Swietokrzyskie region

The oldest mountains in Europe – the Pepper Mountains, caves full of marvels from the Kras era, dinosaur prints and the fossils of unique shell fish. Musical motifs and historical sites of technology from the Stone Age, Iron Age and industrial revolution. Those are the treasures of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship.

The Świętokrzyskie Voivodship looks inconspicuous on the map. One of the smallest Voivodships in Poland it is squeezed between central Mazowsze and to the south, Małopolska. Kielce is its capital, the cradle of Polish hip-hop and the only Polish town that has a monument to … Miles Davis. The over 2 meter high monument of the musician adorns the square in front of the Cultural Center.
Kielce is often called an ‘open air geological museum’. There are 4 geological sites within the area of the town, i.e. Kadzielnia, a fossilized sea bottom with the remains of corals, crabs and unique shell fish. In the Jurassic Park in Bałtów, there examples of almost 40 dinosaurs and you can see the prints of huge reptiles, the predatory allosaur and gentle stegosaur.

Świętokrzyskie has holds many records. The ruins of the biggest castle, (Krzyżtopór in Ujazd), the most beautiful cave, (Raj – paradise) and one of the oldest oak trees in the country, (Bartek in Zagnańsk). And the Pepper Mountains, considered by geologists as the oldest mountain range in Europe!

The 500 million year old ‘Peppers’ lie at the eastern end of the Voivodship, near Sandomierz. Oxidised and crumbling, covered with wild roses they are a unique geological-nature reserve. Their competition, the not much younger Świętokrzyskie Mountains are famous for slopes covered with disintegrating rocks (Gołoborze), fir forests and witches’ Sabbaths, and we should add here, the most important ones in Middle Europe.

You can also follow the trail of the technological historical sites in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodship. In Krzemionki Opatowskie go underground and discover the skills involved in excavating the stripped silicate in one of the oldest European mines dating back 5 thousand years. In Nowa Słupia there is an opportunity of learning something about the technology of smelting iron and seeing the furnaces used in the 2nd century BC. In parts of the Old-Polish Industrial Zone there is still evidence to be seen of the consequences of the Industrial Revolution.

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