Luk Muzakowa Park (Muskau Arch Park) in Poland

written by Maciek Bogdanski

Tucked away in the scenic landscapes between Germany and Poland, Luk Muzakowa Park unfolds as a testament to nature’s grandeur and mankind’s historical endeavours. This transnational Geopark, recognized by UNESCO, spans an area of 578.8 km² and is nestled in the vibrant triangle formed by Berlin, Dresden, and Zielona Gora. The park is a fascinating blend of geological wonders, lush green expanses, and water scapes formed through both natural processes and historical mining activities.

How to get there

The best place to start is Leknica. You may get here by a bus from Zary (a couple buses every day, 50 minutes). Zary is well-connected with other cities.

The name of the area

There are several names that are associated with this region, and to avoid some misunderstanding, let’s go through them, first looking at the map from the Geopark Brochure. Below the map, you’ll find all the names explained.

Luk Muzakowa Map
Luk Muzakowa Map. Source: https://www.luk-muzakowa.pl/

Luk Muzakowa (Muskau Arch)

This term is related to the geological structure – a moraine formed by the activity of an ice sheet 450,000 years ago during the Scandinavian glaciation. This is the biggest moraine in Europe (some claim even in the World). The arch form is exceptionally beautifully shaped and, interestingly, visible from space.

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Park Krajobrazowy Luk Muzakowa (Muskau Arch Landscape Park)

This is the protected area on the Polish side, over 8.2 thousand hectares large, creating a picturesque landscape that will delight every geotourist. The park features Poland’s largest “anthropogenic lake district”, formed by the exploitation of lignite, clay, gravel and sand. The geotourist trail “Former Babina Mine” runs through the park, I’ll describe it later.

Muzakowski Park

This is a historic landscape park combining nature with top-class horticultural art. Founded by Prince Hermann von Pückler, it is one of the most extensive parks in Europe. It is here, among the rhododendrons and “green labyrinths of plants”, that Polish and German nature and outdoor enthusiasts relax. The park is separated asymmetrically by a river between the German Bad Muskau and the Polish Łęknica. In 2004, Muskauer Park was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Luk Muzakowa Geopark (Muskauer Geopark)

This area is located both in Poland and Germany. It offers exceptional natural and aesthetic-landscape values. The purpose of establishing the Geopark, first in Germany and later in Poland, is to impart knowledge in the field of mineral exploration and extraction, changes in the natural landscape in connection with mining activities. The Geopark is the only one in Poland to belong to the European Geoparks Network (EGN) and the World Geoparks Network (GGN), and since 2015 it has achieved the title of UNESCO World Geopark.

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Luk Muzakowa Geopark - Lake
Luk Muzakowa Geopark – Lake

Visiting Muskau Arch Landscape Park

There is one walking route through the Muskau Arch Landscape Park that stands out from the others: „Dawna Kopalnia Babina” (the former coal mine Babina). It is 5km long, and goes through the remains of the former coal mine. I was impressed by the colourful lakes, eroded forms and landscape.

There are information boards describing the various geological sites and mining-related objects, and 30-metre-high observation tower north of Africa Lake. The trail is not a loop. There are three car parks within the geo-path.

Entry to the Landscape Park and the tower is free.

Below you’ll find the map of the path.

Visiting Muzakowski Park

Muzakowski Park is the big green area. You may enter either from Polish (Leknica) or German (Bad Muskau) side. You may, of course, cross the border river while strolling. In this Park, you can see: historical buildings – bridges, viaduct, monumental sites – mausoleum, “Pückler’s Stone”, natural forest, riparian and meadow communities, floodplain terraces of the Lusatian Neisse, picturesque ravines, almost mountainous landscapes, viewing axes (marked by concrete benches), unique tree and shrub species. I visited the Park in the autumn, and was amazed by the quality of the grass around me.

Muzakowski Park
Muzakowski Park

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