┼Üwi─Ötokrzyskie Mountains (Holy Cross
Mountains), are a mountain range in central Poland, in the vicinity of the city of Kielce. In most part the chain consists of a number of
separate ranges, the highest of which is ┼üysog├│ry. The two highest peaks are ┼üysica at 612 meters (2008 ft) and ┼üysa G├│ra at 593 meters (1946 ft). Together with the
Krakowsko-Cz─Östochowska the mountains form a region called the Lesser Poland Upland. Their area is 1684 km┬▓
(650 mi┬▓). Approximate location is 50┬░53ÔÇ▓N, 20┬░55ÔÇ▓E.
The ┼Üwi─Ötokrzyskie Mountains
are one of the oldest mountain ranges in Europe. They were formed during the Caledonian orogeny of the Silurian period and then rejuvenated in the Hercynian orogeny of the Upper Carboniferous period.
From the early Middle Ages the mountains were a
place of extensive copper and iron mining. Later they were also a significant site of limestone and red sandstone extraction. At present,
the center part of the mountains contains the ┼Üwi─Ötokrzyski
The name, Holy Cross
Mountains, refers to a Christian relic from a nearby Benedictine monastery on ┼üysa G├│ra.
It is a small piece of wood from the Holy Cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.