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:::LOCATION OF THE EVENT
Location of the Event 


Map: Andrzej Weinke

Kowary - Podgórze  
Kowary - Podgórze is the highest housing estate in town with an elevation of approximately 600-700 m asl. It is situated in the basin of the River Jedlica, Kuźniczy Stream and Jelenia Struga Stream at the feet of Mount Wołowa, Mount Rudnik and Mount Sulica.



For centuries, Podgórze was famous for herbal medicine and mining. In the beginning, iron ore was extracted here and later the focus shifted to uranium ores. At present, the main ambition of this part of Kowary is to become the centre of winter and summer sports. It is easy to reach the Okraj Mountain Pass (1046 m asl) or the Kowarska Mountain Pass (727 m asl) from here. There are numerous walking routes and cross-country skiing routes cross the area. Podgórze is the part of the town with the most severe climate in winter and for this reason its future relies to a large extent on the development of a winter sports centre.

This is also the part of town where the underground tourist route called “Sztolnie Kowary” (Kowary Adits) and a radon inhalatorium are located. The facility is Poland’s first and the world’s fifth natural underground inhalatorium offering radon treatment in accordance with the requirements of speleotherapy. Similar facilities are found only in Austria, Germany, Italy and the United States.



Photo: Andrzej Weinke

 

Situated at 1046 m asl, Okraj Mountain Pass is a picturesque valley of land separating the Kowarski Ridge (which belongs to Karkonosze Mountains) from Lasocki Ridge.



In the 17th century herding started to flourish in the area, which lead to the building of chalets and shepherd’s huts. The first half of the 19th century saw the spread of popularity of downhill rides from Okraj Mountain Pass to Kowary on huge sleighs with horn-like runners. This nearly forgotten tradition was brought to life again several years ago and the “International Horn Sleigh Downhill Ride” is now organised every winter.

Due to the fact that the Prussian and Austrian border ran along the Karkonosze Mountains, Okraj Mountain Pass gained a huge significance and a border crossing with a customs chamber was established there. At present, this is where a Border Guard Office and a mountain hostel are located. The local border crossing with the Czech Republic is open to pedestrians, cyclists and passenger cars. It is worth mentioning that this is the highest road border crossing in Poland.
Right across the border there is a Czech village with herding traditions called Mala Upa featuring numerous walking and cycling routes as well as downhill skiing routes. The village is as popular Czech holiday resort, especially in winter.



Photo: Mirosław Górecki

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