While we were staying in Krakow, Our friends Adriana and Thomas thought it would be a great idea to take us to Kosciuszko Mound. Kosciusko Mound is one of the many attractions in Krakow Poland. The views over Krakow from here are amazing. They also thought the Australian connection would be great as well for us. Kosciuszko Mound inspired Count Paul Strzelecki, an Australian/Polish explorer, to name the highest mountain in Australia Mount Kosciuszko. Strzelecki named the mountain because of its perceived resemblance to the Kosciuszko Mound in Kraków.
kopiec kościuszki is what the Polish call it.
By Rj1979 – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2591687
Just out of Krakow the mound is located on Blessed Bronisława Hill, also known as Sikornik and it is situated in the western part of Kraków’s Zwierzyniec District. The drive up to the mound is beautiful. As you go through the city the buildings get less and less when you eventually end up in a beautiful wooded area with the mound looming right before you. We parked the car and took a small walk to the entry gate. There was a small information plaque that told us that the mound was started in 1820 and built by hand till it reached a height of 35.5 meters high. The mound was mainly used as a lookout throughout its life in times of conflict.
By Wizzard – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3013392
Mowing Polish style at Kosciuszko Mound
Although we gained entry through the front of the Blessed Bronislawa Chapel we were too late to have a look inside the chapel itself so we made our way through to start the climb! We were all really excited to get to the top to get the views that were promising to be fantastic when I spotted 2 men mowing the mound. This was amazing to watch…seriously. How many people would actually say they stopped to watch people mow the lawn? Well, I did for a good 10 minutes! It was completely mad how they did it and I was thinking to myself the entire time there is no way they would allow this in Australia! The two men had a lawn mower attached to a rope. One man stood up on the higher level of the mound while the other one was on the lower. They used the rope as like pulley and between them the lowered the mower, slowly! Then they would turn it around line it up and pull it up. Ingenious! I think they thought I was crazy standing there watching them and taking photo’s but I thought there is no way I am going home without some proof of this one!
When I finally left the mowers alone and made my way to the top I was not disappointed with the view! The walk up was steep and there were no rails on the side of the path! Again, that would just not happen in Australia! I think if there were rails it would take away something from the mound so we just warned the child that has to run everywhere this was probably time to slow down a little! At the top of the mound is a granite boulder that was bought in from the Tatra Mountains and engraved with the word “Kościuszce”.
As a family travel attraction, Kosciuszko Mound was fun for the kids
The girls thought it was huge! After walking to the top of the mound, viewing Krakow and its surrounds a visit to the permanent exhibition onsite is a must. You see the mound is surrounded by an old fortification a one-of-a-kind citadel. This fortification was designed strictly for defence. This is one of the oldest remaining parts of Krakow fortress. The fortress and this remaining section were erected in 1850-1856. The mound was once protected by 60 cannons and 732 soldiers. The exhibition located in the old fortifications is ongoing and titled “The Fortress and the City of Krakow – 1846-1918”.
The exhibition has great information on all things Polish…even a life-size statue of Pope John Paul II. It does mainly focus on Kosciuszko himself and what he achieved in life but it is great to wander around all the exhibits in there. We thought all the information on the Mound over its lifetime was great too. I also enjoyed reading about the issues that The Mound has had and what the committee has done to ensure that it is preserved. As we know many things that are getting on in age do need restoration works and upgrades to ensure that they do not erode.
If you are in Krakow a visit out to Kosciuszko mound by a tour, public transport, or car for the views and the history is a must! This was an interesting family travel destination for us and one of the many great things to do in Krakow The girls loved the visit and we learned some new interesting facts about Poland and the Australian connection to the mound
On our past 2 visits to Krakow, we have chosen to stay at the Dragon Aparthostel near the Old Town
Next up for us Spain, Portugal, Germany, Poland, Iceland, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia. November 2016 - January 2017
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