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Prządki Nature Reserve

The Prządki reserve is situated in the Czarnorzeki-Strzyżów Landscape Park, on the border of Czarnorzeki and Korczyna, by the road leading from Krosno to Rzeszów. Its area is just above 13.5 ha and includes a group of rock formations and the forest surrounding them. The aim of the reserve is to protect a group of rock formations, some of which are even 20 metres tall. They are built of coarse-grained Ciężkowice sandstone, which is more resistant to erosion than the surrounding layers and this is why it created such interesting forms. The age of the rocks called Prządki is estimated to be 55-35 million years, making them lower Eocene.

In the Middle Ages, there was a settlement at the foot of the Prządki hill, which is known thanks to the burial mounds discovered there 20 years ago. In the past those monumental rocks could be seen from far away, as they were not surrounded by such thick growth. Drawings from the 19th century show cattle grazing next to the rocks, and photographs from the 1950s confirm that cultivated fields were not far from them. In the 1920, local inhabitants tried to source building stone there, so it was necessary to protect the rock formations with a nature reserve, established in 1957.

Towering over the neighbourhood, those peculiar formations look a bit like people, and people have been curious about them since time immemorial. There have been many legends trying to explain their origins.

The first one of them claims that the lord of Odrzykoń had three wonderfully beautiful daughters, who were popularly called Prządki (Spinners) because of their love of spinning. Once upon a time, news reached the lord’s court of a knight of incredible valour and comeliness. Wanting to meet the knight, he invited him to a hunt, and the knight was happy to accept the invitation as he had heard about the famously beautiful three daughters of Odrzykoń. He took a sorcerer and a party of men-at-arms with him and set off to Odrzykoń. During his stay in the castle, one of the ladies made such a great impression on him that he decided to propose to her right away, but first he went hunting together with her father. Only the three daughters and the sorcerer stayed behind in the castle. In the evening, as the hunters were still nowhere to be seen, they went out to meet them. In the nearby forest, they met a gang of robbers, who had murdered all the hunters earlier. The ladies tried to run, but the sorcerer, seeing that there was no hope for them, cast a spell which turned everyone into stone. So the rocks you can encounter today in the forests of Odrzykoń are the beautiful Weavers and robbers scattered in the thickets.

Another legend claims that three young inhabitants of Korczyna, once famous for the production of beautiful linens, fell in love with one fellow. To end the dispute over which one of them was to become his wife, they decided to enter an original race. The girl to first spin the thread for her wedding clothes was to win the happiness with the man of her dreams. The girls started to work at the same time, but they could not finish before a holy day. They did not want to stop the race, so they hid from the sight of the villagers on a mountain three kilometres away from Korczyna, and continued to work there. But when the church bell started to call the faithful to the service, all three turned to stone forever. Their stone figures tower over the forest and serve as a reminder that holy days must be respected.

fot.: arch. Arete sp. z o.o., M. Rymar

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