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Ząbkowice Śląskie

It is no coincidence that Ząbkowice Śląskie, called the City of the Leaning Tower and Frankenstein, is an extraordinary town in Lower Silesia with unique attractions. It is here that the only such Leaning Tower is located and it is in Ząbkowice Śląskie that the terrible story about Frankenstein has its roots.

The Leaning Tower is the highest and is the most tilted Leaning Tower in Poland, second in line in Europe after Italian Pisa. Its deviation from the vertical is as much as 2.14 meters, which is not only visible with the naked eye, but also can be felt while standing inside the tower. This building is 34 meters high, which corresponds to a ten-story building. 139 steps lead to the top of the tower, and the difficulty of the ascent is compensated by the beautiful views that can be admired from its top.

Why is the Leaning Tower Leaning?

There are several theories explaining its tilt. It is commonly believed that the cause could have been tectonic tremors that were recorded in the city in 1590. It is also possible that the cause may have been soil waterlogging, which resulted in subsidence of the foundation. There is also a legend that goes back to 1858 when the upper part of the tower was destroyed during the great fire of the city. After the fire, the city authorities intended to dismantle it completely, but in the end, after an expert opinion, it was decided that the burned part of the building would be rebuilt. Moreover, the research results amazed the experts. On their basis, it was found that the tower could have been built inclined from the very beginning. Just a fantasy of builders who wanted Ząbkowice to have a unique and unique building. It is said that in the nineteenth century, in the part of the tower that had been consumed by a great fire, there was an inscription made by the builder: “Ich heiß Hohannes Gleiß, hab diesen Turm schieff gebaut mit Fleiß”. (My name is Johannes Gleiß, I built this curve tower with diligence). Unfortunately, after the reconstruction, the inscription was destroyed.


And what does Frankenstein have in common with Ząbkowice Śląskie?

It turns out surprisingly much. Firstly, from the Middle Ages until 1946, Ząbkowice Śląskie was called Frankenstein, and secondly, the history of the city is closely related to Dr. Viktor Frankenstein himself. It all started in 1606, when the plague broke out in the city, during which almost a third of the local population lost their lives. A gang of gravediggers, were accused of causing the plague and soon after they were sentenced to death. Those eight men from plagued corpses produced powder and then scattered it around the area to infect other inhabitants … What next? 200 years pass, the story is passed down from generation to generation and travels around the world until it reaches the English writer Mary Shelley. It is her, inspired by the story that happened in the then city of Frankenstein, who creates the character  of a mad scientist who creates a monster sewn together from fragments of human and animal bodies. The author did not give the monster a name, which is why he got it later from the name of its creator. It should be borne in mind that the hero of Mary Shelley’s novel was by nature not eager to violence, he only craved knowledge and craved love, but people prejudiced against his appearance were very hostile towards him. However, striving for happiness, you can easily forget yourself and reach for it through someone’s harm, and Viktor Frankenstein has not been held accountable for his work.

Currently, in the Kauffung Manor, the oldest residential building in Ząbkowice Śląskie, you can sit in court among accused  gravediggers, visit the basement of Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s laboratory, see Mary Shelley’s office, but also help her write a new book – any visitor can become a co-author of the novel “Frankenstein Has Returned”….


Find out more detailed information about Ząbkowice Śląskie >>>>

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