Ojcow National Park


Jerzy Skarżyński

A mere twenty minutes or so out of town northwards by motorized vehicle we encounter the Ojcow Natural Park – an area of such outstanding natural beauty that it is almost hard to believe that it lies so close at hand.

While it is the smallest of Poland’s national parks, it still manages to encompass fragments of a Jurassic limestone plateau (150-180 million years old) and two (admittedly minor) river valleys. And that’s just for starters; here you will also find the ruins of a number of castles (a Renaissance one in Pieskowa Skala, a Gothic in Ojcow itself), caves famous for both legendary-human and bat habitation, a natural science museum and just about all the walks you can handle unless you’re a hardcore hiking nut with plenty of time on your hands.

For the amateur there are guided tours aplenty. The archeological record shows traces of human habitation in the Paleolithic period, and evidence of flint mines in the Neolithic. If, on your wanderings, you encounter bands of stone age thugs having at one another with primitive weapons, be not alarmed: you have either a) been transported back in time, or b) are witnessing a prearranged off-the-radar clash between fans of Wisla and Cracovia.

You should be fine either way if you hang back, mind your own business and do not take photos. But joking aside: this is a stunningly beautiful and fascinating place, just 16 km from the city centre. Who still thinks they can ‘get through’ Krakow in a long weekend?


Tags: park, beauty, national, ruins, ojcow, twenty minutes, natural, jurassic
  • Latest modification: December 16, 2011 2:51:48 PM
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