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The Liberation Mound

“Let the Liberation Mound constitute forever a visible sign of heroic and victorious deeds of the Silesian people and of their loyalty to the home country.”

Excerpt from the document issued to mark the consecration of the Liberation Mound on 20 June 1937.

Piekary Śląskie

The town is located in Upper Silesia, where the preservation of Polish national traditions and language is long-established. The activity of Piekary parish priest Alojzy Ficek (1790−1862), and Teodor Heneczek (1817 – 1888), Upper Silesian printer, editor and publisher, bears testimony to the town’s special character. Piekary also made a huge contribution to the three Silesian uprisings. Insurgents from the town fought at various sites – in particular during the 3rd Silesian Uprising (1921), taking part in the Battle of St. Anne’s Mountain. During the same uprising, insurgents took their oath in Kocie Górki, a district of Piekary, where the first insurgent was killed. In the interwar period, Piekary Śląskie belonged to Poland.


Shortly before the Mound was erected, it had been established that the construction would take place on Kocie Wzgórze (German Katzenberg), called Kocie Łby (cat heads) or Kocie Górki (cat hills) by the locals. This was a place where for ages metal ores had been extracted. Shallow shafts were drilled to this end in close proximity to one another, and the mined earth was piled in the neighbourhood. This is how characteristic oval mounds were created, similar in shape to cat heads.


The idea to erect a mound first emerged in the second half of the 19th century on the initiative of Wawrzyniec Hajda, a blind local miner and activist, called Silesian Vernyhora, a tribute to the legendary 18th century bard and clairvoyant Vernyhora. According to his concept, the mound was supposed to commemorate the march of the Polish army led by King John III Sobieski through Piekary (1683) to Vienna and the monarch’s visit in the local church. The idea was abandoned at the time, and the Prussian authorities arrested Hajda on the charge of inciting the populace. It was taken up again during the interwar period, but in an enhanced version, to commemorate not only the regal splendour of Sobieski’s times, but also the sacrifice of Silesian insurgents. The construction began in 1932 and ended in 1937 according to the design made by engineer Eugeniusz Zaczyński. The mound was erected from stones and earth transported from various places, including also sites of patriotic martyrdom. The ceremony of consecration of the Liberation Mound took place on 20 June 1937 with the participation of state authorities. This is the largest and most important monument commemorating the Silesian uprisings in Upper Silesia.

Dariusz Pietrucha