Swietokrzyski National Park

“The Jodlowa Forest of the Zeromski National Park” was the first name of the part of the area of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains on the Srodkowomalopolska Highland, on which Swietokrzyskie Mountains National Park was established in 1950. It covers the area of 7632 ha, of which 95% is covered by forests.

The Park comprises the main range of the oldest folded mountains in Europe with the highest peaks: Lysica (612 meters), and Lysa Gora (593 meters) built of palaeozoic sandstones, slates and quartzites. A great geological and landscape peculiarity here are the so called “goloborza” that is rubbles of quartizite stones from the Cambrian period situated near the summit, usually without vascular plants.

There are mainly forest communities here in which the dominating species is the fir-tree, which builds the basic group of endemic character, that is the Swietokrzyski fir-tree forest Abietum polonicum. The flora of vascular plants comprises almost 700 species, including 35 species of trees, e.g. the endemic Polish larch Larix polonica which has its refuge here on Gora Chelmowa (347 meters).

The fauna of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains is estimated at around 5000 species, including over 100 species of birds, e.g. the black grouse Tetrao tetrix and the lesser spotted eagle Aquila pomarina. One can also meet here rare and legally protected species from other groups e.g. reptiles – the smooth snake Coronella austriaca and amphibians – the alpine newt Triturus alpestris, the green toad Bufo viridis and the natter jack B. calamita. On the area of the Park on Lysa Gora there is a place of pagan cult from 9th century and a Benedictine’s monastery on Swiety Krzyz from the 15th and 19th century where the oldest monument of literature in Poland was written – the Swietokrzyskie Sermons.

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