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Few cities have such a place so close to the city centre. Kadzielnia reserve, because we are talking about it, looks beautiful both during the day and after dark and invites tourists to visit it!
Location and accessibility
Kadzielnia reserve is located one and a half kilometers from the Kielce promenade (Sienkiewicza Street). The walk will take you about 20 minutes. There is also a free car park next to the reserve.
Kadzielnia is open 24 hours a day and it looks different at any time of the day and year.
Kadzielnia owes its name either to junipers that grew on the hill in the past and were used for incense (kadzidło in polish) or to the fact that the area was leased by a censer (kadzielnik in polish).
The exploitation of limestone began in the 18th century and continued until 1962. At the end of the eighteenth century, the first lime kiln was built at the quarry. After that, a railway siding was built to the mine. In 1896, the entire factory was purchased by Juda Ehrlich. He built new furnaces and in the first years after the purchase, he increased the production of limestone ten times.
After his death, his sons took over the business. During World War II, the quarry was taken over by the German authorities and mainly Jewish forced labourers worked there. After the war, it was nationalized. In 1962 “Rock of Geologists” (part of the reserve) was under protection.
As you already know, Kadzielnia is a former Devonian limestone quarry. These rocks were formed in a shallow, warm sea and contain fossils of organisms associated with such conditions – corals, sponges, brachiopods, and less often nautilus, trilobites or armoured fishes.
Being in Kadzielnia, it is also worth paying attention to the various karst forms. While walking around the reserve, you will surely find pieces of calcite in a white or beautiful honey version.
There are 25 caves and rock shelters in Kadzielnia. Most of them are not big, but 3 of them (Discoverers’ Cave, Gunpowder House and Rift) have been connected with each other and made available for tourists. The underground route is 160 meters long. Interesting species of bats and spiders can be found in the caves.
Amphitheater in Kadzielnia
An amphitheatre is a place difficult to miss in Kadzielnia. It was established in 1971 and since then it was as a place of entertainment for several generations of Kielce inhabitants. It is considered to be one of the most beautifully situated amphitheatres in Poland! In 2010 it has a major renovation and currently, it can accommodate over 5,000 spectators.
Many interesting events took place there – the Scout Festival, the Sabbath of Witches, the Świętokrzyska Cabaret Night or less interesting events such as the Dance Music Festival;).
While in Kadzielnia, you can observe several monuments:
- Monument to Fighters for National and Social Liberation by Stefan Maj, which towers over the reserve
- The Decalogue Monument, created on the initiative of former president Wojciech Lubawski. It was supposed to symbolize the common values of the great monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The idea is right, but the construction of concrete is dazzling.
- Stone Circle of Memory with the sculpture “Dream” by Gustaw Zemła, commemorating the victims of the Katyn massacre
- Sculpture with ammonite – located on the side of Aleja Legionów, but don’t let this fool you, because there were no ammonites in Kadzielnia.
- Jerzy Kapuściński’s Bench – located at the entrance to the caves. It commemorates this outstanding guide and regionalist. After pressing the button, we can listen to the stories about Kadzielnia recorded by Jerzy Kapuściński.
Icefall and zip-line
If the weather conditions are good (frost), an icefall appears in Kadzielnia in winter. It is not a natural creation. With the help of pumps, water from the lake is transported to the top of the rock wall from where it flows down and freezes. It looks impressive and is used for ice climbing training, which is a very dangerous and demanding sport.
Fans of extreme sports can also try the “Zip-line” ride outside the winter season. Unforgettable views and a thrill guaranteed.
In addition to the above-mentioned icefall, recently there is also a waterfall in Kadzielnia. Man-made, but I like it. It fits very well into the whole reserve giving it charm.
Worth to visit?
Kadzielnia reserve is one of the first places where I take visitors in Kielce. Beautiful during the day and mysterious at night. It is an impressive place that reminds you of the geological and industrial history of the region. If you are going to Kielce, this is definitely one of the top places you must visit!