Fort 44 ‘Tonie’ – one of the most interesting forts in Europe
The artillery fort erected in 1881–1884 was thoroughly modernised in 1910. Its aim was to control the Prądnik (Białucha) river valley and the route to Olkusz. Its artillery armament included four rapid-fire guns with a 8 cm calibre in retractable rotary armoured towers. The fort had a heavy stationary armoured observation & combat dome in its central part. It did not take part in the First World War. Fort Tonie is located at 3 Jurajska Street.
As the most modern fort, it was kept ready for use as a part of the Kraków Fortress Camp by the Polish Army for the entire interwar period. In September 1939, it guarded the retreat of the Kraków Army towards the east with a gunfire to prevent the surrender of the city to the Germans. During the occupation period, the Nazis arranged their warehouses and workshops there; at the time of their retreat, they blew up one of the domes and some of the armoured portions.
After the war, it was used by the Polish People’s Army; in 1966, it became a civil property. Its current owner is the Kraków City Commune.
The elements of the fort that have survived until now include the Austrian-Hungarian retractable rotating towers, or at least a large part of them – a unique item on a worldwide scale – as well as observation and combat domes, gates and grilles. The access road provides a view of the panorama of Kraków – and against the background of the mountains, as well, weather permitting.
Accessibility: on sightseeing days to be agreed upon by the Council Building Administration with organisations promoting the heritage of the Kraków Fortress. For more information about the Council Building Administration, visit: www.zbk-krakow.pl.