Kroczyce is a village in southern Poland, situated nearby the town of Zawiercie. Despite its small size, Kroczyce has a lot to offer. Picturesque landscapes and clean and healthy air attract thousands of tourists every year. Kroczyce is also a paradise for active travellers, especially those who practise cycling, skiing, hiking and cross-country running. Local trails run through the most beautiful and picturesque regions of Krakow-Czestochowa Upland.
Kroczyce Commune lies on one of the most attractive terrains of Krakow-Czestochowa Upland, which is sometimes called “a pearl of Polish landscape.” This region is perfect for active visitors, especially those who appreciate spelunking and mountain hiking. There are as many as eight caves in the commune. These are: Gleboka (English: Deep, 160 metres long), Wielkanocna (English: Easter, 70 meters long and 16 metres deep), Piaskowa (English: Sandy, 60 metres long), Wielka Studnia Szpatowcow (English: the Great Well of Spar Miners, 58 metres long, 36,5 metres deep), Sulmowa (46 metres long, 11,5 metres deep), the cave in Kroczyce (60 metres long) as well as Zabia (English: Frog, 59 metres long) and Berkowa (54 metres long) caves. Each of them is interesting and worth visiting, but a special attention should be paid to the cave in Kroczyce. It was founded in 1937 but it is probably 2,000 years old. It was discovered by calcite explorers, who found pottery fragments and human and animal relics there. Interesting is the fact that they were covered with the dripstone. There are speculations that the cave used to serve as a cemetery to which dead people’s bodies were thrown during an epidemic.
Mountain hiking enthusiasts will also find something for themselves here. The most attractive places for hiking are undoubtedly Kroczyce and Podlesice Rocks. Kroczyce Rocks are a mountain range located west from Kroczyce. What is special about these mountains is their shapes, resembling humans, animals and buildings. Their names are even connected to their shapes, for example the Big Camel (Polish: Duży Wielbłąd). Podlesice Rocks are also located west from Kroczyce. The highest mountain here is the Sulmow Mountain, on the top of which there is a famous library. The terrains of Podlesice Rocks are beautiful and picturesque. Covered with forests with many gullies they are one of hiking lovers’ favourite places.
Kroczyce is a village in the Silesian Voivodeship, in Zawiercie County and Kroczyce Commune. It is populated by approximately 1,700 people.
Kroczyce Commune is composed of 19 villages and has a total area of 11,015 ha. Within the commune there is the Landscape Park Complex, on the area of which highly protected regions were settled, i.e. the Eagles’ Nests Landscape Park (Polish: Park Krajobrazowy Orlich Gniazd) and the Zborow Mountain Nature Reserve (Polish: Rezerwat przyrody „Góra Zborów”).
Kroczyce is one of the most popular and eagerly visited by tourists commune of Zawiercie County. It is annually visited by approximately 50 thousand people. Tourists are mostly attracted by the local events and many accommodation places.
The history of Kroczyce Commune dates back to the Middle Ages. In the 14th century the present area of Kroczyce Commune belonged to the Lesser Poland and as a result of the Third Partition of Poland it was joined to the New Silesia. After 12 years the New Silesia was joined to the Duchy of Warsaw, which after the Congress of Vienna was transformed into the Kingdom of Poland. In 1918, after Poland had regained independence, Kroczyce Commune was a part of Olkusz County and in the interwar period of Kielce Voivodeship.
During the Second World War many battles between Polish resistance movement and German troops took place in Kroczyce Commune. Local farmers played a leading role in the organisation of these fights. In April 1941 Kruk (English: Raven), i.e. a local company of Peasants’ Battalions (Polish: Bataliony Chłopskie, BCh) was established. In 1942 it had as many as 1,200 members. This allowed for transforming the companies into battalions. In this region the German occupation ended in January 1945, when the Soviet Army came to Kroczyce and freed the village and the whole region.