The Sudetes Mountain range is an extensive geological area whose borders reach to the foothills of the Walbrzyskie and Jizera Mountains.
It is made up mainly of stone deposited during successive oceanic floods during the Palaeozoic epoch. The mountains themselves, and especially the foothills, would not appear as they do today if not for the volcanism of the Miocene period. It was during the Miocene age that the basalts of the area were formed. As an example, Wilcza Góra (367 m a.s.l.) above Zlotoryja is a lava funnel, or the remains of a volcanic chimney through which basaltic lava flowed up to a crater. In 1959 the peak was designated as a protected reserve due to a very curious arrangement of basalt columns uncovered during mining operations. Ostrzyca Proboszczowicka (501 m a.s.l.) and Czartowska Skala [Devil’s Rock] (463 m a.s.l.) are also volcanic necks.
Geological processes including the motion of the Earth’s crust have caused the region to be extraordinarily rich in gemstones and minerals. The earth of the area contains pyrite, azurite, malachite, native silver, agate, amethyst, crystal, ruby and garnet. Veins of gold have also been mined in the Kaczawskie Foothills since the Middle Ages and fortune hunters have panned the Bóbr and the Kaczawa rivers in search of the precious metal. Gold has been mined in the areas of Lwówek Slaski and Zlotoryja (meaning Golden, and the German name of which, Goldberg, means Golden Mountain). After the Second World War, searches for uranium were conducted in the area around Kowary.
Lower Silesia lies in the south-western corner of Poland on the banks of the river Odra, at the point where Poland’s borders with the Czech Republic and Germany meet. The region contains more than 100 historical towns, with parks, gardens, castles and palaces, and monumental churches. The architecture to be found here includes rare Roman examples, along with unusual Silesian gothic, renaissance, baroque and neoclassical styles. Lower Silesia also has no fewer than 11 spa towns and health resorts offering spa treatment. In order to find the real pearls of Lower Silesia, visitors should explore not only the beautiful regional capital of Wroclaw but also the smaller towns and villages, where many of our most extraordinary monuments are hidden and go undescribed in guidebooks. Legnica, Jelenia Góra, Boleslawiec, Zlotoryja, Lwówek Slaski, Plóczki Górne, Lubomierz are just a few examples of the many other.