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Mounds of Krakow, the 18th-century book illustration

Ancient and historic barrows in Krakow 

Krakow’s two prehistoric landmarks, the Mound of Krak (Kopiec Kraka) and the Mound of Wanda (Kopiec Wandy) have always mystified historians. Scholars maintain they were either the 7th-century monumental tombs or fortifications or pagan temples. 


The pair of man-made barrows some fifty feet high (16.7 m and 14.6 m respectively) upon natural elevations 5,5 miles apart were easily seen from afar. And together with two natural Krakow hills they constitute a gigantic astronomical calendar. From the westernmost Sikornik mountain one can observe the sunrise exactly over the Wawel Hill on the spring equinox as well as on the autumnal one, and over the Mound of Krak on November 1, i.e. the Celtic New Year’s Day. While watched from the Mound of Krak, the sun rises over the Mound of Wanda on the eve of the second biggest feast of Celts, May 1. 

Curiously, in the early 19th century a monument to Tadeusz Kosciuszko was erected atop the Sikornik mountain in the form of a 34-meter mound (Kopiec Kosciuszki). And still further to the west, on the Sowiniec hill, there is yet another Krakow mound, the 36-meter-high Kopiec Pilsudskiego which dates from the late 1930s and commemorates Marshal Pilsudski. 

Poland's prime tourist attraction and a must in Central Europe boasts numerous world-class monuments, charming vistas, delightful atmosphere, and the best restaurants.

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