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Krakus and Wanda Mounds, Krakow

Photo © Christopher Walker. View all images in our Krakus and Wanda Mounds Photo Gallery.
Photo © sz.u.
Photo © Christopher Walker.
Photo © sz.u.
Photo © sz.u.
Photo © sz.u.

The Krakus Mound (Kopiec Krakusa) and Wanda Mound (Kopiec Wandy) in Krakow are mysterious, prehistoric man-made hills, each about 50 feet high and about 6 miles apart.

Like their distant (and perhaps older) counterparts Stonehenge and Newgrange, the Krakow Mounds are astronomically aligned. Looking from the Krakus Mound on the eve of the Celtic celebration of the sun (May 1), the sun rises exactly over the Wanda Mound. On the Celtic New Year (November 1), the Sikornik Mountain overlooks the sunrise above the Krakus Mound.

Historians and scholars have given differing interpretations of the intriguing grassy humps, ranging from burial sites to fortifications to pagan temples. As of yet, no bones have been found in the mounds.

According to the Medieval chronicler of Kraków, Jan Dlugosz, the mounds were erected to commemorate the legendary first ruler of Kraków - Krak, from whom the city derives its name - and his daughter Wanda, who (another legend says) chose to jump into the Vistula River rather than marry a foreigner.

Modern Krakovians have raised two additional mounds in the city as well. The first was the Kopiec Kosciuszki (Kosciuszko Mound), erected 1813-20 atop Sikornik Hill. Raised during Austrian occupation, it is sacred to the memory of Tadeusz Kosciuszko who fought for the freedom of Poland. The mound incorporates earth from battlefields where the general fought.

The fourth mound is Kopiec Pilsudskiego, near to Kopiec Kosciuszki. It was erected between 1934 and 1937 to commemorate Marshal Pilsudski (1867-1935), the leader of the revived Polish state.

On Sunday afternoons and major holidays many Krakovian families, complete with grandparents and toddlers, and many in their Sunday best, stroll along the walking path that follows the gentle slope of Sikornik Hill.

Quick Facts on Krakus and Wanda Mounds

Site Information
Names:Krakus and Wanda Mounds; Krakus and Wanda Mounds, Krakow
City:Krakow
Country:Poland
Categories:Mounds
Faiths:Prehistoric
Feat:Astronomical Alignment
Status:monument
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Krakow, Poland
Coordinates:50.038124° N, 19.958425° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Krakus and Wanda Mounds

Below is a location map and aerial view of Krakus and Wanda Mounds. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Fodor's Poland, 1st. ed. (May 2007).
  2. Cracow's Hallowed Humps - Cracow Life
  3. Krakow Mounds - Krakow Info

More Information

Article Info

Title:Krakus and Wanda Mounds, Krakow
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:08/20/2009
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/poland/krakow-krakus-and-wanda-mounds/poland/krakow-krakus-and-wanda-mounds
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