Kopiec Kościuszki a view from above of the Royal city of Krakow
Kopiec (mound) is a tribute built in commemoration of someone important. It is pretty much an artificial hill with symmetrical paths leading to the top. There are four of these in Kraków, the oldest ones are Princess Wanda Mound and King Krak Mound (the legendary founder of Kraków)and they were originally meant to be graves built by the thankful residents of the town.
Its amazing I have lived in Krakow for so many years and only hike a few of the mounds and I have certainly not done all of the touristy things. The hills in Cracow are worth seeing as they give you a good panorama of the cityscape of the Royal city which you can not get in any other way.
The Story of Kościuszko Mound
Kościuszko is a Polish, Lithuanian and Us military hero. He was a Polish general who led the Kościuszko Uprising against Russia and Prussia. He was also involved in American Revolutionary War as a colonel. In short words, he was and still is a quite special guy to the Polish Nation, so they decided that he deserved his very own mound. It was built three years after his death, on top of St Bronisława Hill (Polish name: Wzgórze Swiętej Bronisławy), also known as Wzgórze Sikornik.
It is visible from a lot of spots in Kraków, I can even see it right now when I look out of the window. You can see it when you walk along Piłsudskiego Street, which has very nice architecture by the way, so it is worth taking a walk there.
Tickets & opening hours
It costs 10 złoty to enter the mound area (but just going up is free of course only the tower top costs), there is also a chapel of Saint Bronislawa and some exhibitions every now and then. A couple of times a year it is free of charge. It is normally open from 9 till dusk and between may 1st and Sepptember 30th it is open until 11pm but only on the weekends and holidays. It is magical at night with the lights along the path great place for a date in Kraków.
How to get there
There are 2 bus lines that you can take, 100 and 101, but it is more more fun if you walk as you can see the landscape along the way. The easiest way to do it is take a tram or bus to the Salwator terminal (trams 1, 2, 6, buses 109, 209, 229, 239, 259, 269, 409) , then head up the hill along St Bronislawa Street (Ulica Swiętej Bronisławy) and then Washington Alley (Aleja Waszyngtona). You can also rent a bike and ride it all the way to Kopiec, there is a place to park it and they even provide free locks.
Make sure you take a camera with you, the view is amazing. I have not put too many photos here as I did not want to spoil the surprise, more something you have to experience.