2023 Southern Poland

  Carpathians - postglacial landscape Copyright: © Marta Kisiel Carpathians - Postglacial Landscape
  • Date: 29.08.-10.09.2023
  • Beginn: Kraków
  • Ending: Wrocław.
  • Number of Participants: 20 Students
  • Costs: around 250 € + individual arrival + catering
  • Instruction Language: English. Term papers and protocols can be done in German.

The RWTHonline registration is possible from 28.11.2022 - 02.12.2022.

Southern Poland

A trip through southern Poland is a cross-section of various natural and cultural landscapes. It includes the wildest corners of the Carpathians, where once the entire population was displaced, and the mountain ranges are covered with primeval beech forests and where the largest European mammals live: bison, brown bears, and wolves. In contrast to the Carpathians is Upper Silesia, one of the most populated and industrialized regions in Poland. It is famous for hard coal mining. The Sudetes, on the other hand, is a region with a turbulent history, at the crossroads of various cultures, passing from Polish hands to Czechs and Germans, thus creating a landscape and cultural melting pot. It is also a region of very dynamic changes in the natural environment, mainly related to changes in land use/land cover and the proximity of the “Black Triangle”. After World War II, the Sudetes became one of the most mysterious regions in the world, where treasure hunters are still trying to find the “Golden Train” and the “Amber Chamber”.

Thematic Focus

Carpathians and Sudeten are characterized by a high level of natural diversity. It is therefore possible to get a very nice overview of numerous physical-geographical aspects. The regional module focuses in particular on climatological, ecological, hydrological and geomorphological issues, but human geographic topics are also dealt with, e.g. in the areas of tourism geography, urban geography as well as cultural and historical aspects.

During the field trip, we will discuss the climate in mountainous and urban areas as well as water resources of mountainous areas and how regional historical and cultural conditions influenced the transformation of the natural environment. As part of the field trip, workshops will be held at the Szymbark Research Station of the Polish Academy of Sciences during which participants will be able to perform their own measurements and interpret the results. Climatological and hydrological measurements will also be carried out in the Carpathians and Sudetes.

Important Information

During the field trip around southern Poland, we will have the opportunity to visit both wild places in the heart of the mountains, and small towns as well as cities such as Kraków or Wrocław. The standard of accommodation will vary from mountain and youth hostels to the luxurious Jedlinka Palace. In most places, it will be possible to eat in restaurants or canteens (at your own expense) but in two places there will be a kitchen available where you can prepare your own meal.

We plan to visit underground tunnels and mines where conditions may be a bit difficult for people with heart and circulatory problems. We will also go hiking in the mountains, where good physical fitness, hiking shoes and clothing for all weather conditions will be necessary.

In case of any questions or ambiguities, please contact Eliza Płaczkowska (eliza.placzkowska@geo.rwth-aachen.de).


We meet in Krakow, from where we will go by tour bus to the Carpathians, where we will visit the Szymbark Research Station and the Educational Station of the Bieszczady National Park. Then we will return to Krakow where we will visit the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management of the Jagiellonian University. Next we will visit Upper Silesia and the hard coal mines. The next point of the program will be three different ranges of the Sudetes with different landscapes: the Owl Mountains, the Table Mountains in the Czech Republic and the Karkonosze Mountains. We will end our field trip in Wrocław.


South Poland 2023