Salt graduation towers sometimes referred to as thorn houses are healing structures that also produce salt from saline solutions by evaporation. Towers consist of wooden wall like frames of various shapes (usually pine or fir tree) stuffed with bundles of brushwood (usually blackthorn). The blackthorn has to be changed every 5 to 10 years as they become encrusted with salt. The healing vapor comes from water that runs down the tower and partly evaporates during this process. The constructions can be very big and the areas where they are erected usually there are medical-spa complexes.
The air by graduation towers have similar effects as sea air. The flowing brine produces an aerosol, which saturates the air inside the graduation towers with microelements beneficial to health and creates a specific microclimate around the building. It is most advantageous to stay near the graduation tower on sunny, warm and windy days, because then the brine evaporates most intensively. The result is a significant saturation of the air with beneficial compounds. Graduation towers support the treatment of chronic and recurrent respiratory diseases. They also act prophylactically, cleaning the respiratory tract of pollutants, which is extremely important in modern - highly developed - civilization. In addition, the aerosol has bronchodilator and anti-allergic properties. Saline graduation towers have also a positive effect on some skin problems and some thyroid diseases.
Graduation towers started to be used in Poland in the 18th century. The first big structure of this type was built in Ciechocinek in the 19th century. Ciechocinek graduation towers are still the biggest constructions of this type in the country.
The most popular brine graduation towers in Poland are situated in Ciechocinek, Inowrocław, Rymanów-Zdrój, Rabka-Zdrój, Grudziądz, Dębowiec, Wieliczka and Konstancin Jeziorno. The less known ones are in Radlin, Chorzów, Gołdap, Uniejów, Busko-Zdrój, Kraków, Katowice and Będzin. Graduation towers technology also spread in a form of smaller graduation walls in various hotels across the country.
Below you will find characteristics of the most interesting graduation towers:
Ciechocinek is situated 25 km from Toruń (about 30 min drive) and about 240 km from Warsaw (2 h 10 min drive). Ciechocinek has about 11 thousand inhabitants and it is a kingdom of elderly people who come here to be cured in one of numerous resort hospitals, sanatoriums, resorts and hotels. As main attractions we can find here 3 salt graduation towers (the biggest such wooden constructions in Europe), a mineral water pump room, salt works and a lot of restaurants. Ciechocinek resort is also very green with numerous parks, green squares, flower carpets and flower beds. In the town people are treated for rheumatism, locomotor problems, feminine illnesses, respiratory problems, neurosis and circulatory systems conditions. Ciechocinek is an interesting town both for patients and tourists.
Inowrocław is situated 38 km from Toruń (45 min drive), 43 km from Bydgoszcz (50 min drive) and 125 km from Poznań (about 2 h drive). Inowrocław has a very pretty and modern resort with a park and a salt graduation towers complex. They are the second biggest buildings of this type in Poland and one of only few such objects in Europe. The buildings were opened in 2001. They have a shape of two connected polygons with a common circumference of 322 m and 9 m height. It is possible to climb the top of the towers as there is a viewing terrace there. The salt graduation towers produce healing aerosol which can be felt even up to 300 m from the construction. Visiting Inowrocław is advisable for people with respiratory and hart diseases and also for all exhausted people. Entirely healthy people should also visit the place from time to time as it helps their immunity system. Apart from the graduation towers tourists often visit the Salt Park, flower carpets, and the “dancing” fountain (light and music shows). Inowrocław is a city really worth visiting.
Grudziądz graduation tower is in the shape of a glass pyramid. It can host inside up to 40 people at the same time. The building is 9 meters high, but in 2009 plans to build another 4.5 meters high were announced. The graduation tower was opened in 2006.
The graduation tower in Debowiec has been operating since 2014. Research carried out in Vienna showed that brines present in Dębowiec have one of the highest concentrations of elements such as iodine, calcium, silicon, selenium and bromine in Europe.
It is part of the facilities of the Health Resort in Konstancin Jeziorno. Admission to the immediate vicinity of the graduation towers is additionally payable. The center of the graduation tower (mushroom) is 6 meters high with a circumference of 40 meters.
The graduation tower in Wieliczka is located near the famous UNESCO World Heritage enlisted salt mine, being huge magnet for tourists from around the world. It was opened in 2014. It has a height of 22 meters, a terrace and an observation tower. It is made of larch wood that can survive for about 500 years and is the only one that does not rot in sea water.
Summing up, it is really interesting to discover brine graduation tower constructions as they are truly unique. They also help with various diseases therefore, it is also good to plan longer stays in their area. ITS Poland travel agent will happily prepare a nd organize all your stay details in these medical spa towns of Poland. Don’t wait any longer find it out for yourself!
Author: Agnieszka Szwedzińska