Kościuszko Mound and historic fort
In the above video, we will present to you the most interesting viewpoint in Krakow – Kościuszko Mound, along with its adjoining fortifications. Next to Piłsudski Mound, located 3 kilometers further into Wolski Forest, it is the second-highest viewpoint overlooking the historic city of Krakow. In this video, we will show you the Mound and fortifications from a bird’s-eye view.
The Mound is situated on the Holy Bronisława Hill, 3 km from the center of Krakow. I strongly encourage tourists to visit this place. From the summit of Kościuszko Mound, you can enjoy a magnificent panorama of the Old Town, Wawel, and the bend of the Vistula River. In exceptionally good weather, you can even see the highest mountain range in Poland – the Tatra Mountains. Additionally, at the foot of the Mound, there are further attractions. In Bastion V, there is the Kościuszko Museum. Further in the South Caponier, there is an exhibition of wax figures. The whole experience is complemented by the pleasure of exploring a unique citadel fort that served defensive purposes. The fort surrounding Kościuszko Mound, Fort 2 “Kościuszko,” is one of the oldest preserved forts of this kind.
A brief history of this exceptional place:
In July 1820, a decision was made to build a monument to Tadeusz Kościuszko, who passed away in 1817. He was a Polish national hero and military commander who played a crucial role in the independence struggles of Poland and the United States. The construction of the Mound was a significant patriotic event for the people of Krakow. During the three years of construction, a considerable portion of the work was done by volunteers. In 1852, the Austrian army took over the land around the Mound to build a Fort, later named “Kościuszko.” This fort is one of the oldest preserved defensive works of the former Austrian Krakow Fortress, serving simultaneously as an unconventional citadel-like fortification. Fort “Kościuszko” was the largest defensive fort in Krakow, equipped with 60 cannons and howitzers, 6 mortars, and a garrison of over 730 soldiers in the mid-19th century. In 1936, Kościuszko Mound and its immediate surroundings were recognized as a monument, but it was officially listed in the register of monuments only in 1968. In September 1939, the Polish 131st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division was stationed in the Fort to defend the city’s airspace. During the German occupation, after Mussolini’s fall in Italy, the Germans placed interned Italian soldiers in the Fort, leaving numerous inscriptions on the walls. In 1945, some bastions of the fort were blown up by retreating Germans. Additionally, after World War II, efforts were made to destroy the Austro-Hungarian fort to erase traces of the occupier’s presence. Demolition work continued until 1957, during which the western part of the fort was successfully demolished. Fortunately, due to the protests of heritage enthusiasts, most fortifications were saved. In the following years, the fort fell into increasing ruin and oblivion. Only around 1970 did adaptive work begin, adapting some buildings for hotel purposes.
Kościuszko Mound is over 35 meters high and rises 130 meters above the level of the Vistula River flowing through Krakow. At its summit, there is an observation platform, which is the best viewpoint for Krakow. You can reach the Mound by walking along the historic fortress road through the beautiful historic district of Zwierzyniec. You can also get there by car or bus.
The Mound itself is located in the center of the fortress buildings, surrounded by a 7-meter-high brick wall with a diameter of about 90 meters, serving as its retaining wall. On the western side, a neo-Gothic chapel of Blessed Bronisława, designed by Polish architect Feliks Księżarski, has been incorporated into the wall. You must visit this place when in our city.
I wish you a pleasant exploration.