Neglected Fort Łapianka shines again
It is to be the most modern and technologically most advanced museum facility in Kraków. The renovated Fort Łapianka and a new building with green areas and a campsite will soon be available for use. As a result, the capital of Małopolska will become a centre of the European scout movement.
‘I can say with full certainty that the attractiveness of this place and its interactiveness will be comparable to the attractiveness of the museum in the basement of the Kraków Market Square or the Museum of Municipal Engineering, which attract huge interest and are highly appreciated by inhabitants and tourists. The fact that this place will be managed by scouts guarantees that the facility will teem with life every day. I will argue that this will be the most modern museum in Kraków, as the site certainly creates such an opportunity,’ says Tadeusz Trzmiel – the president of the Management Board of Krakowski Holding Komunalny SA, former deputy mayor of Kraków, scoutmaster and member of the Task Group for the Museum of the Scout Movement. He adds that the mission of the Museum and Centre for the Scout Movement (a branch of the Kraków Museum) is to combine a place giving a chance to learn about the ideas, methods and traditions of scouting with the space where scouts from around the world will be active. And it will be an attractive leisure destination for Kraków inhabitants and tourists.
The new attraction on the map of Kraków at Forteczna Street will consist of two facilities. The first one is Fort 52a ‘Jugowice’ vel ‘Łapianka’, which was thoroughly rebuilt. Thanks to the decision to create the Museum and Centre of the Scout Movement, a chance has emerged to save the fort, which was one of the most dilapidated of the remaining structures of the Kraków Fortress. After World War II, a fruit wine production plant operated in the fort for many years. ‘The water from the fruit washing process was routed down the channel inside the fort, which led to the deterioration of the building.’ In addition, numerous extensions distorted the historical layout of this structure, which was in terrible condition at the time of commencement of works,’ describes Tadeusz Trzmiel. ‘Now we are “restoring” this place to Kraków residents. Currently the last stage of work is under way – the rooms are being modified to be fitted with modern devices and installations,’ adds Tadeusz Trzmiel.
The second facility comprising the Museum and Centre of the Scout Movement is a two-storey building with an area of 3,000 m2. It will contain premises for permanent and temporary exhibitions and for conference rooms. These, however, have been put under the ground so as not to disturb the historical layout of the fort. They are covered with a partly green and partly glass roof. Finishing works are under way. ‘The green areas surrounding the buildings are a great attraction of this place. They will include, e.g., a tent site and a campfire site for up to 300 persons. I have little doubt that the site will be used not only by scouts, but summer camps for Kraków schoolchildren will be held there, too,’ says Tadeusz Trzmiel. The first scout troops will have this place at their disposal by the time spring comes.
Centre of European scouting
The cost of the entire investment – the renovation of the fort, the construction of the new building and the revitalisation of green areas – is over 34 million PLN, with external funds accounting for 9 million PLN. ‘The advantage of this place is its location, right near Zakopiańska Street, with good access by public transport and by car. And the method of land development, functions based on modern technologies and the availability of various forms of leisure will make the offer of this place really competitive to other forms of leisure available to young people. There is no other place like this in Europe,’ says Tadeusz Trzmiel.
Today the Polish Scouting Association is the biggest youth organisation in Poland. Currently it comprises over 100,000 members, 9,000 of whom live in the Małopolska Region. This number grows every year. In this respect, the Polish Scouting Association – Kraków Banner is the third largest banner in Poland.
The text was published in the Kraków.pl biweekly.