County: Jelenia Gora
Kowary lies in the western Sudety, along the boundary with the Karkanosze, Rudawy Janowickie and the Jelenia Gora Valley.
The founding and development of this town were mainly associated with the extraction of ore and metalworking. In 1148, a Waloon miner named Laurentius Angelus, discovered iron ore on the side of Rudnik Mountain. Ten years later a village was founded at the initiative of the Polish prince, Bolesław Kędzierzawy. In 1158 the extraction of iron ore was initiated. City rights were granted in 1513, by the King of Czech and Hungary, Wladysław Jagiellonczyk. By the 16th century, Kowary was alongside Wroclaw and Swidnica, as a centre of iron production in Lower Silesia, and also a well known centre for the production of fire-arms. The 17th century saw the continued development of the region, which was broken by the Thirty Years War. The end of the wars saw a growth in the textile industry. In 1741, as a result of the Prussian-Austrian War, Kowary and all of Lower Silesia were joined with Prussia. In 1714 the Prussian king, Frederich II, ordered the purchase of Kowary’s assets from their Czech owners, the Czerninów. In the 18th and 19th century there were renewed efforts at mining, but without much luck. The main activity then became the textile industry. The town grew famous for the production of carpets. The years following the First World War did not bring great economic recovery. The mines opened again. In 1926, the presence of uranium ore was confirmed, which was extracted for the most part in the 1940s and 1950s.
Among the historic landmarks in Kowary, those worthy of mention are: Gothic structures, the fortified parish Church of Maria, the Classicist Town Hall, the historic tenement buildings from the mid-19th century, the Radociny Palace found on the road to Wojkow, the Ciszyca Palace, the Wzgorze Radziwillowka Palace and the late-baroque Chapel of St Anne. Not to mention the stone bridge over the Jedlica from 1725. Of particular interest may be the Park Miniatur Zabytkow Dolnego Slaska (Park of Miniature Lower Silesian Monuments) in Kowary. In addition to monuments, the natural wonders here are of significant importance. Therefore the foot and bicycle trails, ski-runs and sled runs are all of good use. The mountain lakes offer perfect conditions for parasailing. Kowary is also a health centre, with its hospital-sanatorium health complex.
Road 5 (8, E67), Road A4 (5, E40), Road 5, Road 367; 118,2 km
Centrum Informacji Turyustycznej (tourist Info.)
ul. 1 Maja 1a, 58-530 Kowary
tel./fax +48 75 7182489
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