Did you know?
Those who like setting records should have a go at winning the Crown of the Polish Mountains. Among the 28 highest peaks are Rysy in the Tatras, Sniezka in the Karkonosze, Babia Gora in the Beskids, Tarnica in the Bieszczady, Szczeliniec Wielki in the Sudeten range and Lysica, the most imposing peak of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains.
The oldest visible mountain formation in Poland is the Pieprzowe Mountains near Sandomierz, estimated to be 500 million years old. The Sowie Mountains, on the other hand, are built from the oldest earth rocks – gneiss – which date from the time when liquid lava on the surface of our planet began to cool to form the earth’s shell. This happened 4.5 billion years ago.
The youngest mountains are the Tatras, which are also record-breakers for many other reasons. They contain the highest Polish peak (Rysy), the grandest waterfall (Wielka Siklawa), the longest cave (Wielka Sniezna) and the most challenging mountain trail (Orla Perc).
The lowlands are not to be left behind in terms of records. The largest single boulder in Poland is the Tryglaw of Tychowo, while Wiezyca is the highest point, not only of Kashubia, but also of the whole central European plain. And at the neighbouring sawmill, the longest plank of wood in the world was prepared. It is over 36 metres long and comes from a Douglas fir of record height.
The oldest tree in Poland is not any of the oaks of Rogalin (which together form the largest cluster of those trees in Europe), but the yew in Henrykow Lubanski, whose age dendrologists put at 1,250 years! Other pedigree trees, like the Chrobry oak of Piotrowice (720 years), the Komorow elm (440 years) and the pine near Minsk Mazowiecki (380 years), are mere youngsters in comparison.
Records often accumulate in one place. Swinoujscie has not only the widest beach, but also the tallest lighthouse in Poland and the longest stone breakwater in Europe! Nearby Wolin in turn is the largest Polish island, with the highest cliff and the most deeply turquoise lake in the country.
We also hold records at the world level: the world’s most imposing terminal moraine with a horseshoe shape (Luk Muzakowa), the only plate-structured mountains in Europe (the Table Mountains), the longest unregulated river in Europe (the Vistula) and the village most beloved of storks anywhere in the world: Zywkowo Bociania Wies near Gorowo Ilawieckie. It is home to over 200 storks.