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The Warsaw Voice » Real Estate » June 25, 2008
Expo 2008
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Therapy From Twigs and Vapors
June 25, 2008 By Michal Jeziorski   
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While Poland is in seventh place in Europe in terms of the number of health resorts, it offers visitors a form of treatment unknown in many other countries: graduation towers that release brine vapors, which are used to treat a range of ailments.

A graduation tower is a structure several meters high with walls from blackthorn twigs supported by wooden frames. A wall of this kind may even be several hundred meters long. Originally, graduation towers served to obtain table salt from brine. Later, the curative properties of brine were discovered. Poland has graduation towers in Konstancin-Jeziorna, Inowrocław, Ciechocinek, Grudzi±dz and Busko-Zdrój.

Flowing down the blackthorn, liquid brine breaks up into a fine spray. Its therapeutic values are well known and linked to the chemical composition of brine. This form of therapy is useful to those suffering from upper respiratory tract and thyroid gland problems, skin allergies and some blood circulation problems.

Ciechocinek in Kujawy-Pomerania province has the oldest, largest and best-known graduation towers in this country. The resort is often referred to as a "gem among Polish spas." The first graduation tower in Ciechocinek was built in 1836. The largest facility of this kind in Europe, it has three wooden brine evaporation structures arranged in a horseshoe shape. They are 15.8 meters high and have total length of 1,741.5 meters. At first, the facility was used to obtain salt from brine, but the therapeutic properties of the vapor produced in the process were quickly discovered. Ciechocinek, the largest Polish health resort, is a city of parks full of greenery and flowers. The spa also has a rich supply of mineral waters used for treatment and for drinking.

Inowrocław, a city in Kujawy-Pomerania province southeast of Ciechocinek, has a brine graduation tower complex located in the Solankowy Park. The facility, Poland's second largest, was opened in 2001. Work on the facility started in 1994. The complex has two connected polygonal structures with a perimeter of 300 meters and height of nine meters. As in Ciechocinek, from an observation deck on the roof of the facility, you can admire a panorama of the city and spa park. Brine is pumped up the graduation tower to flow down over the blackthorn in the walls. In the wind and sun, natural brine vapor forms within a range of about 300 meters. It is effective in the treatment of arterial hypertension, respiratory tract problems and general exhaustion. Inhaling such air boosts the immune system and prevents infections. The complex also caters to leisure activities. Guests have at their disposal 18 minigolf courses, three bowling alleys and also chessboard tables.

Konstancin-Jeziorna is surrounded by the Chojnowskie and Słomczyńskie Forests, and is next to the Kabacki Forest to the north. A number of nature reserves have been marked out south of Konstancin-Jeziorna. It has thermal mineral water springs. A brine graduation tower opened here in 1978. The city has a number of sanatoriums, the Stocer spine and ambulatory system treatment center, the Education and Therapy Center and the Uzdrowisko Konstancin-Zdrój Sp. z o.o. company, offering therapy for persons recovering from neurological and heart problems, and general therapy.

The brine graduation tower in Grudzi±dz, north of Ciechocinek, is somewhat different: it is a pyramid-shaped structure from glass with a nine-meter pole covered with blackthorn inside. On the other hand, the brine graduation tower in Busko-Zdrój, ¦więtokrzyskie province, looks like the facility in Ciechocinek in miniature, built from the same materials.

The range at which the effect of a graduation tower can be felt can reach 300 meters. It is most effective when a person is up to 30 meters away. But direct contact with the vapor produced for longer than 20 minutes is not advisable.
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