Attractions of Ciechocinek
Ciechocinek is a city full of attractions. It is not only the previously mentioned brine graduation towers. In the summer we can admire a unique flower carpet consisting of about 20 thousand seedlings of various plant species. There are also interesting fountains, a spa park with rare species of trees and shrubs, castle ruins or a museum of salt brewing and spa treatment.
Ciechocinek is a city that provides a real boost of energy. It is here that you can relax away from the hustle and bustle of big-city life. Interesting monuments related to the unique history of the town, as well as the surrounding nature, make Ciechocinek a place that should definitely be on the list of places to visit.
Brine Graduation Towers in Ciechocinek
It is the largest wooden structure in Europe for evaporating water from brine, which was designed by Jakub Graff, a professor at the Mining Academy in Kielce. Three graduation towers were built in Ciechocinek, arranged in the form of a horseshoe. The base of the graduation tower was built using thousands of oak piles.
The graduation tower in Ciechocinek rises to a height of 15.8 meters. Meanwhile, the total length of the graduation tower is 1741.5 meters. Brine is pumped into the graduation tower from a spring known as the Grzybek fountain. It is then injected into the troughs at the top. The brine seeps drop by drop down the walls of the graduation tower and then evaporates. This is the result of wind and sunlight.
Near the brine graduation towers in Ciechocinek, a unique microclimate is created, abundant in iodine. It is for this reason that the city is so popular among visitors. The graduation towers have been included in the list of Historical Monuments. Work on the construction of the graduation towers began in 1824. A significant event for the city was the installation of copper tubs in the local inn. It was then that more than a hundred people took advantage of the brine bath. Thus began the history of Ciechocinek as a spa town.
The Brine Grotto in Ciechocinek
The Brine Grotto in Ciechocinek is a unique place not only in Poland but also in Europe. It is a natural inhalatorium inside a graduation tower. The Brine Grotto is a place of particular importance for people suffering from various health problems. The grotto is most often used by people struggling with respiratory diseases, including asthma and allergies, as well as those who deal with smog on a daily basis. A stay in the salt grotto is also an excellent solution for boosting immunity and de-stressing.
The grotto is fed with natural brine, as well as products of its processing. The Brine Grotto in Ciechocinek is a place where you can truly relax and unwind from your daily chores. On the other hand, the unique microclimate containing extremely valuable microelements, as well as the right temperature and humidity level, are very effective in improving health and well-being. What is more, in the grotto you can sit comfortably on an armchair and relax to the peaceful sounds of music and atmospheric lighting.
The Spa Park in Ciechocinek
The Spa Park in Ciechocinek, also called the Main Park, was created between 1872 and 1875. It is the largest of the four parks located in the town. The park covers an area of approximately 19 ha. It originated from a garden which was located near the Karol Müller Hotel built in 1851. Today, the Spa Park is home to many tree species, such as maples, oaks, lime trees, spruces, as well as canada maples, ginkgo biloba, caucasian winged pine and american tulip trees. A special resident of the park is the pedunculate oak Konstanty, which has been designated a natural monument. It is 22 m high and has a circumference of 547 cm. Around 140 plant species can be found in the park.
The Spa Park in Ciechocinek is also home to the charming “Jaś i Małgosia” fountain, the popular Bristol Café, the Mineral Water Pump Room and the famous Concert Shell. The Shell was founded in 1909, and from the very beginning it stood out from Ciechocinek because of the unusual, Zakopane style in which it was built. Over the years, many popular artists have performed on its stage. It is also where many festivals are held. While in Ciechocinek, it is definitely worth visiting the Spa Park. It is an ideal place to regenerate and relax in nature.
The Ciechocinek Salt Works is the oldest factory in Poland that is still in operation. In 1772, after the first partition of Poland, the salt deposits located in Wieliczka and Bochnia passed to the austrian annexation. At that time, King Stanisław Poniatowski supported an act to build a salt factory in Ciechocinek. The factory was built between 1824 and 1830. The delay in opening the factory was due to the outbreak of the November Uprising. The construction project included three brick buildings for the brewhouse, a salt warehouse, a cooper’s workshop, a forge and a place to store fire-fighting equipment.
It is in the brewhouse that the final stage of evaporation and crystallisation takes place. The concentrated brine moves to the brine graduation towers, where it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees. The brine solution is then heated to 100 degrees. It is then that salt crystals are precipitated, which are then subjected to drying.
There is also a museum in the Ciechocinek Salt Works. This is where you can learn all about the entire process of salt production. What’s more, it also houses rehabilitation equipment used in the 19th century, such as gymnastic apparatuses. The Salt Works produces food-grade salt and its derivatives, i.e. slime and medicinal lye. These are natural medicines that are added to health baths, among other things.
There are many unique attractions and monuments in Ciechocinek. One of them is the Orthodox Church of St Michael the Archangel. It is the only historic orthodox church in the zaural style in Poland and even in the whole of Europe. The church in Ciechocinek was built in 1894, for orthodox believers who came to Ciechocinek for health purposes. The church functioned until the 1920s. Then a casino, a school and later a warehouse were built inside it. However, in 1996 the church was re-consecrated.
Today, in the church, you can admire the rich decorations around the windows, the relics of the twelve bethlehem martyrs, and the wall covered with icons depicting the Kingdom of Heaven. The colours used to paint the building are blue, which symbolises the Kingdom, yellow – holiness, and red identified with the love of God. The church in Ciechocinek was entered in the register of historical monuments in 1995. Nowadays, it can be seen before and during the mass, but you should be quiet and show your respect.