NO-SERVICE INFORMATION STAND (BIS)
GPS: 49°53’18.55″ N, 15°39’47.63″ E
The open-air information system for the visitors of the Iron Mountains and for geotourists in the territory of the Iron Mountains PLA and the Iron Mountains National Geopark is structured into several levels. No-service information stands (BIS) are ranked among essential elements of this system. The choice of the site for BIS location is not an arbitrary one: the site must always meet many criteria representing one of the five themes contained in the logo of the “The Iron Mountains – a geologically significant regionˮ project and the Iron Mountains Geopark.
NEAR VICINITY OF THE CHURCH AND THE ROCKS AT VÁPENNÝ PODOL HAVE BEEN CHOSEN FOR THE NO-SERVICE INFORMATION STAND FOCUSED ON THE PALEOZOIC.
The site is located in the eastern part of the Chrudim Lower Paleozoic, in the Vápenný Podol Syncline. The syncline is now interpreted as a set of fault-bounded blocks showing a shingle structure. It is a sedimentary complex locally subjected to weak metamorphism and also including magmatic dykes of minette-type rocks. At this site, sediments of Devonian age occur in the development of the so-called Podol limestones. They represent the core of the Vápenný Podol Syncline. The rocks can be petrologically classified as light whitish-grey limestones and locally varicoloured crystalline limestones. The rock complexes were opened by a huge pit quarry in the past, located in the area between the church and the road connecting Vápenný Podol and Prachovice. A lake of carbonated water was developed on the floor of the quarry. The extracted material was processed in a lime plant, whose remains lie under the church. By now, the quarry has been reclaimed and backfilled with low-grade material from the Prachovice quarry. This marked the end of the almost 400-yearsʼ history of limestone exploitation in the near area of Vápenný Podol: mining operations were relocated to the Prachovice quarry. The biggest of the last natural rocky outcrops in the village lies near the church. In addition, a spring of carbonated water has been utilized in the village since the 17th century. It was tapped in the St. Wenceslas Spa, whose historical building has been preserved until these days. Limestone was used not only for lime production but also for the manufacture of small masonry products (washboards, monuments). In exceptional cases, it was also used for fine sculpture products like church altars.
Pilgrimage in quest of the Paleozoic can be therefore best started at Vápenný Podol.
The no-service information stand consists of a wooden structure with five panels generally expanding the theme of the Paleozoic. These panels refer to nine geosites in the Iron Mountains with installed information panels reporting on closely accessible phenomena related to the Paleozoic era – a period marked by the boom of living organisms (Cambrian to Devonian) as well as catastrophic events almost destroying life on the Earth (latest Ordovician, Permian).
Blocks of rocks from the territory of the Iron Mountains are scattered around the wooden structure, totalling 17 accessible samples from 10 sites. They include weakly metamorphosed sediments and volcanics. The blocks are mostly polished, and always provided with an information pillar. The pillars comment on the origin and composition of the rocks, and bear colour photomicrographs. A metallic plate bearing the inscription LIMESTONE was mounted on a near limestone cliff, opposite to the church, and a small area of the cliff in its proximity was polished.
Structured information provided in the no-service information stand allows the visitors (geotourists) of the Iron Mountains to get easily orientated and make their choice among other sites.