Monday, 13 August 2007

The highest railway station in Poland - Szklarska Poreba

The train station in Szklarska Poreba is the highest in Poland and the first time I saw this train station, I was impressed. The sheer rock face on one side opposite the station building, and on the other side a view of all of Szklarska, Szrenica mountain and some others I can not remember the name of in the Karkonosze range.

However despite the impressive natural surroundings, I actually thought the station had stopped being used as it is in a poor state and seemed deserted. There was no one around even though it was tourist season and there was a space where once a shop had serviced commuters. Trains do depart nowadays, although quite rarely compared with in the past but the station looks like it's last legs largely due to the decrease in stone mining in the Szklarska Poreba area and a cease in the connection to the Czech Republic (Tanvald in 1945). I think the state of the building and area around serve as an analogy to how during different times Szklarska boomed. During Communism when there were closed borders, Szklarska boomed as one of leading holiday destinations for Polish people to go but as the borders opened with the fall of Communism, it's popularity inevitably declined as people could leave Poland for their holiday. There was a golden age in Szklarska Poreba's history which is not now but I think there is the possibility of mountain towns booming again in Poland especially with it's recent inclusion in to the EU. Skiing resorts like this are beginning to rival the Alps and their associated resort towns. Time will tell, and perhaps Szklarska Poreba gorna will be busy once again.


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Dr Mum said...

Hello John I was utterly fascinated to see your pictures of the station at Szlarska Poreba. Reason is... I am doing some family ancestry research (who isn't) which led me there. It was very difficult because the same place has been Czech, German and Polish during the time I was looking at it. My language skills are poor. The connection I found was for Schrieberhau but now I realise it is the same place. Do people all speak Polish there?
My family name is Haedicke and a possible relative owned the sanitorium there. Did you see a sanatorium? I hope to visit before I leave Europe to go to Australia. I was disappointed to here that the little train doesn't run to Czech towns anymore. Would it be possible to get on a train at Legnice...Have you guys been there?

whosthedady said...

Hi thanks for comments.
Dr mum, I am quoting a friend:

Szklarska Poreba used to belong to Germany, after World War II the border was changed and then this city become a part of Poland. All of Szklarska Poreba's citizans speak Polish because as this city became Polish property many German migrated back to Germany. However, some of them decided to stay but they became a part of Polish community.
When it comes to senatorium, there were a few (I suppose). I was thinking about the one not far away from the train station....big building. I am not 100% sure but I think it's a hospice.
I am pretty sure you can still take train to Legnica.

I will post more information soon, I am not in Szklarska a the moment but maybe I can get some pictures up of sanitorium.

Thanks again for your comment

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone !
I lived in Szklarska Poreba over 25years(most of my live) and curently have moved out but..
There is really nice to find out that someone still could be impressed about this city. At the moment everything looks like a ruin, but from my childhood I can recall how different city looked like. Believe me, 15 -20 years ago Szklarska was real resort!

Dr Mum said...

Hey John,
Happy chrimbo to you from Australia and hope you guys are getting some class snow action!!.
Referring to previous comments, the ski resort there became fashionable as Dr Haedicke was the chairman of the Olympics Committee before the war.
Further back in Edwardian times when it was known as Haut Schrieberhaus it was a rather boho Artists Colony. I believe some aspect of the local geology also made it suitable for glass blowing, hence Huttes (in German), examples of which can be seen in the local museum. Regrettable that all these things seem to waned.
Good luck with photography.