- Opole County
The County of Opole is located in the centre of Opole Voivodship. In the Oder Valley 135m above the sea level and its highest points – reaches 220 m above the sea level, on the hills near Ozimek, Niemodlin, Ligota Turawska and Budkowice Stare. In the central part of the Voivodship there is the Wrocław pra-valley, with the Oder Valley in the East and stretches upwards to the Opole plain in the North, Niemodlin Plain in the South-East and the Nysa Kłodzka Valley in the western part of the commune of Niemodlin. All the geographic regions are located within the Silesian Plain. Only a part of the Commune of Tarnów Opolski belongs to the region of Silesian Highlands.
At the end of the ice age strong winds were blowing out the sand from postglacial formations and upper fluvial terraces. Due to this activity sand dunes were created in the northern and eastern part of the county. They are up to 20 -30 meters high and may be a few kilometres long. The biggest dune area in the Silesia can be found in the following communes: Murów, Łubniany, Popielów and Turawa. Dunes is the area of Opole County date back to 13 thousand years.
Almost 45% of the county area is covered by forests. Forests of Komprachcice, Niemodlin, Prószków, Tułowice and Dąbrowa remind of a primeval Silesian Virgin Forest. In order to protect the forest complex with majority of mixed forests, a part of the land was declared ecological preservation areas and was given the name “Niemodlinskie Forests”. In communes of: Popielów, Murów, Łubniany, Turawa and Chrząstowice a vast forest complex compromises Stobrawa -Turawa Forests, which have perfect bioclimatic and bio therapeutic conditions.
Natural environment of the County of Opole is characterised by a large biological variety. In order to protect it, some areas or formations have been put under special form of protection. In the county one can find nature reserves, natural landscape parks, areas of protected landscape, protected plant and animal species, documentation posts, nature monuments, ecological lands and a environment –landscape complexes.
Places of the county of Opole were mentioned for the first time some eight hundred years ago. At first, the land of Opole belonged to the Piasts, then the land was owned by different rulers every two hundred years. It was ruled by the Czech, the Habsburg and the Prussian Empire, and currently the region of Opole is within the borders of Poland.
The county of Opole is a very interesting area from the historical and natural-scientific point of view. Its towns and villages hold many monuments of material culture, such as; palaces, castles, churches, monasteries, shrines, monuments of technical culture. The county of Opole is well known for delicious Silesian cuisine, numerous holiday and recreation centres, bicycle and walking routes.