The chalk mountains located on the Ilovla River stretch along its right bank and are an adornment of the steppe landscape. This sight makes even inveterate travelers freeze in amazement.
What the chalk mountains look like
Chalk mountains from a distance resemble clouds that have descended to the ground to rest, or huge snow blocks lying in the middle of green vegetation. In the sun, they shimmer and shine interspersed with quartzite and carnelian, creating an impression of the sublime and inexplicable.
The history of the formation of the chalk mountains goes back millions of years. It is believed that at a time when the entire territory of the Volgograd region was under water, there was a long process of deposition of shells and skeletons of marine life at the bottom of the Don River. The successive layering of chalk rocks led to the formation of chalk mountains.
Nowadays, the so-called chalk mountains are located in the natural park "Donskoy" in the Volgograd region.
These formations rightfully deserve the title of the highest chalk mountains in Europe. Their height can be from 70 to 100 meters, and the thickness of the chalk covering the surface of the mountains in these places is about 50-60 meters. Their length reaches several tens of kilometers along the Ilovlya River.
The composition of the chalk mountains
From a geological point of view, the Cretaceous mountains belong to the Jurassic period. They contain gray, quartz and cross-bedded sands. At the base of the rock are conglomerates that do not contain fossils. Above there is a clayey layer with rare cephalopods belemnites and a layer of aneurites, where imprints of ancient plants are perfectly preserved.
Due to this structure, the chalk mountains have a stepped tiered relief.
One of the most interesting phenomena on the territory of the chalk mountains is the unusual acoustics of this place. If the sound is quiet enough, it bounces off and spreads in waves. Therefore, if you just carry on a dialogue, it will be heard after a few kilometers. If the conversation, on the other hand, is too loud, it can be very muffled.
Also interesting are the lightning that occurs in this place. They are represented by both vertical and horizontal digits. As a rule, a luminous ball appears at the end of one of the longitudinal lightning bolts, which smoothly moves across the sky. Then it dissolves beyond the horizon. This phenomenon was observed a huge number of times, but it was not possible to capture it. It never found a scientific explanation.
When you get to this place for the first time, it seems that winter has come. If it weren't for the 30 degrees Celsius heat, you might really decide it's December or January. In this place, calmness and silence reign, it is not for nothing that caves were dug here and the Holy Trinity Belogorodsky Monastery was built.
In addition to the Volgograd region, chalk mountains can be found in the Voronezh region, near the village of Buturlinovka, in Svyatogorsk, where the Great Patriotic War memorial is located on the chalk mountains, as well as in the Kharkov and Orenburg regions.