07.1997/The Catastrophe of 1997
The downpours at the beginning of summer 1997 led to a sudden erosion of the slopes of Kościuszko Mound. On large swathes of the sides, breaks and landslides formed. The paved paths broke apart and majority of them were completely ruined. The viewing platform on top leaned towards north-west and threatened to drop the many tonne rock on the chapel of Blessed Bronisława. The entire structure of the Mound began to break apart in half. That many breaks and fissures allowed rainwater to enter the structure and threatened the existence of the Mound.
The Committee notified the Conservator Office and the Construction Oversee Division about the state of the Mound. The experts considered the state of the Mound as a construction catastrophe. As that happened the Committee on its own began to secure the largest landslides from further penetration by rainwater. Since it has been the greatest calamity to affect the Mound in its history, it was closed to all visitors. The Committee continued to petition the authorities and the society to help save this important national heritage site. The situation was further worsened by the downpours near St. John’s day in 1998. The Committee hired Polibeton from Warsaw to prepare a plan of saving the Mound, based on the concept made in the University of Science in Krakow. The damage was estimated at 15 million PLN. Financing became a problem. From the humble funds offered by the Social Committee of Renovating the Monuments of Krakow given in the years 1998-99 the Committee could only protect the Mound from further penetration by rainwater, by covering it until reconstruction could take place.
In November 1999 money was given from the flood restoration fund and on 5th of December that year restoration could began. The Mound was then changed in the registry to being owned by the state. The reconstruction was performed by the Hydrotrest-Skanska company and it was overseen by Revalorisation Department of Krakow’s Monuments. However the amount given covered only a third of the required cost.