Krzemionki – updated 30 August 2022
Krzemionki is a complex of banded (striped) flint mines, which were in operation during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages (3,900-1,600 BC), and have been preserved in an almost intact state.
The Krzemionki mines are located in the mountain region of Świętokrzyskie. They were dedicated to the extraction and processing of striped flint, which was mainly used for axe-making. Products from the mines have been found as far away as 660km.
The Krzemionki mines were discovered in 1922 by a Polish geologist, Professor Jan Samsonowicz. His discovery was significant, Krzemionki is one of the most comprehensive prehistoric underground flint extraction and processing systems identified to date with underground mining structures, flint workshops and around 4,000 shafts and pits.
The site was designated as a Polish historic monument on 16th October 1994 and inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 6th July 2019. The mines provide invaluable information about life and work in prehistoric settlements and the importance of flint mining for tool production in bygone days.
Small groups of tourists have visited the Krzemionki mines since the late 1950s but they were only available to large groups of visitors since 1985 when Tourist Route No. 1 was made available. A second underground route was opened in 1990 followed by an open-air archaeological museum in 1992.
The tourist route in Krzemionki is approx. 1.5 km long and presents the original excavations of Neolithic mines, mining heaps and shaft pits that make up the unique industrial landscape from 5,000 years ago.
The underground tourist route in its present form is 465m long, descending 11.5 m at the deepest point.
Krzemionki is located 8km north-east of Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski , between the villages of Sudół and Magonie. You can get there by car (route number 754) or by bus from the centre of Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski.