Where did the name of the town come from? When was it established and what does it owe its tourist attractiveness to? Find out what else you don’t know about Lasówka!
Lasówka is a village that can be found in the Dolnośląskie Voivodeship, in the district of Kłodzka, in the municipality of Bystrzyca Kłodzka. The village is located in the Central Sudetenland. Currently, Lasówka is inhabited by 93 people!
A bit of history
The first mention of the village comes from the end of the 16th century. It functioned as a watchtower protecting the border forests of the Kłodzko County. It was a settlement of lumberjacks and glaziers, and included the estate of Szczerba Castle.
At the beginning of the 17th century, a steelworks and a school were built in Lasówka, but it was destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. The steelworks was restarted in 1656 by Adam Peterhansel. A farm and several residential houses were also built there, and the settlement was named Kaiserswalde – imperial forests, and now Lasówka. The date of foundation of the village is considered to be July 29, 1682.
Over the years, Lasówka changed owners many times. There were distilleries, numerous weaving workshops, a match factory and a brewery there. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the village was one of the largest towns in the Wild Orlica Valley, which made it one of the most popular holiday destinations for tourists.
After World War II, the Bystrzyckie Mountains region underwent many changes. New inhabitants settled in the region and did not receive state support, which contributed to the decline of agriculture in the area and the depopulation of mountain villages.
Currently, Lasówka is a quiet town that has retained its charm and traditions. The inhabitants care about the historical and cultural heritage, at the same time taking care of the development of the town to attract tourists and encourage them to discover this charming corner of Lower Silesia. Lasówka is not only a place with a rich history, but also beautiful landscapes and hospitable people who are happy to share their stories and traditions with visitors.
Daily life in Lasówka
The inhabitants of Lasówka were forced to work in various ways to improve their living conditions. One of the sources of additional income was the collection of forest undergrowth, which took place in summer and autumn. Nevertheless, the harsh climatic conditions of this region were not favorable for any major agricultural crops. The green areas in the area were mainly used as pastures for animals.
There was a school in Lasówka before World War II, but educational conditions were difficult. Children had to travel long distances to get to school during the winter, which was arduous. To solve this problem, in 1850 a winter school was established, which operated in one room in the Lasówka dominion. The teaching was conducted by a teacher from Mostowice who had to travel to Lasówka every day, which was a challenge due to unfavorable weather conditions. This state of affairs lasted for 13 years, until finally an independent school system was created for Lasówka and the Royal Forest. A new school building was built in 1898/99, which enabled an increase in the number of students and the employment of a second teacher in 1900.
Monuments in Lasówka
The following objects were recorded in the provincial register of monuments:
- branch church of St. Antoni, built in 1910–1912 using sandstone. The uniqueness of this church lies in its high, hipped tower dome and rich interior furnishings dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. The interior includes a main altar and two side altars, with beautiful paintings of the patron saints, Our Lady and St. Józefa. On the right side of the church there is an impressive baptismal font, also made of sandstone. On the church wall you can find a bas-relief figure of a horseman, although without a head. It is a destroyed monument commemorating the victims of World War I, and its form refers to the famous Bamber horseman.
Other valuable monuments are:
- foundations of grinding plants located on a side road – one located near the church and the other at the access to the road leading to the Dzika Orlice River,
- foundations of three glass furnaces, visible on the side path between the river and the country road,
- Sudetes wooden residential cottages from the 19th century, constituting a valuable testimony to the architecture of the region.
Lasówka has its place in the history of world aviation as the birthplace of Herman Köhl, the pilot who, together with two of his flight companions, achieved a groundbreaking achievement after World War I. It was the first flight in a single-engine Atlantic airplane from east to west.
The aircraft used was a Junkers W33 named “Bremen”. Their extraordinary journey began on April 12, 1928, from Baldonnel Airport, near Dublin, at 5:38 a.m. After less than 36 hours and 2 minutes of flight, the plane landed on the frozen surface of a small lake on Green Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, north of New York.
Upon arrival in New York, the heroes of this incredible flight were greeted by crowds of 2.5 million people, and they received a similarly enthusiastic reception in Chicago.
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