Together with Krakus Mound in Podgórze - Kraków's other prehistoric earthwork - Wanda's Mound plays a role in one of Poland's greatest archaeological mysteries as the mound's date of construction, builders and function all remain a subject of great speculation. Leading theories suggest that both mounds were erected sometime between the 6th and 10th centuries, by either the Slavs or the Celts, as burial mounds or pagan cult sites; perhaps most likely is that they were created as burial mounds which later became cult sites. Though seemingly random within the layout of modern Kraków, the location of the two mounds can hardly be seen as an accident; when standing atop Wanda's Mound on the evening of the summer solstice, the sun can be seen setting in a direct line behind Krakus Mound.
Off a major road behind a handy tram stop (station 'Kopiec Wandy' - trams 20, 21 take you there), Wanda's Mound is a conical earthwork rising 14m with a winding path to the top, adorned by a small monument from the 19th century by Jan Matejko who lived in the Krzesławice Manor nearby. The victim of general neglect and geographical trespasses, Wanda's Mound today lies just outside the fence of the fearsomely enormous Sendzimir steel plant, of which unglamorous glimpses can be seen through the trees. The view to the southwest is an improvement, where Krakus Mound and Podgórze can be seen in the distance, though Wanda's Mound unfortunately doesn't offer sweeping views of the same calibre as Kraków's other mounds. The parkland surrounding the mound is in need of development, not to mention some proper modern archaeological studies. If you're still feeling adventurous after climbing the mound, there’s a footpath that leads you east along the Steelworks fence to one of Kraków’s hidden 19th century Austrian fortresses (about a 10min walk), but, honestly, it just gives us the creeps.
The oldest structure in Kraków, Krakus Mound is one of two prehistoric monumental mounds in the city and is also its highest point, providing incredible panoramic views from its sixteen-metre high summit. The site of pagan ritual for centuries, the mound