Attractions in the Ojcow National Park
The Ojcow National Park was established in 1956. It is located in the malopolskie region, approximately 16 kilometers away from Krakow. In the 19th century, the local nature suffered great loss – entire tree stands were cut out, and caves were dug up to colllect fertilizer.
The first plans of protecting this area were already conceived before World War II, but the fulfillment didn’t actually begin until 1953. Nowadays, the Ojcow National Park is a very popular tourist destination among people of Poland. This article will give you information about some of the most interesting attractions in the Ojcow National Park.
The Ciemna cave
The Ciemna cave is located at the area of the Ojcow National Park, at the slope of the Pradnik Valley. It is considered the largest cave in Krakow-Czestochowa Upland, as well as one of the most important places associated with the central period of the stone age in Poland. In 2018, archaeologists have discovered phalanges in this area, which are bones from the hand of a Neanderthal infant, dated on approximately 115.000 years ago.
The Ciemna cave is located at the height of approximately 65 meters above the bottom of the Pradnik Valley. It consists of one giant chamber with the length of 88 meters, the maximum width of 23 meters and the height of 10 meters.
The Lokietek cave
The Lokietek cave is a karst cave located in the Saspowska Valley, in the area of the Ojcow National Park.
According to legend, king Wladyslaw Lokietek found shelter in this cave for approximately 6 weeks after running away from the army of king Vaclav II of Czech. His life was saved by a spider, which covered the opening of the cave with its web, mistaking the army that chased him.
Nowadayas, the Lokietek cave is available for sightseeing. Tourists can get inside the cave through a narrow slit with the length of 20 meters.
The Pieskowa Skala castle
The Pieskowa Skala castle is located in the village of Suloszowa, at the area of the Ojcow National Park. The castle was first mentioned in a document published in 1315 by Wladyslaw Lokietek. In the first half of the 14th century, Kazimierz III the Great constructed a castle in this area, which was part of the so-called Eagles’ Nests Trail. Between 1542 and 1580, the gothic castle was transformed into a renaissance residence. In the 17th century, in the times of Michal Zebrzydowski, a system of bastion fortifications was created.
The Hercules Club
The Hercules Club is a rocky formation located in the area of the Ojcow National Park. It is situated on a rock terrace with the height of 8-12 meters. The Hercules Club itself is approximately 25 meters high. It is a very characteristic element of the landscape of the Pradnik Valley.
According to local people, the Hercules Club was first climbed by English people in the 19th century, but there is no evidence of that. Many articles and guide books have the information, that the Hercules Club was first conquered by Leon Witek in 1933.
The Krakow Gate
The Krakow Gate is one of several rocky gates in the Ojcow National Park, located in the Pradnik Valley. Its name originated from the historical trade route between Krakow and Silesia, which used to run through the Pradnik Valley. In 1928, a memory board was embedded within the Krakow Gate in honor of the construction of a new road between Krakow and Ojcow.
The columns of the Krakow Gate are built from blocks of Jurassic limestones with the height of approximately 15 meters. The gate was created as a result of erosive processes.