al. Waszyngtona 1
A place of remembrance devoted to a Polish and US freedom fighter, a popular destination for walks, and a marvellous vantage point. When the weather is good, it commands a view of the Tatras, some 100 km (60 mi) away!
The most popular route to the mound leads from the tram terminal in Salwator, up ulica bł. Bronisławy to the hill remembering the earliest human settlement in today’s Kraków. Known in the past as Sikornik, it was renamed after a Premonstratensian nun Bronisława, who used to live in a hermitage in nearby forests and died in the aura of sanctity. They say that when one of her fellow sisters, doubting Bronisława’s accounts of mystic visions, expressed her misgivings, she lost her mental faculties.
On our way, we pass by a cluster of villas from the early 20th century, designed as a garden city, and the Salwator Cemetery, considered the most beautifully located necropolis in Kraków. Worth mentioning among those buried here is Stanisław Lem, a science fiction writer of world renown.
The mound itself, providing a symbolic grave of Tadeusz Kościuszko, who first became a hero of the United States Independence War, and later the famous defender of Poland’s independence, was modelled on the prehistoric mounds of Krakus and Wanda. Participating in its construction (1820–23) were Poles from all the three partitions (Polish territories annexed by Russia, Austria, and Prussia late in the 18th century). The place of remembrance quickly became a reflection of the idea of solidarity and the struggle “for our freedom and yours”, and reminded Poles of heroic days, thus boosting spirits.
In the mid-19th century, the mound was taken over by the Austrian army and included in the system of fortifications of the Fortress of Kraków built within and outside the city. Although surrounded by a fort, visitor access to its peak was guaranteed, as pledged by the military. Today, when Poland is free, the services buildings house permanent exhibition Kościuszko – a Hero for Our Times.
Tickets PLN 20/15, family PLN 60/40
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