Krakow is the only European city in which the tradition of building burial mounds has survived since the prehistoric times. They were erected as a demonstration of affection and respect to important figures. Four such mounds can be spotted on the Krakovian landscape. Perhaps the most impressive of Krakow’s four mounds is the one in honour of Tadeusz Kosciuszki. A Polish and American hero-he fought in the American War of Independence and later returned to Poland where he led an insurrection against the Russians.
The mound is composed of soil from the battlefields where he fought (including soil from the U.S.). Created in 1820, an Austrian fort was subsequently built on the site.
The Kopiec Kraka and Kopiec Wandy are the oldest mounds in Krakow. The consensus is that the Krakus and Wanda mounds are dated to the 7th Century and are either ancient monumental tombs, fortifications or pagan temples.
Legend has it this is the burial mound of Krakus (the city’s founder) although scholars continue to contradict each other with theories about it’s authenticity.
From the westernmost Sikornik mountain one can observe the sunrise exactly over Wawel Hill on both the Spring and Autumnal equinox….another argument to support Krakow’s mystical heritage.
The newest mound created is that of Jozef Pilsudski and was erected in 1936. The mound is composed of soil from the battlefields in Poland from the period 1794 & 1945.
If you’re looking for something different to do in Krakow then searching for the burial mounds could be a good alternative to all the more popular tourist sights.