The Ethnocentre deals with the traditional culture of the Krosno Region, which geographically covers the central and eastern part of the Low Beskids, some parts of the Central Beskidian Piedmont – Jasielskie and Bukowskie Piedmont, the central and eastern part of the Jasielsko-Krośnieńska Basin, and Dynowskie and Strzyżowskie Piedmonts.
The entire area is made up of the so called flysch, i.e. sedimentary rocks, mainly sandstone, shales and conglomerates formed at the bottom of a deep sea which covered the area in the Upper Cretaceous and the Paleogene. The highest mountain ridges are built of sand stone, which is less prone to erosion, creating picturesque rock outcrops, such as Prządki, Konfederatka, Diabli Kamień near Folusz, and Skałki Jagiellońskie.
Landslides are characteristic of flysch formations. They can be found mainly around Dukla – for example, at the slope of Cergowa Mountain, and near the Hermitage of St. John of Dukla (the so called Zwezłyska). The landslides are sometimes accompanied by fracture caves – for example, on Cergowa Mountain or Kilanowska Mountain near Lipowica.
Flysch rocks have oil-bearing properties. The oil and natural gas area extends from Jasło, through Krosno and Sanok, as far as to Ustrzyki Dolne. It is one of the oldest oil and natural gas extraction areas in the world.
The Krosno Region is situated in the Wisłoka, Jasiołka, Wisłok, Osława and San river basins. In locations where the rivers cut through tectonic structures, picturesque gorges formed, revealing a Carpathian Flysch, e.g. a cliff called Olzy in Rudawka Rymanowska.
The region is famous for its profusion of mineral water springs. Health resorts in Iwonicz and Rymanów are the most prominent locations that have developed due to these extraordinary springs. Mineral water springs can also be found in Lubatówka, Rudawka Rymanowska, Humniska, and Krosno.
Two vertical climate zones exist here – the moderately warm zone with an average multi-annual temperature of 6-8oC, and the moderately cool zone (4-6oC). The boundary between the two areas is located at the altitude of 450-500 metres. Due to the substantial decrease in the Carpathian Barrier’s size, the area is characterised by the prevalence of foehn winds, the so called dukielskie and rymanowskie winds, blowing from the south or south-west along the valleys. They occur mostly in the autumn and winter seasons, and their speed often reaches 20 m/s.
Parallel to the physical and geographical division, we can distinguish two vegetation zones: the foothill zone (up to 550 m) and the subalpine vegetation zone. The foothill zone is dominated by fir and beech tree forests, with a large proportion of oaks and hornbeams. In the higher parts of the mountains (above 400 m), we can find mountain beech forest plant communities (with a small proportion of firs).
As far as the flora is concerned, the region is a transitional area between the Western and Eastern Carpathian Mountains. The unique decline of the ridge of the Carpathian Mountains is conducive to the presence of thermophilic plants from the south. At the same time, it forms an area where it is difficult to find numerous mountain plant species otherwise found in the neighbouring, higher mountain ranges, such as the Beskid Sądecki and the Western Bieszczady mountains.
The animal world does not differ significantly from the neighbouring parts of the Carpathian Mountains. As far as large mammals are concerned, notable species include bears, wolves, deer, boars, and roe deer. The rich world of amphibians is represented by salamanders and the Carpathian newt, while reptiles include the common European adder and the grass snake. Birds include black storks – regular visitors to the area – dippers and grey wagtails, bustling about over mountain creeks. The largest number of bird species can be observed in the Dukielska Pass area, as it is crossed by one of the main bird migration routes. The area features an extremely colourful world of insects, represented by an exceptionally large number of butterfly species.