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Sky Walk. The highest observation tower in Poland. Is it something to brag about?

Katarzyna Domagała
14 of June '21

We have another (and another wooden) highest observation tower in Poland. The beginning of June saw the opening of the Sky Walk complex in Swieradow-Zdroj, whose main attraction is a 65-meter tower with a viewing point. Already during the first weekend, the structure resembling a huge winding slide attracted thousands of tourists. Marketing-wise, it's certainly a successful effort, but architecturally, not so much.

Sky Walk in Swieradow-Zdroj is a tourist complex whose biggest attraction today is a wooden observation tower, another on the tourist map of Poland. The project was created in connection with the revitalization of the town's old ski lifts at the town's request. Its author is Czech Professor Zdeněk Fránek. The contractor was selected by the local government through a tender. The final contractor was the Czech company Taros-Nova, responsible, among others, for a similar complex in Dolni Morava in the Czech Republic, incidentally by the same architect. Work on the Polish Sky Walk was completed in June of this year.

W pierwszy weekend po otwarciu Sky Walki odwiedziło ok. 20 tys. turystów

About 20,000 tourists visited the Sky Walk during the first weekend after its opening.

© Sky Walk Świeradów-Zdrój

"the highest observation tower in Poland". - a successful marketing effort

The tower, measuring 65 meters, is the tallest structure of its kind in Poland. It was purposely built over the town, specifically on the slope of the Świeradowiec mountain, to make it accessible to as many tourists as possible. As you can see, the assumptions of the ordering party and the investor are being realized successfully - in the first weekend of opening Sky Walk was visited by almost 20 thousand people.

To get to the very top of the tower, you first have to overcome an 850-meter-long route, in turn, you can return via a 105-meter-long slide. The landscape of the Jizera Mountains can be admired from the glassed-in section, which is located at the end of the tower. A part of the complex is also an educational path, where lectures are held.

Wieża widokowa zakończona jest oszkloną przestrzenią

The observation tower ends with a glassed-in area

© Sky Walk Świeradów-Zdrój

The building blocks of the tower in Swieradow-Zdroj are steel and larch wood. The main load-bearing structure stands on steel poles, the next level is practically fully wooden. As a result, the whole resembles a huge, winding wooden slide!

Drewnianą część wieży wykonano z modrzewia

The wooden part of the tower is made of larch

© Sky Walk Świeradów-Zdrój

The fashion for wooden, pompous structures in Poland

It all sounds very attractive, especially for tourists eager to admire the mountain views, but architecturally and aesthetically the structure can be highly questionable. The Sky Walk in Swieradow-Zdroj is almost a copy of the aforementioned complex in Dolni Morava. In addition, in Poland we can find several more similar unsuccessful structures, including a wooden observation tower in Krynica-Zdroj, whose construction ended last year. It was then that this structure was hailed as the tallest in Poland. A similar one is currently being built in Warmia and Mazury, in Kurzętnik.

As you can see, Polish spa and agritourism destinations are "going wood" and intricate, visually heavy constructions. We have more and more of them. And at the same time - evidently - we are missing simpler in form, less pompous, and finally carrying more artistic value for the landscape viewpoints.

Katarzyna Domagała

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