Ojcowski National Park

Ojcowski National Park znajduje się w Lesser Poland Voivodeship, around 16 km from Krakow. It is located in the area of ​​four communes:

-Scale

-Jerzmanowice - Przeginia

-Great Village

-Sułoszowa

It is the smallest of the Polish national parks, and its symbol is the bat.

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Ojcow National Park - description

Already at the beginning of the XNUMXth century, people admired the richness of flora and fauna of the Prądnik Valley and explored the local caves.

The legislation at that time, however, completely ignored the issues of nature protection. Therefore, valuable manure material was extracted from the caves with impunity and rock formations were broken off.

In the interwar period, the State Council for Nature Conservation was established. Its head was prof. Dr. Władysław Szafer, who developed the first nature monograph of the Prądnik and Sąspowska Valleys.

It was planned to create a nature reserve in this area, which, apart from the protection of its natural treasures, was also to serve as an area of ​​scientific research, and for tourists and vacationers to be a source of unforgettable aesthetic impressions.

However, it was only after the end of World War II that efforts to legally protect this area were resumed, i.e. the creation of a nature reserve or a national park in Ojców was planned.

On January 14, 1956, the sixth in Poland - Ojców National Park was established. Today, its area is 2145,62 ha, and the area of ​​the protection zone, known as the buffer zone, is an additional 6777 ha.

How to visit the Ojców National Park?

The total length of tourist paths running through the Ojców National Park is 46,6 km.

On some sections of the trails in the Ojców National Park, you can travel not only on foot, but also by bike. These routes are properly marked.

Attractions of Ojców National Park and the surrounding area

- a hermit's hut in the Sukiennice rock

- Jonaszówka rock at the junction of the Prądnik Valley and the Sąspowska Valley, which is an excellent vantage point over the father's castle

-The Spring of Love is a natural spring that begins at the Kraków Gate, but the water flows from a specially built plinth. The legend says that those in love who drink the water from this spring will love each other for the rest of their lives.

-Source of St. John

-villa "Pod Koroną", where Jadwiga Łuszczewska (Deotyma) once lived

- the needle of Deotymy, named after Jadwiga Łuszczewska, who wrote under the pseudonym "Deotyma". The writer lived in the nearby villa "Pod Korona".

-plantation of the Ojców birch, an endemic occurring only in this area

- the ruins of the medieval paternal castle from the times of Casimir the Great, which in the past was part of the fortifications, the so-called Eagles' Nests

-chapel "On the Water" of St. Józef Robotnik, built in 1901 on the site of the former spa baths. According to tradition, when the Russian invader banned the construction of sacred buildings on paternal soil, clever residents built a chapel on the Prądnik River

-Osada Młynarska Boroniówka - a historic, but working mill and water sawmill. It is a place where educational activities, workshops and outdoor events take place

-Grodzisko - the church and hermitage of Bl. Salomea on the Dluga rock

-the Club of Hercules rock with a cross on the top, commemorating its first conquest in 1933.

- Castle in Pieskowa Skała - branch of the Wawel Museum

- buildings of mills from the nineteenth century (Boroń, Katarzyńskich, Natkańca, Tarnówka) and the first half of the twentieth century (Bosaka, Krzemień, Krzystanka, Mosura, Wilka)

- Castle Park

-Cave Dark

-The Elbow Group

- Krakowska Gate, where according to legend, the pillars of the gate are slowly approaching each other. When they merge, the end of the world will come, so tourists will support the rocks with branches and sticks just in case. The name comes from the medieval trade route leading from Krakow.

-the buildings of the old hotels: "Pod Łokietkiem" and "Pod Kazimierzem"

-Museum of the Ojców National Park with an exhibition of nature, located in the former Hotel "Pod Łokietkiem"

-traditional paternal trout farming carried out in the Ojców National Park

-Maiden Rocks, the name of the rocks in memory of the Poor Clares, fleeing Tatars from the monastery in Zawichost. Defending themselves against disgrace, they pleaded with God to turn them into rocks

-Bachelor Rocks - rocks opposite the Maiden Rocks. The name of these rocks was given "so that the virgins would not be sad"

- rock Glove - according to legend, it was created when the local people hid in a cave from the Tatars, and God covered the entrance to the grotto with his own hand

-Villa Koziarnia - a manor house built of stone and wood in the interwar period

-The Okopy Hill - a defensive stronghold in the Prądnik Valley, where only traces of embankments and a moat have remained until our times

-Krokoszówka - a vineyard in Smardzowice, belonging to the Lesser Poland Wine Route

Geology

The rocks in the Ojców National Park are built by Upper Jurassic limestones, which were formed from the skeletons of organisms inhabiting the sea that once existed in this area. Rocky limestones form numerous rock forms here, and shoal limestones fill the areas between them.

The limestone ground was conducive to the formation of caves, over 500 of which were counted in the Ojców National Park area. They were formed as a result of the karstic action of the waters.

The longest are: Łokietka and Ciemna Caves, which have been made available to tourists as well as Zbójecka, Okopa Wielka Dolna, Sąspowska, Krakowska, Biała and Koziarnia.

Bats winter in caves in the Ojców National Park.

The caves were once used by a prehistoric man, whose traces of existence were found in many of them, and the oldest in the Dark Cave, date back to 120–115 thousand. years bc.

Vegetation in the Ojców National Park

The richness of flora consists of about 950 species of vascular plants, more than 230 species of mosses and liverworts, 1200 mushroom varieties and about 200 types of lichen, and 84 plant species are under protection here.

There are more than 30 plant communities here, and the largest area of ​​Ojców National Park is covered by forests and thickets. On the rocks there are xerothermic grasslands, and on the bottom of the valleys alluvial forest and meadows. 

Fauna of the Ojców National Park

The number of animal species occurring in the Ojców National Park, as well as in its buffer zone, is estimated at 11. The symbol of the Ojców National Park is a bat. Due to the excellent living conditions in the caves, as many as 17 species of these animals can be found here.

The Ojców National Park is inhabited by many species of large mammals, 120 species of birds, including 94 breeding birds, as well as amphibians, reptiles and fish.

The most numerous are invertebrates: there are over 5000 species of insects and many species of molluscs.

218 animal species occurring in the Ojców National Park are subject to legal protection.

There are over 50 in the park wywierzysk sources, as well as two permanent watercourses: the Prądnik River flowing into the Vistula River and its tributary - the stream Sąspówka.

Sample routes in the Ojców National Park

-The Trail of the Eagles' Nests - a section from Prądnik Korzkiewski through the Prądnik Valley to the Pieskowa Skała Castle

-Sispowska Valley Trail - parking at Zlota Góra, fathers, next to the Słupek rock, next to the Dark Cave, above thehorn rock, viewpoint on the Crown Mountain, Wapiennik rock, the bottom of the Prądnik Valley at the outlet of the Smardzowicki Gorge

-The trail from the car park on Złota Góra through the Ojców, next to Jonaszówka to the Łokietek Cave

Map of Ojców National Park

Map of Ojców National Park allows you to search for interesting places, find accommodations and tourist attractions, as well as parking lots.

Map of Ojców National Park

Parking lots in the Ojców National Park

-in Ojców, under the ruins of the castle

- Golden Mountain Fathers

- Dog rock

-in the Prądnik Valley, 500 m from the OPN

-in Smardzowice, near the loop of line 267

Ojców National Park - price list

Entry to the Ojców National Park is free. However, parking lots and entrances to visited facilities are paid (Pieskowa Skała Castle, Ojców Castle, OPN Museum, caves)

Ojców National Park - interesting facts

In 2014, the brown trout farming was restored in Ojców, which today is carried out using traditional methods and refers to the farming conducted here in the 30s.

Krokoszówka Vineyard is located in Smardzowice, near the Ojców National Park and on the route of the Małopolska Vineyard Trail. It is possible to visit the vineyard and taste the wines produced here.   

The oldest traces of prehistoric man's existence were found in the Dark Cave, and they date back 120 years.

Out of 25 species of bats living in Poland, 17 species live in the caves of the Ojców National Park.

In the Maszycka Cave, evidence has been found that people who lived there for 13 BC practiced cannibalism.

Łokietek's Grotto - here, according to tradition, Władysław Łokietek hid from the troops of the Czech king Wenceslas II. Food was delivered to him for 6 weeks through an upward opening corridor, and the main entrance to the cave was covered with a spider's web, which confused the chase.

"Na Wodzie" chapel built instead of Ojców, on the Prądnik River, as the Russian invader "wanted".

Accommodation in the Ojców National Park

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-agroturystyka

-Guest rooms

-campsite

Villa

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