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Jurassic and Beskids caves

Jurassic and Beskids caves

jaskinia Łokietka
Caves are the most characteristic elements of the landscape of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. They were formed as a result of karst processes taking place in Jurassic limestones. The region of Ojców is particularly rich in caves.

The biggest accessible cave is Jaskinia Wierzchowska Górna, which has been recognised as a nature monument of the “Dolinki Podkrakowskie” Jurassic Sce-nic Park and constitutes one of the crucial elements of the “Jurassic Ring”. It is visited annually by over 20 thousand tourists, largely thanks to the breathtaking layers of dripstone covering the roof and walls of the cavern. Other attractions include paleontological and geomorphological expositions, as well as bats (mainly lesser horseshoe bats) and the rare Meta menardi spiders. Another interesting place to visit is Łokietek’s cave, situated near the top of Góra Chełmowa. It is worth examining its beautiful iron gate in the shape of a spider’s web, which is a reference to the legend about king Łokietek. It is worth adding that it is one of Poland’s most famous caves and one of the most widely recognisable symbols of the Ojców National Park. Jaskinia Nietoperzowa (Bat Cave), in turn, is situated in the upper part of the Będkowska Valley and is accessible only for guided tours. This cave is well-known for being an example of the so called “Jerzmanowice culture”. It was home to a number of flint grottoes and spears created by the first Homo sapiens. It is in this cave that several scenes from With Fire and Sword were shot. Right next to the Kraków gate is the Dark Cave (Jaskinia Ciemna), numbered among Poland’s most precious archaeological wonders. The first traces of the existence of prehistoric man in this very cave date back to over 115 thousand years ago. This cave is also unlike any other because of its amazing stretches of pipelike stalactites and huge but stable stalagmites, whose height reaches up to 1 metre. When touring the caves of Małopolska, one cannot overlook Kraków’s Smocza Jama (Dragon’s Liar). The Dragon of Wawel is a legend but it is also a historical-cultural phenomenon, as well as a rare crustacean – Niphargus ta-trensis.


 

Zimna Dziura (Cold Hole) Cave

Wierzchowska Górna Cave

Grota Łokietka (Łokietek Cave)

Nietoperzowa (Bat) Cave

Ciemna (Dark) Cave

Smocza Jama (Dragon Liar)

Route length (m)

6

700

320

300

230

80

Visiting time (min)

10

45

30

30

30

20

 Temperature (°C)

3,5-5,5

7,5

7,5

7,5

7,5

8

Visits only with a guide

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Electric lighting

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Opening hours

All year long

9 IV–30 XI

19 IV–30 X

1 IV–11 XI

28 IV–30 XI

1 IV–31 X

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