Polish Jura (Jurassic)
Sunday, February 22, 2009 6:42:04 PM
The Jurassic period is the middle of the three divisions that make up the Mesozoic era. The Mesozoic era is the era when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The dinosaurs became particularly well known after Spielberg’s film “Jurassic Park”. Most of the dinosaurs featured in “Jurassic Park” are not from the Jurassic period, but from the Cretaceous period, but who cares? “Cretaceous Park” does not really sell as a title.
The Jurassic is named after the Jura Mountains, situated mostly in France, but partly in Switzerland. I mainly appreciate the Jura for its outcrops of carbonate platforms, where you can see excellent evidence for the influence of Milankovitch cycles on sea level changes.
Now the funny thing is that there also is an area in Poland called Jura - in this case named after the Jurassic outcrops in that area. Do you follow me? - the Polish Jura is named after the Jurassic period, which again is named after the French/Swiss Jura. The Polish Jura Chain, also known as the Polish Jurassic Highland, or Kraków-Częstochowa Jurassic Highland Chain (Polish: Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska, German: Krakauer-Tschenstochauer Juragebiet) is part of the Jurassic System of south–central Poland, stretching between the cities of Kraków, Częstochowa and Wieluń.
And now back to Krakow, via Spielberg. His film “Schindler's List” is a dramatized account of the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than one thousand Polish Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It was filmed in Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter in Krakow, from where the Jews were actually saved by Schindler’s so-called list. (And of course I walked through this quarter as well, but not out of geological interest).