Geography & Geology

Polish Jurassic Highland or Krakow – Czestochowa Upland is beautiful but relatively unknown part of south-central Poland. It stretches for around 100 kilometers between two well-known cities: Krakow and Czestochowa. Every year thousands of tourists visit these two Polish cities not even knowing that the land between them is also worth seeing…

Jurassic Highland belongs to the region called Lesser Poland and its situated just on the border with Uppers Silesia.

The highest point of Jura is Gora Janowskiego (Janowski’s Hill) in Podzamcze near Ogrodzieniec; 515,5 meters above sea level.

The whole Jura is covered with white lime rocks of extraordinary shapes, cliffs, pillars etc. eroded by karstic processes. It is also full of small and huge caves (one of the biggest is Wierzchowska Gorna Cave), dark forests and picturesque valleys.

Twardowski's Gate
Twardowski’s Gate

The oldest rock formations are dated to Devonian period (ca. 395-345 millions years ago) but most of them were formed during Jurassic Period (around 150 millions years ago). During this time warm, shallow sea was covering this area. The remains of sea animals, like for example cephalopods, brachiopods, mussels, sea snails, sponges etc., created our today’s magnificent rocks and cliffs.

The sea disappeared ca. 65 mln years ago at the end of Cretaceous Period. And after that thousands of years of karstic phenomena created today’s landscape of Jura.

If you search carefully you can still find remains of different prehistoric creatures among the rocks, for example beautiful fossils of ammonites like one on the photo below.

Ammonite fossil from Polish Jura
Ammonite fossil from Polish Jura