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    The Błędowska Desert

    The origin of this unique landscape is not natural. Its “desert” image was created by man, cutting down the local forests on a massive scale to fill the demand for wood, used as fuel in steelworks and for shafts in Olkusz mines (since the 13th-century Olkusz has been developing as a mining and metallurgical center). The logging has destroyed thin layers of poor soil and exposed loose sands that accumulated here 2 to 3 million years ago.

    The Błędowska Desert (sometimes also called the Błędów Desert) hides an interesting world of flora and fauna. Its terrain is mainly covered by plant species of sandy, warm and dry habitats. Here you can find protected sand grasslands with a predominance of grasses, as well as mosses and lichens.

     

    On the desert’s website, we can read a story about the Błędów Desert, or more a legend about this place. 

     

    The legend says that the Błędowska Desert had been created from sand scattered by a devil who wanted to cover up lead and silver mines. According to it, digging deeper and deeper excavations had angered the devils living underground and they decided to fill the mines with sand from the Baltic Sea. They carried it in bags, transported it during the flight on their backs. One of the devils, crushed by the weight of the cargo and lowered its flight over the Klucze village. He hooked the bag on the church tower. Sand poured profusely from the torn sack, forming the Desert Błędowska.

     

    But the truth is, the Błędowska Desert was created by people who cut down trees to build shafts for the nearby mines. Exposed tracts of land were subjected to wind and sun which caused further changes in the terrain. A specific microclimate was created, dunes, sandstorms could be observed. As a result, the Błędowska Desert even had an area of 150km2.

     

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