Skansen Przemysłu Naftowego „Magdalena” w Gorlicach

Useful Information

Location: Lipowa, 38-300 Gorlice.
Highway 28 to Gorlice, turn off on DW 977 towards center, on second roundabout turn left towards Centrum, after 1.7 km turn left, signposted. After 180 m parking lot on the right, thrail through meadow 100 m to the museum.
(49.654351, 21.135185)
Open: All year Mon-Sat .
Classification: MineCrude Oil
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: Maciej J. Kotarba, Elżbieta Bilkiewicz, Krzysztof Jurek, Dariusz Więcław, Grzegorz Machowski (2021):
Origin, migration and secondary processes of oil and natural gas in the western part of the Polish Outer Carpathians: geochemical and geological approach
International Journal of Earth Sciences (2021) 110:1653–1679. DOI pdf
Henry De Cizancourt (1931): Geology of Oil Fields of Polish Carpathian Mountains, AAPG Bulletin (1931) 15 (1): 1–41. DOI pdf
Address: Skansen Przemysłu Naftowego „Magdalena” w Gorlicach, Lipowa, 38-300 Gorlice, Tel: +48-600-491-470.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1854 first kerosene street lamp, constructed by Ignacy Łukasiewicz, lit by city councilors at Gorlice.
31-MAY-2012 open air museum opened to the public.


Early Silurian formations located at the boundary of the East European Craton have been subjected to temperatures and pressures that are required for the formation of the crude oil. Oil in the oil shales was mobilized and formed crude oil deposits. There are only a few spots where they are close to the surface, but the oil deposits actually form two areas, the Baltic Basin including the Warsaw Trough and the Podlasie Basin. One is along the northern foot of the Carpathians, southeast of Warsaw, the other is west of Gdansk.


The Skansen Przemysłu Naftowego „Magdalena” w Gorlicach ("Magdalena" Oil Industry Open-Air Museum in Gorlice) is an open air museum located in the forest called "Puste Pole" near Gorlice. This area is obviously inhabited by people who like their privacy, most are accessible only on single lane gravel roads, actually two parallel lines of gravel for the wheels, through forest. The museum is no exception, from the parking lot at the road a 100 m long grassy trail across the meadow leads to the museum entrance. The musem is named Magdalena because it is located on the site of the former "Magdalena" oil mine, one of numerous such mines in the area. Between 1931 and 2000 some 110 boreholes were drilled and some 310,000 tonnes of crude oil were produced from the deposit.

The museum is a huge meadow with a picket fence. Inside is and enormous drilling tower made of wood with wooden walls, which is originally from the "Ćwiartka" mine and was built in this form before 1880. It is also a fine outlook tower on the Low Beskids. There are numerous sheds which contain small exhibitions, bottkes of crude oil, various products which were produced from the oil, lamps and even an old motorbike which are the consumers. The site is shown by the owner, Kazimierz Dudek, who still pumped a small amount of oil until recently. His profession was oil miner until he retired in 2013. He has been collecting oil related machinery for years and this place is ideal to present it. He even has an oil lamps, as they were designed by Ignacy Łukasiewicz as street lights, which is still in working order. Outside, the museum has younger equipment like oil pumps, a transmission powered by an electric motor, narrow gauge mine trains, and various carts with tanks for the transport of oil,