Holy Cross Mountains Geopark is located in Poland, specifically in the western part of Świętokrzyskie Voivodship (from administrative point of view) and Świętokrzyskie (Holy) Cross Mountains (from geologically and geographically point of view).
The most important geological features of the Geopark are as follows:
© Szymon Pawlak
The Geopark area is distinguised by exceptional geodiversity. Abiotic components of nature are remarkably conscpicuous and diverse there, and intermingled with biotic components and cultural artifacts. Actually, lithospheric features shaping incomprable landscape were the main factors decisive for the designation of geopark boundaries. Geomorphological structure is dominated by denudation ridges and hummocks contrasting with the usually modest elevation. The complicated geology and geomorphology are accompanied by vegetation among which dry-ground forests and xerothermic communities with numerous legally protected plants, prevail in the landscape of the Geopark.
The main part of the Geopark name refers to the name of the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mountains. This, in turn, derives from an important historical event that was the creation of the Benedictine abbey in Łysa Góra (the second highest mountain peak of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains in the central part of the mountains–beyond the Geopark) and bring back to the abbey by the Benedictines the relics of the Holy Cross. The cult that surrounded them made Łysa Góra, which until the 11th century was the center of pagan worship, the most important pilgrimage place in Poland and began to function under the name of the Holy Cross. Hence the historically conditioned names: Świętokrzyskie Mountains, Świętokrzyskie Region and Świętokrzyskie Voivodship.