WALK 8: A walk on a slightly different side

Kopiec Kościuszki, Kraków

When the days are warm, suburban tourist trails, and walking haunts and destinations are most attractive. Kraków is a very picturesque place, surrounded by plenty of excellent vantage points that offer beautiful panoramas. The best-known perhaps is the Kościuszko Mound, which is a regular destination of walks as it offers a view over the entire city of Kraków, historic and contemporary. From its top it is fun to find the places that you have been to earlier, yet this time to look at them from afar and from quite a peculiar angle. The Kraków mounds are one of the greatest tourist attractions of the city. Two of them, those of King Krakus in Podgórze and Wanda in Nowa Huta, are mysterious kurghans (barrows) from pre-Christian times, constructed by local tribes. What made the former denizens of these areas undertake the huge effort required remains guesswork: they may simply be the rulers’tombs, yet they certainly doubled as strategic observation points.

Two more mounds were erected in modern times in homage to national heroes: the aforementioned Kościuszko Mound and the Józef PiłsudskiMound in Sowiniec. The first became exceptionally important to Poles, as it was a symbol of the Polish struggle for independence, built when the territory of Poland was partitioned among three invaders.

Without even leaving the strict centre of the city, if you follow Piłsudskiego Street towards the main building of the National Museum and the nearby Jagiellonian Library, you reach Błonia Green: another Kraków attraction. It is a huge, spacious flat meadow lying just a few hundred metres away from the Main Market Square that not only attracts various recreational functions, but is also a perfect place for great crowds to assemble. Each of the holy masses in which Pope John Paul II participated attracted a congregation of over one million. This is also where assorted festivals and even ballooning championships are held.

Błonia lies next to Park Jordana and the stadiums of the city’stwo most important football teams – Cracovia and Wisła. From its expanse you can see the Kościuszko Mound. It is just a stone’s throw from here, halfway to Las Wolski Forest – yet another recreational area with attractive scenic values. Within it, you will find the city’s zoo and the Piłsudski Mound, and in the vicinity – the Renaissance Villa Decius surrounded by its beautiful park.

Tyniec, lying the other side of the Vistula, is a hamlet lying in the shadow of a rocky promontory with a huge and ancient Benedictine Abbey, where many cultural events, notably Summer Organ Recitals, are organised.

From May to September, the Abbey can also be admired from the decks of the tourist boats plyingon the Vistula and from the Kraków Water Tram.

Date: 2013-06-06 Show ticket
News author: Weronika Dulowska
News Publisher: Portal główny EN
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