The largest of Kraków’s mounds is at the same time the most difficult to access. The Piłsudski Mound stands atop Sowiniec Hill in the Lasek Wolski forest and it commemorates the figure of Józef Piłsudski, Poland regaining its independence in 1918 after 123 years of being wiped off the map of Europe, and the heroic efforts aimed at defending free Poland in the 20th century.
Its patron was the commander of the Polish Legions fighting in the First World War, and later the actual head of the reborn Polish state. The mound was raised in 1934–37 and was named after Pilsudski only after his death in 1935. Destroyed by the German invaders during the Second World War, it was later sentenced to oblivion by the communist powers and only brought back to its previous splendour in the 1980s. Deposited here is soil from the battlegrounds and places of martyrdom and murder of Poles from the times of uprisings, two world wars, and the days of communist persecution, for which reason it is often called The Grave of the Graves.
The mound and its vicinity are a perfect destination for family recreation. It can be reached by a number of walking trails staked out in the Lasek Wolski forest. The most popular of them runs by the Kraków zoo. As one of Kraków’s best vantage points, the Piłsudski Mound is highly unique: the slopes of Sowiniec Hill are wooded, so climbing to the top of the mound gradually opens up a panorama of the city and several villages situated to the west of it, over a green canopy of leaves. It is worth a visit for this alone!
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