The Chełm Ridge

Driving up to St. Anne Mountain, both from the south (Zdzieszowice) and the north (Kalinowice, Niwka river), we suddenly see a nearly 200 m high the Chełm Ridge, towering over the lowlands. It starts in Ligota Dolna and Zakrzowa and sprawls almost parallel for 20 km east, and the exact analysis of maps indicates that the Chełm Ridge is more than 40 km long, even though its eastern part is not easy to distinguish in the landscape. This is a tectonic framework, elevated along the series of latitude faults at the end of Paleogene (the early Tertiary) 27 million years ago.  This tectonic lifting took place in connection with worldwide movements of the so-called Alpine orogenesis, which in Europe was initiated by continuous pushing of the African tectonic plate on the European. The framework of Chełm Ridge is built mainly from the rocks of the lower (mainly land sandstones) and middle (mainly sea limestone) Triassic, but visible on the surface are only the latter.. Sometimes the slopes of the Ridge are covered with a few kilometre- thick cover of the Quaternary sands, and in the peak parts, thin and not very extensive loess covers from the Quaternary are present. However, the majority of the western peak parts of Chełm Ridge are not covered with Quaternary formations, except for soil, under which limestone from the Triassic can be seen. On the St. Anne Mountain itself there are also basalts, being a remnant of the volcano existing there 27 million years ago, and large blocks of Cretaceous rocks (sandstones and marls) immersed in the lava. The Cretaceous rocks once covered the whole Chełm Ridge and the surrounding area, but were completely removed by the erosion in the Tertiary period.



Information comes from: "Zanim Góra Św. Anny wynurzyła się z morza" ("Before St. Anne Mountain emerged from the sea"). "Skamieniałości, jaskinie i drogie kamienie wokół sanktuarium św. Anny" (Fossils, caves and valuable stones around the St. Anne sanctuary)

Robert Niedźwiedzki, Marek Zarankiewicz

The selected bibliography (only Polish)

* Thanks to the courtesy of Gazeta Wyborcza, Opole, the fragments of text by Robert Niedźwiedzki, published in Gazeta Wyborcza 3 XI and 30 XII 2006 were used in this study. Also the archaeological consultation provided by Dr Andrzej Wiśniewski from the University of Wrocław was used here.

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