Wąwóz w Skałach
Is located north-east of Nowa Słupia. We arrive there by turning west in Czajęcice, leaving the road that connects Waśniów with Nowa Słupia. After driving ca. 2.5 km, we turn left, taking a narrow road leading to a dormant quarry. In the past it was a mining site for middle Devonian dolomites (395 million years old), similar to those found in the famous Zachełmie. Just beside the excavation are two places that cannot be missed when visiting the Kielce region.
One of the most charming places in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains – the “Wąwóz w Skałach” (“Stone Canyon”) reserve is located nearby, on the south-eastern side of the quarry. On the sides of the canyon one can observe steep slopes of dolomite layers. On the surface of what was once the bottom of a sea, weathering has exposed domed colonies of cyanobacteria. The sides of the canyon are covered with xerothermic vegetation, which is very adaptable and can thrive on the calcareous substratum. In some places, white rock outcrops peep out from behind the plants, and a small stream at the bottom of the valley tops up the impression of a “magic spot”.
The other site is located between the quarry and the canyon, on the bank of the small river Dobruchna. Here, one can observe exposures of limestone and marl (rocks that are an intermediate stage between limestone and loam) that are younger than dolomites (by 1-2 million years) and are extremely rich in fossil fauna, including Anthozoa, Trilobites, Crinoidea and, most importantly, Spiriferid Brachipods. This site has been a proving ground for geologists dealing with palaeontology – the science related to the study of extinct organisms and stratigraphers, who group rock layers into formations composed of rocks that have similar age and formation characteristics. By comparing the rock formations they can recreate the geological history of a given region.