Krakow

Sightseeing

Wanda's Mound (Kopiec Wandy)

Though construction of Nowa Huta began in 1949, Wanda's Mound (Kopiec Wandy) is indisputable evidence that the history of the area goes back much further. In fact, the village of Mogiła, which Wanda's Mound is near the historical centre of, has been inhabited since 5000 BC without interruption, while archaeologists date the settlement of Kraków's Old Town much later in the 8th century.

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' - tram 12 takes 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 into woods and on to one of Kraków’s hidden 19th century Austrian fortresses, but, honestly, it just gives us the creeps.

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28.10.2015
Bartłomiej
Kraków
This is a great place to go visiting by bicycle. There are bike paths that lead near it, and it's not on a mountain so one doesn't have to be very fit to get there. Pack your picnic basket and share a nice moment in the park around the mound. Unfortunately there is no small business worth mentioning in the nearest area, no shopping centers and definitely no deli, so don't forget to bring everything you need.
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