The Austrian authorities officially recognized Kraków as a fortress in 1856. After the expansion, Kraków Fortress became the largest stronghold in the entire Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
During the fights in the autumn of 1914, the fortress played a crucial role in halting the Russian “stream roller” offensive. The trail, featuring 38 large forts and many smaller fortification and military structures, runs mostly along the so-called front military road, i.e. a road providing connection between particular parts of the fortress. The trail is marked with the colours of the Habsburg Monarchy: yellow and black. The trail consists of two sections: northern (60 km) and southern (41 km) and. The former runs along the northern bank of the Vistula River from Mogiła Fort, along the forts located north of the city, to the west toward Bielany, where it returns through the Wolski Forest and Sikornik Hill to Salwator. Whereas the southern section links the forts located south of the Vistula River: from Lasówka Fort, along the forts of the southern part of the external fortress ring, to the west, where it turns back along the Vistula toward Krzemionki in Podgórze, and ends in the unique St. Benedict’s Fort.