For explorers of the Kraków Fortress
When you plan to sightsee the facilities of the Kraków Fortress, it is good to remember some basic rules and important information:
- The Kraków Fortress is not just one building – it comprises over 100 facilities located in various parts of the city and just beyond its borders.
- Some of the fortress buildings are still used for military purposes and, therefore are not accessible to visitors.
- A large group of fortress structures are arranged for civil purposes and can be sightseen, but not all of them are fully or even partly available. Before starting the tour, check if it is possible to enter their premises. Owners or lessors of these fortifications often put such information on their website.
- Many buildings of the Kraków Fortress do not have... traditional addresses (i.e., an assigned street and building number). Many “addresses” only help to locate the building in the topography of the city. You can check how to reach them most easily on administrators’ websites or on Google Maps.
- In the times of Austria–Hungary, taking photographs of fortified places of strategic importance was prohibited. Therefore, there are few photographs showing the forts of the Kraków Fortress before and during World War I.
- The Kraków Fortress was built by Austrians, but its function was not to hold Kraków captive – it served military purposes.
- Some places were used for criminal activity by Nazi and Stalinist regimes – keep this in mind especially when sightseeing Bastion ‘Luneta Warszawska’ [Warsaw Lunette] and Fort 49 ‘Krzesławice’.
- In many buildings of the Kraków Fortress, institutions managing them prepared exhibitions or places of remembrance illustrating the history of these sites.
- Many institutions or non-governmental organisations cultivating the memory and heritage of the Kraków Fortress organise tours on its trails. Guides are experts in the field, so it is a good idea to use this form of learning about Kraków’s history.
- It is worth reading the available information about the Kraków Fortress and the times in which it was established. The 19th century is the moment of birth of the modern world in terms of the development of the technical, social, natural, economic and political sciences, the fruits of which we still find useful virtually in every aspect of life. On the other hand, World War I and its consequences became a matrix for World War II and had a tremendous impact on the entire 20th century.