We do not know what were the oldest Kraków mounds so far. It is believed that these were places of worship or graves of chiefs, but there is no certainty about this. It is known, however, that the two oldest, built by human hands, Krakow hills are well over a thousand years old.
To this day, Krakow mounds remain an unexplained mystery of the past, and this is probably why they were given into the possession of the legendary Krakow heroes born in the imagination.
One of such heroes is the legendary prince - the founder of the city, whose burial place is to be the Krakus Mound, located on the right bank of the Vistula, on the Krzemionek hill. This mound is small - it is 16 meters high, and the diameter of its base is just over 50 meters. Research indicates that it was probably erected in the 7th century. Evidence of this can be found inside the building, during archaeological research in the 1930s, forged in bronze - a characteristic Avarian belt clasp of those times.
For centuries, the Krakus Mound was a place of pagan cults. Later, for many years all souls' fires were burned there, funeral services were organized and the deceased were honored. Today, crowds of Cracovians flock to the mound every Tuesday after Easter to take part in the so-called Sleeves - a colorful, folk festival commemorating the grave of Krakus. According to the legend, the soil for the mound was worn in sleeves, hence the name of the holiday.
A similar tomb is also the mound of Krakus's daughter - Wanda. It is one of the smallest burial mounds in Kraków, 14 meters high and only 45 meters in diameter at the base. It is situated on one of Kraków's escarpments, 238 m above sea level, near the mouth of the Dłubnia River and the Vistula River. According to the legend, it was in this mound that the princess's body, fished from the Vistula River, near the village of Mogiła, was placed. Wanda, as the legend says, chose death in the Vistula currents, not wanting to marry the German prince Rodryg.
More than a thousand-year-old mounds of Wanda and Krakus became an inspiration for another earthen monument - the mound commemorating the extraordinary hero of the independence struggle, the commander of the insurrection of 1794, Tadeusz Kościuszko. Kościuszko Mound is located on the Sikornik hill and is 34 meters high. Its base diameter is 80 meters. In this peculiar monument of the commander, soil was mixed up from the fields where Tadeusz Kościuszko fought his battles - from Racławice, Dubienka, Szczekocin or Maciejowice. Lumps of soil from the United States were also brought here, where the chief fought for their independence.
Józef Piłsudski Mound
The largest mound in Kraków, considered to be a grave, is located in the western part of the city, on the Sowiniec hill (358 m above sea level). It is 36 meters high and is an extraordinary monument dedicated to the creator of Poland's independence - Marshal Józef Piłsudski. The Piłsudski Mound, initially called the Independence Mound, was built for two years, starting in 1934, while the leader was still alive. Information about the commencement of its pouring was sent to Józef Piłsudski with a carrier pigeon. In 1935, after the marshal's death, it was decided to name the newly created monument after him.
John Paul II Mound
The youngest and smallest mound in Kraków is the John Paul II Mound. It is 7 meters high, not including the cross. It was erected in 1997 in the Congregation of the Resurrectionist Fathers in the Dębniki district and is a reminder of the 6th pilgrimage of the Polish Pope to his homeland. An alley lined with thujas leads to the mound, and at its entrance there is a granite memorial plaque with the Papal Coat of Arms. It is worth adding that the John Paul II Mound in Krakow is a replica of the Kościuszko Mound, located in Olkusz.
Mounds as a unique attraction of Krakow
Krakow mounds are an extremely characteristic element of the city's landscape. Many people compare them to the Vistula pyramids. They are a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction, a place for walks, Sunday parties and rest, while at the same time being a testimony to the uniqueness of Krakow - its wonderful history, rich in numerous events and extraordinary figures. The mounds are not the only attractions of the royal city. On the websites of Aurora apartments you will find more information about other places in Krakow that are worth visiting - we invite you to read :)
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