Holy Cross Mountains

holy cross mountainsSwietokrzyskie Mountains, the oldest in Poland and Europe, are located in the centre of the country, encircling the city of Kielce. Their slopes are thickly forested, mainly with beech and fir. The highest part of the range is called Lysogory, with the highest summits of Lysica (612 m) and Lysa (595 m). Swietokrzyskie means “Holy Cross” and the use of this name derives from that of an old Benedictine abbey located on Lysa Mountain. In earlier times, the higher summits of Swietokrzyskie Mountains were places of pagan worship.

The year 1950 saw the establishment of the Swietokrzyski National Park, which was to include almost all of the Swietokrzyskie Mountains. These days, as many as 187 species of animals and 49 species of plants in the Park are protected by law. The great oddity of the park is the so-called goloborze, large areas of rock rubble from the Cambrium period that are mostly destitute of vegetation. Apart from nature’s natural attractions, the mountainous Swietokrzyskie region has an impressive concentration of valuable sacral architecture.

HOW TO GET THERE 
Visitors have a choice of three international airports (Warsaw, Krakow, and Katowice) with direct access to Kielce, the main city of the region. The airport in Warsaw is 180 km away, the one in Krakow is 120 km while Katowice’s is 145 km. Each has a direct rail link, the journey from Warsaw takes approximately 3 hours, from Krakow it is approximately 2 hours and from Katowice it is some 3 hours. Another alternative is to take a bus from a number of European cities.

 

A LIST OF HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS IN POLAND

Beskid Makowski
Beskid Maly
Beskid Mountains (East)
Beskid Mountains (West)
Beskid Niski
Beskid Sadecki
Beskid Slaski
Beskid Wyspowy
Beskid Zywiecki
Bialowieza Forest
Biebrza River
Bieszczady
Bory Tucholskie
Gdansk Bay and Hel Peninsula
Gorce
Greater Poland National Park
Holy Cross Mountains
Ilawa Lakes
Jura Krakowsko-Czestochowska
Kampinos & Lowicz area
Karkonosze Mountains
Kaszuby
Kurpie
Lake Zegrze and lower Narew
Lubusz Lakeland
Masuria
Masuria (centre)
Masuria (East)
Narew River
Pieniny
Podhale
Polesie
Pomerania and Slowinski National Park
Roztocze
Sowie and Kamienne Mountains
Stolowe Mountains and Klodzka Land
Suwalki
Tatra Mountains
Vistula Spit and Zulawy Wislane
Warmia
Warsaw area
Western Pomerania