About the geography

The Gmina of Zabierzów is marked by a varied topography as it is located at the junction of three mesoregions of the Polish Jura Chain: the Olkusz Upland, the Krzeszowice Trench and the Tenczynek Prominence. The average height of the Olkusz Upland, also called the Ojców Plateau, is 400m above sea level. The upland goes down to the Krzeszowice Trench with a series of distinct faults in the form of steep and almost 100-metre high rock steps. From the south the upland’s gently rolling hilltops cut numerous stream valleys which form winding and rocky gorges, commonly known as the Krakow Valleys.
The map shows the Szklarka Valley, Będkowska Valley, Kobylańska Valley, Bolechowicka Valley (the last two located in the Gmina of Zabierzów; probably most known and frequently visited) and the Kluczwoda Valley, which is situated further to the west. A similar topography is found in the Tenczynek Prominence, which is the biggest trunk hill in the Krakow region. Its plateaux, which usually rise up to 300m above sea level, go down to the Krzeszowice Trench in steep rock steps and are cut by numerous valleys, of which some are dead (e.g. Mardi Gras Hole, Kochanowski Gorge, Zbrza Gorge). The eastern parts of the Tenczynek Prominence, which lie within the Gmina of Zabierzów, are covered by the Zabierzów Forest, which is one of the biggest forests in the region of Krakow. The mesoregions listed above are divided by a tectonic hollow of the Krzeszowice Trench (several kilometre wide), which has a relatively flat surface. Along the bottom of the Krzeszowice Trench runs the Rudawa River, which turns southwards after passing Zabierzów, thus forming a gorge through the Tenczynek Prominence at the legendary Kmita’s Rock.