A bird-eye view of the lake in the abandoned quarry. The tops of its high limestone walls are crowned with words. Three recreational swimming pools connected with wooden gangways on the surface of the lake take the bottom right-hand corner.

Zakrzówek: a quarry turned into a park with pools.


Kraków is not only built on limestone, as attested by the Wawel Hill rock, but also of limestone, which needed quarrying. But what do you do, when the pit you dug got so deep that you broke to the water-bearing layer and it’s filled with the purest, naturally filtered water?


A view down into a grassy hollow on a sunny summer day. The white rock face on the right implies that the photo was taken from a tall cliff. A panorama of Kraków roofs can be seen under the blue skies behind the trees taking the centre of the picture.
Skałki Twardowskiego Rocks.

You certainly abandon your bulldozers and sheds, especially as they are now inundated, and leave the place. Once it’s been reclaimed by nature, it attracts more and more people eager to bathe and dive, or just watch it. This was the situation for at least a generation and a half, yet because of the increasing numbers of visitors and dangers, including crumbling cliffs, a decision was made to turn this natural spot into an ordered bathing place with plentiful attractions. The whole area was saved from development by the municipality and turned into a park made available to the public free of charge, however, with a cap set on the numbers of visitors enjoying it simultaneously imposed for safety and ecological reasons.

The park is spectacular indeed, with some areas wooded and others open and dominated by limestone walls of the former quarry.

The bathing area contains five floating swimming pools installed in the smaller section of the reservoir, whose turquoise waters beautifully reflect the sheer vertical limestone cliffs.

The pools are supervised by lifeguards, and differ in their size, depth, and purpose: those numbered 1 and 5 are 350 cm deep and are designated for swimmers, while the remaining ones, with depths of 80, 40, and 120 cm respectively, belong to the non-swimmer zone and include a wading area for the youngest marked with white buoys.

There are two entrances to the bathing area from Wyłom Street. One is located near the food trucks and ice cream stands (stairs only), and the other near the entrance building to the pools (elevator for disabled persons and stairs). Smoking and alcohol consumption are banned throughout the area.

The park is easily accessible by municipal buses and trams, yet, to discourage car transport, it only offers a few dozen parking spaces. There are ample places to park your bike, should you choose this means of transport.
Wheelchair access to the pools is ensured, as special assistant-operated lifts were fitted by the stairs.
The bathing pools are not the only attraction in Zakrzówek: there are also open-air workout zones, table tennis tables, walls designed for climbing, water fonts, waymarked jogging and walking trails, panoramic points, a barbecue site, and swings for children. Soon, a centre for divers will open.
Rumours that by quarrying deep, the workers not only broke to the water-bearing layers but also woke up a Balrog are exaggerated.

Our social media – Your guide to #WideOpen Małopolska. Follow us!

Małopolska has more to offer. Look and see: