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Szklarska Poręba

The history of Szklarska Poręba was always bound with the progress of glass industry, with the search for precious gemstones, and from the 19th century with mountain tourism.

At the end of the thirteenth century, land of Szklarska Poreba were bought by the Order of the Knights from Cieplice(nowadays Jelenia Góra district) in order to search for gold and precious stones. In the mid-fourteenth century, the first glassworks was established. The Schaffgotsch family was the owner of the land and the initiator of the establishment of other glassworks, whose property was also in the mountains and foothills. At that time, the Karkonosze Mountains were penetrated by land treasure hunters who came to Western Europe, they were called the Walloons. Some of their traces are excavations shafts and also secret marks engraved on the rocks, which also testify to the mineral richness of these areas.


The development of glass production was associated with the process of deforestation. To smelt glass with wood, the glassworks “wandered” along the streams into the mountains, and with them the settlements of steelworkers, lumberjacks and dusters. The “traveling glassworks” was called Szklarska Poręba(lit. glass cutting). As the time passed shepherds settlements were established at these deforested areas, which gave rise to the history of the city. The name was ordered by the Silesian Institute in 1946 and announced in the Official Journal of the Regained Territories No. 5.  And it was a result of merging few glassworks. To name a few it was a Czeska Struga(1575),  Biała Dolina (1754), Orle(1842), the biggest glassworks factory was originally called “Józefina”, and after 1945 “Julia”. For several hundred years, the glass industry has been the leading branch of the local economy. The arrival of Czech protestants – religious emigrants to Szklarska Poręba in 1578, which was settled on the Silesian side by count Schaffgotsch known for his religious tolerance.

herbal remedies. In the course of the 17th and 18th centuries, other housing estates were built, and so at the beginning of the 19th century Szklarska Poręba became one of the most significant Sudeten villages. It consisted of 26 settlements and hamlets with 336 houses, two churches (Catholic and Evangelical), four schools, two glassworks and sixteen grinders, three mills and a sawmill. The main source of income for the local population was forest work (lumberjacks and dusters), glass smelting, as well as farming and shepherding. It was the shepherd’s huts in the alpine pastures that gave rise to today’s mountain shelters.


Since the 19th century tourism started it’s rapid developement. The desire to have a personal experience from mountains allowed Szklarska Poręba to become a very famous station thus made available to inhabitants of Lower Silesia. The breakthrough was the construction of the road from Piechowice through the Szklarska Pass to Harrachov in 1847. and the railline from Jelenia Góra to Tanvald in 1902. From that moment on, Szklara Poręba, developes tourism, consolidated its function as main destination of winter sports tourism. Another event important for the development of tourism was the construction of the “Szrenica” cableway (chairlift) in 1962.


At the end of the 19th century, the news about the charm of the village and the beauty of its surroundings caused an influx of artists – writers, poets, painters and sculptors – to Szklarska Poręba. This is how a kind of artistic colony was created, the traditions of which are continued by contemporary artists.


After 1945, most of the accommodation facilities in Szklarska Poręba became the property of the Employee Holiday Fund and Szklarska Poręba became one of the most famous holiday resorts in Poland. Szklarska Poręba obtained city rights in 1959.



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