Krakus Mound

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Coordinates: 50°02′18″N 19°57′30″E / 50.03833°N 19.95833°E / 50.03833; 19.95833

Krakus' Mound

Krakus Mound (Polish: Kopiec Krakusa), also called the Krak Mound, is a tumulus located in the Podgórze district of Kraków, Poland; thought to be the resting place of Krakow's mythical founder, the legendary King Krakus. It is located on Lasota Hill, approximately 3 kilometres (2 mi) south of Krakow's city centre, at an altitude of 271 metres (889 ft), with the base diameter of 60 metres (197 ft) and the height of 16 metres (52 ft).[1] Together with nearby Wanda Mound, it is one of Krakow's two prehistoric mounds, and the oldest man-made structure in Krakow.[2] Nearby are also two other non-prehistoric, man-made mounds, Kościuszko Mound, constructed in 1823, and Piłsudski's Mound, completed in 1937.[3] All four make up Krakow's four memorial mounds.

1933 archeological investigation of the Krakus Mound

History[edit]

The age and the original purpose of the mound remain a mystery, although religious and memorial purposes have been ascribed to the mounds.[4] Excavations conducted in mid-1930s revealed that the mound consists of a solid wooden core covered with soil and turf. Some artifacts dating from between the 8th and 10th centuries were found inside, but no human remains or bones were discovered. According to another hypothesis the mound is of Celtic origin and dates from the 2nd-1st century BCE.[5] Mythical origins are also connected to the mound. Krakus is said to have been constructed to honour the death of King Krakus when mourning townspeople filled their sleeves with sand and dirt and brought it to the site of the Krakus Mound to create a mountain that would rule over the rest of the landscape, as King Krakus had. Originally, four smaller mounds ringed the Krakus Mound, but they were demolished in the 19th century to create Krakow's city wall.[2]

Krakus Mound in winter

Similar to other ancient structures, such as Stonehenge, the Krakus Mound may have been constructed with astronomy in mind.[5] If one stands on the Krakus Mound and looks towards Wanda Mound at sunrise on the morning of Beltane, the second-largest Celtic feast day, one will see the sun rise directly over Wanda Mound.

Until the mid-1830s, a folk festival was held annually on the first Tuesday after Easter on the slopes of the Krakus Mound. It's been revived in the 2000s and is being held annually again.

The view from the top of Krakus Mound

See also[edit]

Media related to Krak Mound at Wikimedia Commons

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Krakus Mound monument in Podgorze, Krakow, at www.cracowonline.com
  2. ^ a b Poland, Krakow sightseeing: Podgorze. Places of Interest: Krakus Mound at In Your Pocket.com.
  3. ^ Krakow. Kopce at e-Krakow.com
  4. ^ Krakow mounds at Krakow Info.com
  5. ^ a b Krakow Mounds: Krakus & Wanda; Kraków, Poland at Sacred Destinations, 2009