Spa town in Poland
Polanica-Zdroj is a spa town and an administrative part of the county of Klodzko that is located in the province of Lower Silesia. The resort has the characteristics of a piedmont spa as it is situated in the valley of the River Bystrzyca Dusznicka, with the foothills of the Piekielna Gora Massif, the south-eastern extremity of the Stolowe Mountain, on one side and on the slopes of the nearby Kamienna Gora on the other. The classic piedmont climate is moderately stimulating and is moderated by the dense forested areas, predominantly coniferous trees, which cover the slopes surrounding the city. Neighbouring municipalities include those of Bystrzyca Klodzka, Klodzko and Szczytna. The region was reached by the Scandinavian ice Sheet during the Old Polish Ice Age which is why there are many examples here of overlapping quaternary sediments gouged river valleys. The surrounding hills have been formed from sandstone from the Late Cretaceous period. The natural elements that are the mainstay of the spa at Polanica-Zdroj are its climate and the natural spring water and mud that are found here.
The first mention of a settlement surrounded by dense forests call Heyde at this location dates back to 1347. It was owned by the well known Silesian family of Knights von Glaubitz (or Glubos) who resided in Szczerba Castle. Over the centuries the estates around the settlement changed hands many times and the water sources that were found here became known as toad springs as often dead frogs were found in them. They jumped into the water and unfortunately died, due to the high content of carbonic acid. The springs were still not being used for their therapeutic value. The first recorded record of a spa resort at Polanica-Zdroj date back to the 18th century although the healing property of the waters from local wells was talked about much earlier. The investor who began building the first health resort facility was Joseph Grolms, a merchant from Klodzko but with successive owners more structures began popping up all around the area. It was not until 1873, with the influx of serious investment capital, did the full potential of the spa activities become apparent. Wenzel Hoffmann, an industrialist from Wroclaw, commissioned the design and construction of further facilities for the therapeutic use of the locally sourced medicinal resources. A mineral water pump and tap room, a spa centre and park, a theatre, a café and several residential establishments became the nucleus of a European class resort. The next owner, Georg Haase, developed the spa resort to compete on the same level with other more well known resorts. This brewing specialist, business adviser and excellent coordinator managed to gather together a group of people who understood the concepts of health resorts. The company managed by Haase introduced modern spa technology and built luxurious spa facilities as well as the accompanying infrastructure. It is worth mentioning that the dynamic development of the resort was largely due to the innovative, at the time, methods of advertising. During World War II the entire resort was converted to a military hospital and convalescent centre. As it was practically undamaged, returned to its original role immediately after the end of the war.
Today Polanica-Zdroj is a spa with an established international reputation with some of the most modern equipped medical facilities and a developed residential infrastructure for patients and tourists. Numerous cultural, sporting and recreational events are held regularly in the town and there is a wide selection of cycling and hiking trails of varying length and degrees of difficulty. The resort at Polanica-Zdroj offers its guests, as a sign of its appreciation, a precious gift, health as the facilities specialise in the treatment of cardiac, gastric and locomotive diseases.