Desert in Małopolska

Desert in Poland

Desert in Poland

The Małopolska region is not only generously endowed with an enormous number of tourist attractions but it also has one bizarre titbit: it has the only desert in Poland. The desert is located west of Olkusz, between Błędów and the villages of Klucze and Chechło. The origins of Błędów Desert are not clear. One theory states that the desert was created by the accumulation of sand and gravel in the ice age, another theory states that human civilisation has contributed to the creation of Błędów Desert (based on the fact that since the 13th century people have been cutting down forests for the smelting of silver and lead in Olkusz). Also, one legend claims that a long time ago the devil was flying above the area with a huge bagful of sand when he accidentally crashed into the top of a church tower. The bag split open and created the desert. From a formal point of view and with regards to climate, the area is not actually a desert even though the sand there can reach temperatures of 70 degrees Celsius in the summer. This is why all attempts to plant vegetation in Błędów Desert have ended in failure. However, people who want to visit the desert need to hurry up as it is gradually shrinking (it used to be 80 square kilometres in size but it is now around 30 sq. km). Even though Błędów Desert is much smaller than it once was, it is still an extremely interesting place to visit.

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