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:::THE HISTORY OF DOWNHILL RIDES
The history of downhill rides  
The first documented downhill ride on a horn sleigh took place in the year 1737 during the return from an expedition to the Mały Staw pond in the Karkonosze Mountains. In 1815 the rides became a leisure activity and in the same year people could participate in the leisure rides along a 7-kilometre track from the hostel located at the Okraj Mountain Pass (formerly Grenzbaude) down to the “Golden Star” tavern in Kowary. This winter sport gathered more and more enthusiasts and in 1896 there were around 3,000 horn sleighs and just as many sleigh horses available for tourists. Furthermore, a sleigh-drivers’ union was formed to secure the interests of its members and to regulate the fares for the routes. The business gave rise to supplementary infrastructure and resulted in the establishment of border crossings and a customs chamber. A train service connecting Karkonosze with Berlin and Wrocław was launched in 1866, which undoubtedly contributed to a substantial growth of tourism in the region. Beside tours to the summit of Mount Śnieżka in summer, downhill rides on horn sleighs organised in winter became one of the most popular tourist attractions. The prices were regulated under a price list and ranged from 5 to 16 German Marks depending on the route length.





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The following document was created with the support of the European Union.