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The Land of Extinct Volcanoes. A geopark in Poland has been added to the UNESCO list

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The Land of Extinct Volcanoes was added to the UNESCO World Geoparks list on Wednesday. The geopark located in the Sudetes is the third place in our country distinguished in this way. – This confirms that Poland can boast a geological heritage of international importance – said Dr. Katarzyna Szadkowska, head of the Deposit and Environmental Geology Laboratory at the Lower Silesian Branch of PGI-PIB in Wrocław.

The Land of Extinct Volcanoes is located within the Kaczawskie Mountains and Foothills. It stretches in the area between Złotoryja and Jelenia Góra. It is one of the most tectonic and geological areas of Poland. It covers an area of ​​1,300 square kilometers.

In the geopark you can come across the remains of volcanic activity from three different periods of Earth's history: Early Paleozoic volcanism – about 500 million years ago, Late Paleozoic (Permian) – about 270 million years ago and Cenozoic – about 20 million years ago. Each of these episodes is represented by numerous rock formations of volcanic origin, which distinguishes the region on the map not only of Poland, but also of Europe.

“It's not just volcanic rocks”

– As the national geological service, we are extremely proud that the Land of Extinct Volcanoes Geopark has joined the UNESCO World Network of Geoparks as the third geopark in our country. This confirms that Poland can boast a geological heritage of international importance, said Dr. Katarzyna Szadkowska, head of the Deposit and Environmental Geology Laboratory at the Lower Silesian Branch of the National Geological Institute of National Research Institute in Wrocław.

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She added that special congratulations are due primarily to the Kaczawa Association, which manages the Geopark and for years has been involved in activities related to joining the group of UNESCO World Geoparks.

– Volcanoes stimulate the imagination and attract tourists. However, we must remember that the Land of Extinct Volcanoes is not only about volcanic rocks – said Dr. Katarzyna Szadkowska, head of the Deposit and Environmental Geology Laboratory at the Lower Silesian Branch of PGI-PIB in Wrocław. As she explained, “we will also find other types of rocks here, from various geological periods, which tell us, among other things, about ancient sea reservoirs and processes taking place deep inside the Earth. They are also traces of ancient mining, monuments and living nature.”

The Land of Extinct VolcanoesShutterstock

UNESCO World Geoparks are places where geological, natural and cultural heritage is promoted and protected, while activating the local community. In addition to the geopark from Poland, 17 geoparks from different parts of the world joined the list on Wednesday.

Three Polish geoparks on the UNESCO list

The Land of Extinct Volcanoes geopark joined two other geoparks in Poland included on the UNESCO list. These are: Geopark Łuk Mużakowa (added to the list in 2011) and Geopark Świętokrzyski (from 2021). The cross-border Geopark Łuk Muskakowa was the first in Poland to receive the rank of a UNESCO World Geopark. It is partly located in our country, in the Lubusz Voivodeship, and partly – on the German side. A geotourist path leads through the geopark. The geological values ​​of this place are complemented by naturally valuable forest complexes and garden compositions. The Świętokrzyskie Geopark is located in the western part of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains – in the city of Kielce and four neighboring communes. This geopark is characterized not only by its unique geological heritage on a European scale, but also by the closely related historical and cultural values ​​of the region.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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