The Stone City is a reserve created in 1948 of ornate, natural rock formations on the slope of Skala (elevation of 367 m). The picturesque monadnocks (single rocks), formed out of coarse-grained sandstone, and the surrounding forests are protected by law. Making the “Stone City” distinct from many other monadnocks in the Ciężkowickie Foothills, is its high concentration of rock forms in a relatively small area. The monadnocks have formed in an extremely bizarre and interesting way as the result of harsh atmospheric factors like rain, wind and frost.
Other natural elements have also altered the shape of the rocks, like the Scrub Pine that roots itself deeply into cracks and splits the rock. However, despite the attempts of science to explain such a phenomena, the locals have adopted their own unique understanding of the rock formations.
One of the local legends tells the story of Cieszko, the local ruler who had a deep desire for Kasna, a neighboring village on the opposite bank of the Biala River. It was the property of a knight from Roznow who had no intention of selling it. One day a beautiful women escaped from her captor, the Roznow knight, and fled to Cieszko for safety. The knight from Roznow offered Kasna to Cieszko in exchange for the woman; after some hesitation Cieszko agreed. The woman was returned to her captor and died soon after from the grief of a life in bondage. The village was punished for its unmerciful treatment of the woman and and was turned into rocks.
Another version of the rock formation tells a story about a cruel master who once ruled the local castle and surrounding village. Not only was a thief, he was a man with a repulsive disposition who aroused fear and hate in most everyone he met. Consequently, it was no surprise that when his wife died he could not find a suitable willing candidate for marriage. Frustrated, he decided to marry his own daughter and began to prepare a wedding feast. Yet as soon as the ceremony started the whole castle including all the guests and town inhabitants were turned to stone.
Yet another legend describes the degradation of a town into a state where its inhabitants live lives of immorality, promiscuity, and excessive drinking. As a result they were punished and became the rock formations that we can see today.
The most interesting rock shapes in the “Stone City” are: “Grunwald,” named after a place of a famous Polish battle, “Witch,” the most famous rock, “The Town Hall,” up to twelve meters high, “The Fortresses,” rocks in the shape of strongholds, “The Badger,” a group of rocks in which one has the shape of a badger head, “The Pyramid,” and “The Fox Ravine,” where many fox holes are located.