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Lwówek Śląski Crystal Days - More Photos

Last Updated: 19th Oct 2010

By Jolyon & Katya Ralph

Back in July I visited the Lwówek Śląski Crystal Days Festival in Poland.

I took a lot of photos, and Asia from Spirifer took a lot too, which she kindly sent me. I didn't have time to put everything online then, but now I have had a chance to upload them all.

The opening ceremony of the mineral show involved traditional costumes, the town mayor, and giving slices of bread and some salt to all the exhibitors.

Opening Ceremony

Here's a view of the town where the festival is held.

View of the town

Various mineral dealers from poland and surrounding countries were exhibiting.

Mineral dealers

More minerals being displayed...

More mineral dealers

Some dealers had local agates.


Some artificially grown copper sulphate crystals.

Fake minerals

and a dinosaur guarding the side entrance to the Town Hall.


Outside there's a demonstration of agate cutting, and they also cut some of the small agates that I found while I was there.

Agate cutters

Then, as I showed in my last report, there was a huge parade through the town.

Town parade

including cars...


... belly dancers...

Belly dancers

Agata, from Spirifer, and a dinosaur on a Land Rover

The 'Jurapark' Land Rover

Local police...


And of course, a mining band.


A brass band, of course.

Brass band

However, I haven't the faintest idea what this is meant to be.


Especially as this lady kept watering it. If you know, please tell me!


I showed photos from the Płóczki Górne agate exhibition previously, here's a few more:

Agate Exhibition

Agate display

Płóczki Górne agate

Płóczki Górne agate

Płóczki Górne agate

Płóczki Górne agate

Płóczki Górne agate

There was one display case of comparative agates from other polish and worldwide localities. There was one agate from Płóczki in this case, and there was a competition to guess which was the local agate.

Worldwide agates

Back in the town hall, another dinosaur guarding the fossil exhibits.

Ok, yes, I know Dimetrodon isn't a true dinosaur. Big scary lizard then.

Here are some fossils. I'm not really qualified to tell you what they are (other than the one on the left is a crinoid, and the other two are starfish), but they're very nice.

Fossil thingies

Here I am (right) with Rainer Bode, from the Bode publishing company in Germany (left) and Tomasz Praszkier, from Spirifer Minerals and one of the organizers of this event - he worked very, very hard to make it all come togther.

Rainer, Tom and Jolyon

Later, we announced the winners of the mineral display competition. The first place went to Andrzej Korzekwa, for his excellent Strzegom display, which I showed in my previous report.

On stage

but here's an epidote from his display.


And a bow-tie Stilbite


And a lovely smoky quartz.

Smoky Quartz

Back in the town hall, I've managed to claim a free desk within the organizer's office. Very handy for taking a quiet break and doing my show reports.

Rainer Bode (right) talking with me

On Saturday night, there was a large party for exhibitors and polish collectors. And foreign guests. Here I am, sitting next to Rainer Bode.

Saturday Night

I'm not always keen on getting my photo taken!

Paparazzi, No!

No more Vodka, please!

And me, I woke up the next day on the floor of my hotel room, with two bottles of sparking water and a very large loaf of bread.

Sunday evening, and the celebrations draw to a close with a major rock/pop concert.


Only to be interrupted by me going on stage to tell the crowd what a wonderful time I'd had. Which they seemed to appreciate!


And this is the crowd listening to me. Wooh.

Here's what I saw

Ending with a spectacular firework display.


More fireworks

More fireworks

And yes, another party. This time in the Town Hall, with the mayor. A small party just for the show organizers and, somehow, me.

End party

Here I am, in what I can only imagine is my attempt to deliberately look sober. Obviously it wasn't working.

Asia and I

Here's Rainer helping himself to more beer.


There was only one way to survive the Polish alcohol, you had to eat their food, which was essentially bread covered in grease with bits of meat. It worked, this gruesome mixture lined the stomach and prevented the alcohol killing you dead.

Survival Instincts

So, after partying till gone six in the morning, I got back to the hotel (thank you, Asia!), slept a little, and surprisingly by 11am was up and ready to go, and decided it would be nice to walk the 3km back to the town.

My hotel

Once there, everyone became seriously addicted to 'Angry Birds', a game I have on my iPad. Left to right, Asia, Tom, Agata and Andrzej.

Ipad fun

Agata and Andrzej

After the show, we went on a little local tour. First stop was Karkonoski Park Narodowy, where we went to see the waterfall.


Andrzej gets distrated on the way up to visit the waterfall - by a pegmatite vein in the granite!

Andrzej finds a pegmatite

The next stop was a small local, private, mineral museum in Szklarska Poręba.

Muzeum Mineralogiczne

There was lots on display

Lots on display

Citrine from Texas? Hmmmm

Polish banded flint


Galena from Bulgaria

Polish Amethyst


A large pegmatite plate from Strzegom

The corridors in the museum

Photographer at work

Polish Celestine

Brannerite from Austria


The next day, we visited another museum with a mineral collection, at the Regional Museum in Jawor.

Museum entrance

Here we are walking through the mineral gallery

Walking through

They had a good display of minerals from Strzegom.

Strzegom minerals

Next, we went to visit the granite quarries at Strzegom. Here's Andrzej at the offices in one quarry posing next to a large boulder with pegmatite minerals.

Andrzej with a boulder

The granite quarries are massive, they are carved rather than blasted, and the sides are sheer drops - equipment has to be lowered in by crane.

Granite Quarry

A view of one of the quarries.

A quarry

Here are some of the cranes used to lift equiment in and granite out.


The blocks are cut by hand, not blasted. This has the great side-effect that mineral cavities are generally not shattered.

Mining granite

And, the pegmatite cavities are waste rock for them, useless for their finished stone materials, so they discard them. Great for us!

Examining pegmatite.

A cavity showing fluorite and stilbite

Fluorite and stilbite

Here's a close-up of a pegmatite cavity.


and another!

Close up of quartz and felspar in a graphic-style parallel growth
Parallel growth

So, why not come next year to the Lwówek Śląski Crystal Days. There's a very good reason to do so, because as part of the Crystal Days celebrations, mindat.org will be hosting it's first international conference. July 10th-July 17th 2011.

Collecting in Strzegom and other localities, mineral shows and three days of conferences with speakers (in English) from around the world. Come join us for an excellent 2011!

And thank you to Tom and Asia from Spirifer who were my hosts for the visit!

Article has been viewed at least 21402 times.


Wow! These are some great photos! It seems like you had a really interesting trip! And those cavities in the discarded quarry stones were a great find. (By the way, Angry Birds is a very addicting game!)

Nathan Grosse
15th Sep 2010 11:07pm
Great report and photos! I love the way the entire town seems to be involved. And it looks like an absolutely charming town. The Polish agates are magnificent!


Dana Slaughter
15th Sep 2010 11:31pm
Nice article Jolyon! Its good to see how quarries in Poland look.

Michael Adamowicz
16th Sep 2010 1:30pm
Thank you Jolyon! An excellent report showcasing Polish minerals and agates. Sounds like next year will be even better!

Stephanie Martin
17th Sep 2010 2:06am
Nice post, I am considering the conference in 2011, and this shows what to expect :D


Øyvind Idland
14th Nov 2010 10:52am

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