The grandest mound in Kraków is the Tadeusz Kościuszko Mound – named after the great Polish general, a symbol of freedom who is known most of all for the 1794 uprising. That was when the Poles tried for the last time to prevent the division of their country between Russia, Prussia and Austria – sadly, unsuccessfully. It is situated on St. Bronislava’s hill, about 2 miles west of the Market Square, and is clearly visible from the Błonia (a huge meadow adjacent to the historic center of the town).
The mound was built in the 1820’s, when Poland was divided between three great powers, and Napoleon Bonaparte was dying in exile on St. Helena. The cost of the building was covered by donations from all the former Polish territories. The earth which was heaped to form the mound contains soil from battlefields where Tadeusz Kościuszko commanded the army, such as Racławice, Maciejowice, and Dubienka. The soil comes from North America as well, as Kościuszko is also a national hero of the United States, in recognition of his role in the War of Independence (1775-1783). There he contributed as an all-round genius, working as an engineer in the army fighting for independence from Great Britain, and building fortifications. He was made a brigadier general for his work and was awarded the Order of the Society of the Cincinnati.
The summit of the 36m high, steep mound is at 333 m. above sea level, and so tourists who climb to the top can admire Wawel from a height of over one hundred metres! A paved path winds around the mound to the top. The “Kościuszko” fort, built in the middle of the XIX century, is situated near the mound. It was build by the Austrians and was part of a group of forts designed to defend the city from a possible war with Russia, known as the Fortresses of Kraków (Twierdza Kraków).
You can climb the mound every day from 10:00am till dusk. On the three days of the year which are particularly associated with Tadeusz Kościuszko (4th February, 24th March, 15th October), entrance to the mound is free. The ticket also allows you to visit Blessed Bronislava’s Chapel and the temporary and permanent exhibitions associated with Kościuszko and Kraków, which are inside the fort. Lovers of romantic walks will certainly be interested in the option of watching the sunset, and also the chance to admire Kraków at night in the summer months (from May to the end of September), when entrance is until 11pm.
To reach the mound, you need to get to the Salwator tram stop (take tram nr 2 from the main railway station), and then take bus nr 100. If you like walking, you can reach the mound on foot from the tram stop (just over a mile), heading uphill up St. Bronislava’s Street (ulica św. Bronisławy), and then along aleja Waszyngtona. If you are lucky enough to climb up the mound on a cloudless day, you might be able to see the peaks of the Tatra mountains to the south, over 60 miles away.
Komitet Kopca Kościuszki (The Kościuszki Mound Committee)
al. Waszyngtona 1
Tel/fax: +48 12 425-11-16
Ticket prices: 10 zł – reduced, 12 zł – full
opening times and prices: