About Solankowa Dolina

Ciechocinek is the most famous health resort in Poland due to the world’s largest brine graduation towers and the unique active salt works in Europe – a Monument of History. However, when telling the true story of Ciechocinek, one should first focus on Słońsk. It was in Słońsk that the first salt works were established, where the first drilling and research of brine sources began. In Polish studies on the construction and history of the graduation towers and salt works in Ciechocinek, the significance of Słońsk is not emphasized. The year 2024 marks the 200th anniversary of the start of construction of the Ciechocinek Salt Factory and the 230th anniversary of Alexander von Humboldt’s stay in Słońsk. Alexander von Humboldt conducted research in Słońsk on the Vistula in May 1794. The purpose of the expedition leading through Kołobrzeg, Inowrocław, all the way to Słońsk, Raciążek, Wołuszewo was to prepare a report on the possible exploitation of existing brine sources for industrial purposes. This report went missing.

The construction of the Ciechocinek Salt Factory began in 1824, 30 years after Humboldt’s visit. Polish historians mention the contributions of Stanisław Staszic, Prince Drucki-Lubecki, and more recently Konstanty Leon Wolicki. The missing report by Humboldt on salt extraction in the Słońsk area on the Vistula, prepared in 1794 and unknown to the world of science for centuries, „came to light” thanks to the work of German researchers: Ingo Schwarz and Dagmar Hülsenberg (in 2020). The figure of Konstanty Leon Wolicki, the initiator and builder of the Salt Factory in Ciechocinek and Słońsk, is unknown and underappreciated. Construction work under Graff’s supervision began on July 4, 1824. The investor of the plant was Bank Polski, which remained its owner until the end of 1870, after which the salt works were taken over by the Russian Treasury. Between 1824 and 1827, the first two graduation towers were built (the third was added in 1859). The facility built under Graff’s leadership was almost completed in 1829. The first trial salt production took place in July 1830. However, the outbreak of the November Uprising disrupted the operation of the plant. Salt production only started on October 21, 1832.

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