Polanica - Zdrój
The history of Polanica dates back to way before the town gained its reputation as a health resort. The first records can be found in court books of Kłodzko town. The mineral springs became famous quite early, in the 16th century. Their therapeutic effects and good taste are mentioned by the chronicler, Aelurius.
The waters of Polanica were transported to distant places, and ordered for feasts and weddings. In 1595 the village became the property of Jesuits, who built their home there, recognising Polanica as a healthy and pleasant place of stay. The Jesuits also began to use the springs.
The breakthrough year in the history of Polanica was 1828. It was then that Józef Gromls, a merchant from Kłodzko, became the owner of the village. He started to commercialise the springs, building a small pump room and wooden baths. This was the beginning of Polanica’s history as a spa. At that time the place had five mineral water springs but only two of them were used: Joseph’s spring, the most productive one, and George’s spring.
In 1873 the baths were purchased by an entrepreneur from Wrocław – Hoffman. The analyses of Polanica waters he ordered showed that local springs equalled the recognised waters from Duszniki or even surpassed them in some aspects. From 1875 the number of patients kept regularly increasing. The treatment lasted 4-6 weeks and comprised mineral baths and drinking of water. In 1904 use of the Wielka Pieniawa spring commenced. Discovery of new springs and the takeover of Polanica by a company Zarząd Uzdrowiska Polanica led to further development of the resort. A plan was prepared to erect a comfortable spa house with modern hydrotherapy equipment. The house was to be surrounded with fence and new houses were to be built. In summer 1906 the first part of the plan was completed. On 20 June the Spa House was put into use and later, along with the Spa Park, it was lit with electric light. Fifty new houses were built before 1910. Development of the material sphere was accompanied by increasing recognition of Polanica as a health resort. Between 1930 and 1939 its development stabilised. The spa was renowned and popular in the whole of Europe and it has retained its special character to this day.
Today’s Polanica Zdrój is a health resort with a population of 7,500 situated 380-410 a.s.l. The Sudety Mountains that surround it are not too high, yet they enchant with their beauty, picturesque views and purity, untainted by big industry. The spa is situated in a glamorous valley of the Bystrzyca Dusznicka river. Due to its favourable location, the town is characterised by a submontane climate with mild winters and quite warm and sunny summers. Unique geology, climate and nature conditions led to the creation of the Stołowe Mountains National Park, which covers the area of the gminas adjacent to Polanica. The most important factors determining the spa nature of the town is the great quantity of mineral waters. The town has a traditional urban layout, with densely arranged buildings. It has no main square, no downtown, and it is situated in a park. All the spa facilities can be found in the Spa Park, where native flora is accompanied by numerous exotic plants, not infrequently arranged in exquisite, original flower beds. In the Park one may find the Natural Treatment Facility, the Pump Room, the Spa Theatre, and the Concert Hall. The part of the town outside the Park has plenty of coffee shops, hotels, leisure areas, an indoor and an open-air swimming pool, as well as interesting sites for strolling.