Piłsudski's Mound


Piłsudski's Mound

Piłsudski's Mound (also known as Independence Mound or Freedom Mound) in Kraków, Poland, erected by Cracovians in commemoration of the Polish national leader Józef Piłsudski, is an artificial mound, constructed in the years 1934-1937. It is located in west Kraków, on Sowiniec Heights, Kraków's VII District "Zwierzyniec". It is the newest and largest of Kraków's four mounds.Ref_label|a|a|none

History

In 1934 the Associations of Polish Legionists proposed to build a monument to Poland's independence. The Committee for Mound Construction was formed in Warsaw, and was chaired by Walery Sławek. Construction began on 6 August 1934, the 20th anniversary of the departure of First Cadre Company from Kraków at the beginning of World War I.

After the death of Marshal Józef Piłsudski on 12 May 1935, the Legionists - former subordinates of Piłsudski, the creator of the Legions - decided to name the Mound after their leader. The Mound's construction ended on 9 July 1937. Soil from every WWI battlefield in which Poles fought was included in the Mound.

During World War II, Hans Frank, Nazi German governor of occupied Poland, issued the order to flatten and destroy the Mound, but due to the difficulty and expense it was never carried out. After the war, the communist government of Poland, which considered the Mound a relic of the capitalist Second Polish Republic, still supported by the Polish government-in-exile, tried to minimize the Mound's importance. Any mentions of it were removed from official publications and the surrounding area was filled with trees to help obscure the view. However, the most damage to the monument was inflicted during the Stalinist era; in 1953 the granite tablet with the Legion's cross was removed, and much of the surface area of the Mound was devastated.

In 1981, with the weakening of the communist government, the reconstruction of the Mound was begun. Soil from WWII battlefields in which various Polish armies participated was added to the monument, and it gained a nickname of 'Grave of Graves'. In 1995, five years after the fall of communism in Poland, the first major renovation of the Mound was completed. In 1997 a major flood damaged the Mound, and a second renovation began soon afterwards, finalized in 2002 with a ceremony attended by the president of Poland.

Design

*architect: Franciszek Mączyński
*height: 35 m (383 m AMSL)
*diameter of base: 111 m
*volume: 130,000 m³

Notes

a. Note_label|a|a|none The other three major mounds in Kraków are: Krakus Mound, Wanda Mound and Kościuszko Mound.

References

*pl icon [http://www.wsp.krakow.pl/geo/krakow/kopiec_p.html Kopiec Józefa Piłsudskiego] on the pages of Pedagogical University of Cracow
*pl icon [http://www.krakow.friko.pl/html/remont_kopca_pilsudskiego.html Remont kopca Piłsudskiego w latach 2001 - 2002] based on articles from Dziennik Polski
*pl icon [http://www.naszdziennik.pl/index.php?typ=na&dat=20070726&id=na11.txt Mogiła Mogił] , Nasz Dziennik, 26 July 2007
*pl icon [http://miasta.gazeta.pl/krakow/5,35815,2388708.html Gallery] at Gazeta Wyborcza

External links

* [http://panoramy.zbooy.pl/360/pan/pod-kopcem-pilsudskiego/ Panoramic photo]


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