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1850/Constructing Fort “Kościuszko”
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1850/Constructing Fort "Kościuszko"

In the middle of the 19th century the partitioning power of Austria decided to make Krakow a fortress in a series of planned fortification on the border. On a strategically located hill, which overlooked the road to Silesia, the authorities have decided to construct a fort. That hill was Blessed Bronislawa’s Hill on which the Mound is located. The Committee was forced to grant the Ministry of War in Vienna the land surrounding the Mound, under the stipulation that single morgen of land on which the Mound is located will remain extraterritorial, thus preserving the Mound and allowing the Committee to continue its role as caretaker.

The Austrians began construction of the fort called “Kościuszko”. They surrounded the base of the Mound with a retaining wall, which included a neo-gothic chapel of Blessed Bronislawa, designed by Feliks Księżarski, in exchange for the destroyed earlier chapel, another of the Committee’s stipulations.

The Fort, created by the occupying power of Austria, was created in the years 1850-54 by renowned architects, Cabogi and Pidolli among others. It was a citadel fort, its architecture showed the mature period of historicism with some neo-gothic and neo-renaisannce elements.The past tense is unfortunately accurate, since it has not been preserved in its entirety. In 1945-1956 the entry gate, south-west bastion and cavalier were destroyed. Now the remains have been overgrown by the local forest.  Despite that, Fort 2 “Kościuszko” is considered by the experts of 19th century fortifications as a world class example of that era.

Together with the selling of the land used for the fort, the deed to the Tomb-Monument of Kościuszko, sometimes called the Mound, has been registered in the proper way. The Mound was considered in them as a National Foundation of The Tomb-Monument of Tadeusz Kościuszko, since it has been the nation that erected it in thanks and the nation remains its owner.

The committee has been decided as the representative of the foundation, the Mound’s caregiver and renovator. When one considers it, it turns out that, in light of how it was registered, the Mound was the only scrap of independent land of the former Republic of Poland, held in the name of Nation by the national institution, the Committee. Until the dissolution of the Republic of Krakow (1846-1848) the Committee was treated as an official subordinate body of that small country. After that it was subordinate to the Galician governor office, and later, during the galician autonomy, the Emperor’s representative in Lviv. It must be said, that due to the respect that people sitting in the Committee held it was treated fairly and was mostly independent in its decisions.

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