where you can sit outside and enjoy a noon aperitif, or a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. Lunch and a show!

The town hall with its famed goat clock in Poznań Poland

Goats Around Town

Many businesses in Poznań have adopted goat motifs in their logos, signs, and decor, and goat souvenirs in the form of plushies, magnets, and bells appear in shops. I even saw a woman with a tattoo of the goats on her leg, but I couldn’t manage to get a picture.

If charming, funny, offbeat historical places are your thing, make sure you’re there at noon to relive the spectacle of the goat clock of Poznań that’s been making people laugh for over 450 years!

For more awesome activities and destinations, check out “15 Amazing Things to See in Poznań, Poland!”