Kościuszko Mound - History and Facts | History Hit

Kościuszko Mound

Krakow, Poland

Lily Johnson

05 May 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Kościuszko Mound

Kościuszko Mound is one of Krakow’s 4 man-made memorial mounds. Built upon the death of beloved Polish leader Tadeusz Kościuszko, the mound now provides panoramic views of the city and the history of the war hero’s life. 

Kościuszko Mound history 

Kościuszko Mound was founded in 1820 as a memorial to Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish-Lithuanian military leader and national hero, following his death in 1817. He had fought for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and in 1794 led the Kościuszko Uprising against the Russian Empire and Kingdom of Prussia, and also on the American side during the War of Independence. 

The mound was built to replicate that of Krakow’s two existing prehistoric mounds, Krakus and Wanda, both long considered the burial mounds of two of Poland’s legendary monarchs.
The project was funded by the donations of Poles living in all different areas of foreign occupation during the Partitions of Poland, and took 3 years to complete. Volunteers of all ages and class worked on its construction, reaching 112 ft upon completion. 

Inside the mound, urns containing soil from the Polish and American battlefields where Kościuszko fought were buried, and atop the mound was placed a granite boulder inscribed ‘To Kościuszko’.

During Austrian occupation of Krakow, Austrian authorities built a brick citadel around the mound with the intention of using it as a strategic lookout. The Neo-Gothic Chapel of St. Bronisława was built to replace the one they destroyed, which still stands today. 

Kościuszko Mound today 

Today the mound’s winding path takes you up to one of the best viewpoints in Krakow. Stunning views of the Vistula River, the city’s Old Town, and several Carpathian mountain ranges can be admired from the lush greenery of the mound and its surrounding area.  

The encompassing fortifications can also be walked upon, and inside provide a number of historical exhibits on Kościuszko’s life. The beautiful Chapel of St. Bronisława may also be explored, and holds a number of items relating to the Polish hero’s life.

Getting to Kościuszko Mound

Kościuszko Mound is located atop the Blessed Bronislawa Hill in the western part of the Zwierzniec District, and just under an hour’s walk from the Main Square. 

The nearest bus stop is Hofmana on Królowej Jadwigi, a 20-minute walk away, while tram stop Salwator is around a 25-minute walk to the top. There is a lot of walking uphill, so it may be easiest to get a taxi to the mound from Main Street, which would take around 10 minutes.