Background information

The area covered by the project Building a comprehensive tourist product: ”Treasures Near Kraków” includes the following municipalities: Czernichów, Mogilany, Skawina and Świątniki Górne, situated in the south-eastern part of the Kraków Poviat (further: Near Kraków). The municipalities are situated in the vicinity of Kraków, at a distance no longer than 30 km from the city centre. On the south, the area borders with the Myślenice and Wadowice Poviats, on the east with the Wieliczka Poviat, and on the west with the Chrzanów Poviat.
The municipalities lie within the borders of four physico-geographical macroregions: the Wyżyna Krakowsko-Częstochowska (Kraków-Częstochowa Upland), Brama Krakowska (the Kraków Gate), Kotlina Oświęcimska (the Oświęcim Basin) and Pogórze Zachodniobeskidzkie (the Western Beskidy Foothills).
The south-eastern part of the area belongs to Pogórze Wielickie, a foothills area. Its land form consists of flattish hummocks running longitudinally, with tops around 300 - 400 m above sea level. They are separated with flat-bottom valleys, up to 1,000 m wide. The area is built from flysch rocks. It descends to the north through a clearly marked denudation threshold, down to Subcarpathian valleys. The foothill landscape is typical of the Świątniki Górne and Mogilany Municipalities and of the southern part of the Skawina Municipality where it borders with Brama Krakowska. The latter is a part of the River Vistula valley forming a flat inundation terrace 207 - 212 m above sea level, across which run numerous old river beds. The Rów Skawiński (Sakwina Rift Valley) area is worthy of note. It coves the narrow valley of the river Vistula, filled with Miocene sea sediments. The area is not afforested and partly covered by meadows.
Another clearly marked mesoregion of Brama Krakowska is Obniżenie Cholerzyńskie (Cholerzyn Fault Plane), covering part of the Czernichów Municipality. This arched plane situated 40-50 m above the bottom of the Vistula valley and surrounding Rów Skawiński on the north is a local tectonic depression built from Miocene silt, loess-covered here and there.
Northern slopes of the Czernichów Municipality are Grzbiet (Garb) Tenczyński (Tenczyn Hummock), a horst with faults descending down to Brama Krakowska and forming part of Wyżyna Krakowsko-Częstochowska. The hummock is formed from Upper Jurassic limestone, revealing older Devonian and Carboniferous rocks, Permian volcanic porphyry and melaphyry. The slopes are covered with loess.
The outermost western part of the area discussed (around the village of Kamień), lies in the Upper Vistula Valley, in the Kotlina Oświęcimska mesoregion. Its geological structure shows Carboniferous formations of average thickness around 100 m, and Quaternary formations in the near-surface layer. This layer is built from fluvial sediments i.e. alluvial soils and river sand with some delluvial loess. There are many fish ponds around the entire area.
National road no. 7 (Zakopianka) runs through the eastern part of the area, being the most important Kraków – Chyżne/Zakopane transport route, whilst national road no. 44 which connects Upper Silesia with Kraków and regional road no. 780, connecting Oświęcim with Kraków, cross the central part of the area.
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