3. FIELD SESSION IN THE HOLY CROSS MOUNTAINS (geology and mining history)


Field guides: Zdzisław M. Migaszewski, Agnieszka Gałuszka

Two days field trip. September, 3rd-4th (Friday and Saturday)

Duration: 7 a.m. – ( +1 day) 8 p.m. ( can be changed depends of traffic)
Starts: meeting point at 7 a.m. infront of the venue
Price include: bus transfer, one night accommodation, admission fee, snacks and refreshments in the bus, lunch, guide

First day

Arrival and accommodation in Kielce

Stop 1. Kadzielnia Geologic Reserve (European geosite T-08)
Kadzielnia Geologic Reserve encompasses Mt. Kadzielnia located in the south-central part of downtown Kielce. Established in 1962, the reserve occupies an area of about 0.6 hectares. The characteristic feature of this site is the Geologists’ Rock (295 m a.s.l.) that predominates over the landscape. The steep cliffs are all that remained of an abandoned quarry, in which high-grade limestone was extracted for lime production from 18th century through 1962. Mt. Kadzielnia is famous for the best exposed fossil reef in Poland. The Frasnian stromatoporoid-coral limestones are capped by a sequence of thick-bedded detrital limestones (calcarenites, calcirudites) passing upward into micritic Manticoceras and Cheiloceras limestones topped with Famennian marly limestones/marly shales. The other feature of this site is karstification that has been developed since the Permian period. There are 26 caves and numerous caverns on 2-3 levels, most of them formed in Neogene and Pleistocene, after uplifting of the area. There are paved paths for pedestrians, self-guided trails, a small pond, and an amphitheater for 5 000 seats at the bottom of the quarry.

Stop 2. Ślichowice Geologic Reserve (European geosite T-09)
The Jan Czarnocki Geologic Reserve at Mt. Ślichowice (303 m a.s.l.) was established in 1952. This occupies an abandoned quarry with an area of about 0.55 hectares. Both Frasnian and Famennian rocks are exposed here. Nonetheless, compared to the Kadzielnia limestones, the Frasnian series at Ślichowice is represented by marly, in places bituminous limestones with marly shale interbeds representing a deeper facies close to a coral reef. The most spectacular is the eastern face of the quarry where a recumbent fold built of Frasnian limestones is exposed. This is an educational example how rock masses could be deformed under tectonic stress. Locally, both Frasnian and Fammenian limestones are cut by calcite veins with traces of chalcopyrite, galena, sphalerite, pyrite, marcasite, tennantite, bravoite, gersdorffite, and even native gold.

Stop 3. Center of Geoeducation (Geopark) in Kielce
The Center of Geoeducation in Kielce is located in the norheastern part of the Wietrznia Abiotic Nature Reserve. This includes a building and a self-guided trail along the abandoned Upper Devonian quarry. The Center is a place where visitors can easily acquire a geologic knowledge using the state-of-the art methods of education. The scope of its activity includes: theoretical and practical geoeducation classes, field tours of different geotourist sites in Kielce and the neighboring area, sightseeing of Earth’s Gallery, and traveling on the 5D capsule to the Earth’s interior. The pivotal part of Earth’s Gallery is a permanent exhibition that includes the Devonian history of the Holy Cross Mountains and presentation of various geologic processes that have formed the landscape of this area.

Second day

Stop 4. Łysiec (“Bald”) Mount and Holy Cross cloister
The Holy Cross massif consists of two mounts: Łysiec (Bald) Mt. and Święty Krzyż (Holy Cross) Mt. The former mount is famous for the largest Pleistocene rockfield (in Polish “gołoborze”) that occurs on its northern slope of the massif. The Holy Cross cloister was founded by Benedictines presumably in the place of the pagan shrine in the 12th century. The name of this mount and the whole mountains comes from the Holy Cross reliquaries. In the medieval times, the cloister was the largest religious center of the Polish Kingdom. Inside the cloister, visitors can notice a variety of architectural pieces representing the Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods, for example, 15th century gothic cross vaults in the gallery or a beautiful 17th century Baroque Oleśnickis’ chapel with marble gravestones. The cloister museum stores a copy of the 13th century Świętokrzyskie sermons which are the earliest examples of Polish writing.

Stop 5. Neolithic Flint Mine at Krzemionki (World heritage site) Visiting depeds on technical conditions.
Krzemionki, also known as Krzemionki Opatowskie, is a famous archeological ‘zero-class’ reserve covering a Neolithic complex of striped flint mines. The striped flint (also named striped/zebra chert by geologists) was extracted during 3900–1600 BC. At that time the Krzemionki area ranked among the biggest flint mine centers of Europe. The raw material was used for manufacturing various tools, but especially scrapers, axes and chisels. There is a reconstructed late Neolithic – early Bronze settlement located near the mining field. The tourist trail connects two mines of about 465 m long. The striped cherts occur in uppermost Oxfordian platy limestones in the form of concretions and nodules varying from a few centimeters to 2 m across.

Min. participants: 10

Max. participants: 24