Fort „Prądnik Biały“ was built in 1907-08, as part of the expansion of the so-called new noyau in the fortress of Cracow. The construction of the fort was supervised by Captain Carl Konarski from the Geniedirektion Krakau.
Untill recently, the fort was preserved in a rather good condition. Although it was protected by law, Fort Prądnik Biały got completely demolished in April 2018.
The structure of the fort was designed to withstand artillery fire of medium caliber shells („Granatsicher“ class). The facade/rear wall of the barracks was 90 cm thick and constructed out of bricks, while the side walls were 150 cm thick and made out of stone. The flat concrete roof was 90 cm thick.
In the 1960ies the fort and its surroundings were taken by the Disabled Workers Co-operative and covered with industrial buildings. The original Barracks’ building – despite its large dimensions: approx. 40 meters long, 7 meters wide, and almost 4 meters high – was encased in a factory hall.
The fort’s premises have been adapted to changing rooms, warehouses, workshops, etc. They were heated and used on a daily basis, and so they were preserved in very good technical conditions. Some parts of the valuable historical details remained in situ – including the double-leaf steel entrance door. From the north side (nowadays Wybickiego Street), a hundred-meter section of the moat and ramparts of the fort was preserved, covered with old trees – relics of the fortress greenery, constituting the original masking. The fort hidden inside the industrial plant was seemingly safe… Unfortunately, at the same time it was absent in the collective consciousness of the inhabitants of Cracow.
In 2016, at the request of the then property owner (Co-operative) willing to sell the former fortress plot, Cracows‘ heritage office conducted an inspection. Conservation recommendations were issued officially: it was recommended that the earth cubage and greenery be preserved and be made accessible to the public; that the barracks building be unveiled and re-opened for maintenance, displaying the monument in a most favorable manner. At the same time, it was pointed out that it is necessary to preserve the object in the best possible condition, permitting the development only of a part of the plot where no structures of the fort existed.
Since 2017, the new owner and investor in this area was a real estate development company, intending the construction of a multi-family building complex. The very same year also saw, the heritage office issuing an auxiliary opinion for the Department of Architecture of the City Hall in order to draft a decision determining the building conditions. The guidelines repeated the recommendations of unveiling and maintaining of the barracks building and the preservation of greenery. It was aimed at a strict preservation of the relics of the fort.
In march 2018 the developer notified authorities of the intention to carry out works, involving the demolition of 15 contemporary objects of any value (warehouses, offices, sheds, production halls, garages, etc.). The Architecture Department obtained the strict opinion of the heritage office that the relics of the fort must be preserved and communicated it to the developer. The company was aware that demolition can not include the fort itself.
Despite the strict requirements, after almost 110 years of its existence, fort “Prądnik Biały” was illegally completly demolished in April 2018.
The media, relevant authorities and the local self-government were immediately informed about the matter after it became known to the OeGF. It seems more than evident, that this was an illegal, unauthorized action and the authorities need to take the necessary steps.
Das Noyauzwischenwerk Nr. 10 „Prądnik Biały“ wurde in den Jahren 1907-1908 als Teil des sogenannten neuen Noyaus der Festung Krakau errichtet. Bauleiter war Hauptmann Carl Konarski, zugeteilt der Geniedirektion Krakau.
Das Werk bestand aus einem zentralen granatsicheren Unterkunftsgebäude. Als Aufstellung für die Artillerie fungierten zwei offene Batterien im Bereich der Flanken mit jeweils einem granatsicheren Unterstand. Dem umlaufenden Infanteriewall war ein flacher Hindernisgraben vorgelegt.
Das Areal um das Werk wurde in den 1960er Jahren Teil einer Produktionsstätte. Die Hohltraversen im Bereich der Flanken wurden gesprengt, die Flanke- und der Kehlgraben weitgehend verfüllt. Das Kasemattkorps wurde teilweise überbaut und vom Betrieb genutzt, wodurch die innere Aufteilung Veränderungen erfuhren und es von außen nicht mehr sichtbar war. Trotz dieser Eingriffe war das Werk in weiten Teilen erhalten. Im Bereich des Kasemattkorps war unter anderem das zweiflügelige gewehrschusssichere Tor noch in situ.
Das Werk wurde im April 2018 ohne vorliegen der nötigen Bewilligungen und im Gegensatz zu den unmissverständlichen Vorgaben der Denkmalschutzbehörde, nämlich das Werk inklusive seiner Umgebung zu erhalten und der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich zu machen, zerstört.
Media coverage / Zeitungsberichte
report in/Bericht „rmf24.pl“ 17.04.18
report in/Bericht „gazetakrakowska.pl“ 16.04.18
report in/Bericht „gazetakrakowska.pl“ 23.04.2018