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Lower Silesia - the land of extinct volcanoes

Lower Silesia - the land of extinct volcanoes

expoloreThis part of the Sudetes mountain chain is a metaphor for the Kaczawskie region – an extensive geological unit whose borders reach to the Wałbrzyskie  Foothills, the foothills of the Jizera Mountains, and the Sudetes Foothills.

It is made up mainly of stone deposited during successive ocean floods during the Palaeozoic metamorphosed during orogenic movements in the later geo logical epochs. The mountains themselves, and especially the foothills, would not appear as they do today if not for the volcanism of the Miocene epoch. It was during the Miocene that the basalts of the area were formed. As an example, Wilcza Góra (367 m a.s.l.) above Złotoryja is a lava neck, or the remains of a volcanic chimney trough which basaltic lava flowed up to a crater. In 1959 the peak was designated as a protected reserve due to a very curious arrangement of basalt columns uncovered during mining operations. Ostrzyca Proboszczowicka (501 m a.s.l.) and Czartowska Skała [Devil’s Rock] (463 m a.s.l.) are also volcanic necks. Gold and minerals eological processes including the motion of the Earth’s crust have caused the region to be extraordinarily rich in stones and minerals. The earth of the area contains pyrite, azurite, malachite, native silver, agate, amethyst, crystal, ruby, garnet. Veins of gold have also been known of in the Kaczawskie Foothills since the Middle Ages, and fortune hunters have panned the Bóbr and the Kaczawa in search of it. Gold has been mined in the areas of Lwówek Śląski and Złotoryja (meaning Golden Snout, and the German name of which, Goldberg, means Golden Mountain). After the Second World War, searches for uranium were conducted in the area around Kowary.

Lower Silesia lies in the south-western corner of Poland on the banks of the river Odra, at the point where Poland’s borders with the Czech Republic and Germany meet. The region contains more than 100 historical towns, with parks, gardens, castles and palaces, and monumental churches. The architecture to be found here includes rare Roman examples, along with unusual Silesian gothic, renaissance, baroque and neoclassical styles. Lower Silesia also has no fewer than 11 spa towns and health resorts offering affordable spa treatment, from a total of 29 across the country. In order to fnd the real pearls of Lower Silesia, visitors should explore not only the beautiful regional capital of Wrocław but also the smaller towns and villages, where many of our most extraordinary monuments are hidden and go undescribed in guidebooks. Legnica, Jelenia Góra, Bolesławiec, Złotoryja, Lwówek Śląski, Płóczki Górne, Lubomierz are just a few examples of the many other.