Piechowice: Magical World of Crystal Glass
Piechowice (known as Petersdorf before 1945) is a town situated in the beautiful Karkonosze mountains, in Jelenia Góra Valley, Lower Silesia Voivodeship, Poland. It is a place of untouched natural habitat - forests which hide mysterious paths and mountains which offer a challenge for those who like to climb without the need of professional equipment. The town's history dates back to XIII century; however it became a city with full town privileges in 1967 - half a century ago. Then, the neighbouring villages of Gorzyniec, Michałowice, Pakoszów and Piastów have been joint in one city of Piechowice and once independent villages became districts of the town. Genesis of this area is strictly connected with Hans Peter (from whom the name of the town comes from). Hans built a watermill in the area, hence the water wheel found in the Coat of Arms. In the years to come, the art of glass-making was developed. Modern technology, along with production sites, developed quickly after rails network reached the town. Great localisation - peaceful but close to the border, made the city a great place to move some heavy metalwork factories from Berlin. Those who enjoy exploring the forests in search for hidden treasures, won't be disappointed, There are many hidden underground shelters throughout the town and there have been rumours that one or more of such hidden places might contain a hidden stash.
Piechowice are a great place for tourists htroughout the whole year - for those who want to actively spend their time and who enjoy the beauty of nature, it is a perfect starting point. Although not as popular as some other cities in Karkonosze, Piechowice offer tranquility which would be hard to find anywhere else in the region. People who visit, do not hesitate to come back and look for new trails to wander, especially because the town lies in the heart of the great mountains, at the same time not being overcrowded.
In the city, there are some interesting places to visit: there are three beautiful churches, some natural monuments and others (see Places of interest).
Piechowice is identified by words "Magical World of Crystal". That is because it is a safe haven for the tradition of glass making - one of the last crystal glass manufactures still produces high quality artwork, and tourists can experience the heat of a working furnace and take a trip back in time, being able to watch the production of luxurious glassworks, as they were in times when true craft and details where of utmost importance.
The lovely town is a friendly place, but at the same time, it has some aspects which make it shrouded in mystery. There are ghost stories which inspired production of a criminal series "Murder Commission", which episodes were shot in the city, among many places. The abundance of various fauna and flora is a great opportunity to watch wildlife in the field. Some stories point to this area when talking about the missing Golden Train, and some people even suggest that it might be the place where the Amber Room (considered to be the "Eight Wonder of the World") has been hidden.
For those who wish to stay for a night or longer - there is a great choice of places to rest - from cheap hostel to luxurious suite in The Pakoszów Palace, or Las Hotel.