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Szczawa pijalnia

34-607 Szczawa Tourist region: Gorce i Beskid Wyspowy

Nestled between the Island Beskids and the Gorce Mountains, Szczawa is a summer resort at the mouth of several tributaries to the Kamienica River. The name of the village comes from the abundant mineral waters in the area.

The first mention of the healing properties of the waters in the Szczawa region date back to the 15th-century document Chorographia Regin Poloniae by Jan Długosz, describing the hydrology of Poland. A significant time in the town’s history was the 18th century, when professor Baltazar Hacquet from Lviv University classified the waters occurring here and described their properties. Dynamic exploitation of the springs began in the 1930s. The wells were named after Antoni Gryzina-Lasko's wife and children: Hanna (wife), Dziedzilla (daughter of Zdzisław, called Dzidzia), Lech (son), Krystyna (daughter) and Legun (a moniker for a Piłsudski legionnaire). In 1934, two chloride sorrel springs were discovered, and in 1938 a small mineral water pump room and a water bottling plant were established. Unfortunately, the times of war and occupation made it necessary to put plans to set up a spa on hold. In 1963, Szczawa’s waters were given mineral status and protection under the law. In 1977 a new borehole, ‘Szczawa I’, was drilled, and at the beginning of the next decade, the boreholes ‘Hanna’ and ‘Dziedzilla’ were rebuilt. For 20 years (until 2014), the Rabka-Zdrój health resort held the concession for extracting medicinal waters. In 2000, water extraction was taken over by Euro-code, which changed its name to Polskie Wody Lecznicze in 2017. At present, the springs in Szczawa that are exploited and available in the pump room are: ‘Hanna’, ‘Dziedzilla’, ‘Szczawa I’, and ‘Szczawa II’. Treatments with the Szczawa waters usually last from 4 to 6 weeks and have a markedly positive effect on the digestive and respiratory systems, urinary tract and the immune system, while ‘Szczawa I’ helps with nervous system disorders and stress reduction. The intakes in the village belong to the bicarbonate-chloride-sodium-iodide sorrels.

Szczawa is located in a valley between the Island Beskids and the Gorce Mountains, which makes it an excellent base for whatever you would like to do in the mountains. Three hiking trails converge here, leading to Mogielica and to Gorce National Park. One of the largest waterfalls in the Beskid Mountains, Spad, created by Mother Nature on a step from resistant sandstone on the Kamienica Gorczańska River, is also worth seeing. And in the village itself, you can visit the Museum of the 1st Podhale Rifle Regiment of the Home Army, next to the wooden parish church called the ‘Partisan Church’. The Museum houses numerous collections from the World War II period, including a banner, uniforms, letters and photographs commemorating partisan activities.

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