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Polczyn-Zdroj

Polczyn-Zdroj is a spa town and administrative part of Swidzinski County in the province of West Pomerania in north-western Poland. It is situated amongst the moraine-formed hills of the so called „Swiss Polczyn”. The spa has the characteristic of a lowland resort and lies within the Drawsko Lake District along the banks of the River Wogra. The town is encircled by vast tracts of forest, predominantly made up of beech, pine and spruce, of the Drawsko Landscape Park. The climate in the area is mildly stimulating that is moderated by the surrounding forested areas. The fundamental elements utilised at the health resort at Polczyn-Zdroj are natural mineral waters, therapeutic mud and its climate.

Transcripts from the 6th century already speak of a Slavic village built on stilts in the vicinity of Polczyn-Zdroj and by the 10th century a fortress was built on the site to defend the Bialograd lands. Boguslaw IV erected a castle here in 1290 when the Brandenburg occupied the Swidzinski lands and Polczyn found itself on the border between Brandenburg and Pomerania. The castle was owned by dukes till the 14th century when Duke Warcislaw gave it to the Wedel family who rebuilt the stone fortress. In 1337 was the first written mention of the town of Bolczin, a predecessor of the today’s city of Polczyn. With much destruction of the town over the following centuries by fire and wars in the region, it did not really begin to prosper till 1688 after the discovery of a source of mineral water by a local weaver. Patients began arriving and the first spa facility was built in 1705. By the end of the 19th century, visitors to the spa in Polczyn exceeded 5000 annually which was helped by the completion of the rail link with Swidwin and a few years later with Zlocieniec.

By 1940 Polczyn had about 7000 permanent residents while the number of visitors greatly increased trough ease of communication and advertising. Apart from the income generated by the spa the town achieved considerable profits from weaving and tanning as well as trade in grain and cattle and also its brewery.

Just before the outbreak of World War II, Polczyn-Zdroj was the headquarters of the Army Group North, one of the Wehrmacht army groups which invaded Poland in 1939. Polczyn-Zdroj was also the first stop of Adolf Hitler’s special train, Amerika. Shortly after the visit by the leader of the Third Reich one of the largest „Lebensborn Programme” centres was built in Polczyn about 2km from the town centre, which today houses the Borkowo Sanatorium. This was a terrifying project founded by Heinrich Himmler to „Germanise” the children stolen mainly from Polish families.

Shortly after the war the spa functions of the town began to be reactivated which was substantially assisted with the discovery of therapeutic brine deposits in Polczyn-Zdroj. After the completion of exhaustive research it was found to be advantageous in the treatment of musculoskeletal, gynaecological and rheumatic diseases. Polczyn-Zdroj became the centre for Balneological treatment of women’s diseases including infertility.

Today’s spa is a modern and fully equipped therapeutic resort that is staffed with experienced teams of specialists. There is an extensive range of residential, cultural and recreational facilities that create the right conditions for treatment and relaxation. Enthusiasts of active leisure activities can enjoy hiking and cycling along the picturesque trails in the area. For those that prefer a milder form of relaxation there is the charming Spa Park which is divided into two parts, the French and the English Gardens, which differ dramatically in their arrangement and transport guests to the atmosphere from a different era. Well-manicured lawns, floral carpets, fountains, gazebos, lakes and ponds with bridges passing over them can be found amongst the hundreds of varieties of trees. Guests are welcomed at the amphitheatre which puts on concerts and shows. Polczyn-Zdroj is a good destination to rebuild one’s health and fitness.

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