There are four mounds (kopiec) around the city, each with its own unique story. Some are said to have royalty buried below them, while others are made of soil carried by citizens from prominent battlegrounds. No matter the legend, they provide breathtaking views of the entire city, each from a different view point, and some of the best picnicking places in the city. Watch the sunrise from Pilsudski Mound, or the sunset from the Krakus Mound. Join the hoards of tourists at the Kosciusko Mound, the most well-kept of the four, hence the admission fee, or discover communist architecture on your way to the Wanda Mound in Nowa Huta…. Let’s learn a bit more!
The Kosciuszko Mound
The most popular, largest, most developed, and only one with an entrance fee- you can see it off in the distance if you’re at Wawel Castle and looking out over the river! The information on their website says:
Kościuszko Mound is opened from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm.
The entry ticket to the Kościuszko Mound allows the visitor full access to all the collections, installations and exhibitions in the historic interior of Fort 2 “Kościuszko”.
Due to security reasons animals are not allowed to enter the Kosciuszko Mound.
The ticket prices are as follows, with free entry to the mound on the following days:
On the 4th of February, 24th of March, and 15th of October entry to Kościuszko Mound is free:
- 4th February – Tadeusz Kościuszko’s birthday
- 24th March – on this day Tadeusz Kościuszko made his oath on the Main Square in Krakow and the Kosciuszko Uprising began in 1794
- 15th October – death of Tadeusz Kościuszko
To get there, just take a short walk from the tram stop Salwator. It’s easiest to get there by taking Tram 1 from either Starowislna (if you’re in Kazimierz) or Poczta Glowna, Plac Wszystkich Swietych, or Filharmonia (whichever is closest to you, if you’re in the old town).
The Krakus Mound
This is many locals favorite mound and can be reached by foot from the Old Town (50 mins) or Kazimierz (38 mins)– or quicker by tram 3, 6, 13, or 24. Just go to the tram stop for the Podgorze Cemetery called Cmentarz Podgorski and walk 8 minutes more.
Legend has it that after King Krak’s death, villagers carried dirt here in their sleeves to build the mound. While a body has never been found under the mound to prove this theory correct- it has also not been fully excavated. Plus, the pagans at the time would have probably cremated their ruler and then put him there, so bones won’t be found anyway.
Once a year they hold a very special event here called Rekawka! You can see our visit to the event below:
It’s Rękawka at Kopiec Krakus! This event happens only ONCE per year and is a great celebration of history! There’s so much to do and see here- its really an all day event! People camp overnight to give a true reenactment of life hundreds of years ago in Krakow. Handmade goods are for sale all around the moung and the event is well organized by the city and Podgorze Cultural Organization. An easy tram ride from the city center, there’s no reason not to go if you’re in town the Tuesday after Easter. Part 1 shows the event minus the battles- up next in part 2 is the battle everyone waits all day for! Have you ever been? And what’s your favorite part?! #rękawka #Krakow #poland #travel #polishtradition #tourguide #KidsInKrakow
Considered a pre-historic burial mound, it’s thought to have been established in the 700s! In Your Pocket City Guides writes, “When standing on the Krakus Mound at dawn on June 20th or 21st the sun can be seen rising directly behind Wanda’s Mound; conversely, standing on Wanda’s Mound at dusk, the sun sets in a straight line behind Krakus Mound. Krakus Mound inspired the modern creation of earthwork mounds honouring Kościuszko (1823) and Piłsudski (1937) and today it remains one of Poland’s greatest archaeological mysteries.”
You can see some of the views from the mound below. This is a great place for a picnic in nice weather, as there is a lot of open green area to lay out a blanket at the base.
The best views of Krakow are often found at the top of a mound! There are four in Krakow- today we’re taking you to Krakus Mound or Kopiec Krakus to see all the things you can look at from the top.
It is also very close to a few other things you may want to visit- the abandoned Liban Quarry, Plaszow Concentration Camp (that’s the one featured in the movie Schindler’s List and is the actual closest concentration camp to the city), or of course the Podgorze Cemetery. The area behind the mound still contains some of the pieces of Schindler’s List’s film set- and here is a great write-up about the pieces of the film you can find that were left behind.
The Piłsudski Mound
The newest mound, built using soil from all the battlefields in which Poles fought for independence. It is located in center of Wolski Woods, Las Wolski, near the zoo and Bielany Monastery (the woods are also worth a walk through). From here, both city and country can be seen, as well as the occasional airplane.
You can take the bus to the zoo and then go on a hike that’s about a half hour (that’s what we suggest). By car you can get a bit closer (just look on Google Maps). Highly recommend during the longer walk through the woods and planning for a picnic at your destination.
The Wanda Mound
is located in Nowa Huta, and is said to be the burial site for King Krak’s daughter, Wanda; it’s the largest prehistoric burial mound in Poland. Take the tram to Kopiec Wandy, and while you’re in the area, check out the communist architecture of Nowa Huta, the famous Steelworks, or a number of buildings from the wooden architecture route. You can also head into Plac Centralny- the main area of Nowa Huta, and grab a bite to eat at the most authentic Milk Bar in Town Bar Mleczny Centralny, or sit down to a meal at the famous Restauracja Stylowa.
Do you have a favorite mound of Krakow? Come with us to take a walk through the former “communist utopia” to reach the Wanda Mound!