The Świętokrzyski National Park Nature Museum on Święty Krzyż
We truly encourage you to visit the Świętokrzyski National Park Nature Museum on Święty Krzyż. Its exhibitions are an amazing performance of light, sounds and voices of nature, based on multimedia devices, dioramas, photographs, and models.
We start our visit from the room in which we can see the model showing the current landscape of the Park and its vicinity as well as the model of the primeval landscape not transformed by man. We also watch the film about the history, foundation, main tasks and values of the Świętokrzyski National Park. What is more, there are dioramas depicting human activity in this area, from ancient metallurgy and settlement to glass sculpture and forest economy. The part devoted to human influence on the environment ends with the exhibition presenting how the idea of protecting nature in this area developed. It also describes efforts made to establish the Świętokrzyski National Park in 1950.
In the next room we learn about the geological and paleontological history of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains, starting from the Palaeozoic, through the Mesozoic and the Cainozoic. Each era is presented with the use of illuminated boards, models of extinct animals, their fossils, and footprints preserved in rocks.
Then we wander through the forest ecosystems of the Świętokrzyski National Park, where we can see animals, plants and fungi that live in the fir mixed coniferous forest, the beech forest, and the pine forest. We also visit the boulder field, called gołoborze, which is being overgrown with a pioneer forest – the local rowan association. The next stop, Chełmowa Góra, is devoted to the life of ants.
In further rooms we can get acquainted with the invisible but abundant in life and environmentally important world of organisms found in dead rotting wood. Coarse wood debris and snags are an indispensable part of the natural forest. They form a house, a shelter, a habitat for numerous animals, plants and fungi. Moreover, they take a significant role in soil formation, water protection, erosion prevention, and biodiversity maintaining. There is no true natural forest without the dead wood.
Then the natural wealth of the Świętokrzyski National Park is presented. The exhibition concerns nature peculiarities, the word of organisms living beneath the soil surface, and nature under the microscope. Thus, we can see the diversity of nature in terms of forms, size, and environmental functions.
The Museum is located in a historic building which is a part of the monastery complex of the former Benedictine abbey. Reaching the Święty Krzyż mountain from the Huta Szklana village, we can admire an impressive façade of the Museum even at a distance. The building was erected in the years 1685-1701 as the newest western wing of the monastery.