"Uzdrowisko Cieplice" LLC continues the centuries old tradition of natural healing. Balneotherapy has been practiced continuously since 1281, which makes Cieplice the oldest health resort of Poland.
, low lying land, as flat as a pool table, at the foot of the majestic Karkonosze Mountains, there is Cieplice. Its buildings are drowned in a sea of greenery, out of which only church steeples and the red palace roof stick out. The origin of the settlement remains in the dark of the past, yet legend says that there was a hunting hall built near a spring whose water cured a deer, wounded by Duke Boleslaw the Tall of Silesia, during a hunt. For 25 years Cieplice has been part of Jelenia Góra. Earlier, it used to be a separate town, whose documented beginnings go back to the second half of the 13th century. Already in those days Cieplice's hot springs were famous and gave the town its name, Bad Warmbrunn (Villa Warmbrona 1288) in German, Callidus fons (1281) in Latin and Cheplewode (1318) in Polish.
between the town and its warm springs is seen in the oldest preserved document concerning Cieplice. In 1281 Duke Bernard granted the local springs and surrounding lands to the Knights Hospitaller of Strzegom. The Hospitallers were on order that looked after the poor and had its own hospitals. In the village of Herrischdorf (now part of Cieplice along the Kamienna and Wrzosówka rivers) they built an inn for poor people in 1288. It is not known how the Hospitallers left Cieplice. In the second half of the 14th century, when the whole Silesia belonged to the Bohemian Crown, the new owner of Cieplice was Gotsche Schoff, a knight under Bolko II of Świdnica. In his hand and in the hands of his descendants, the Schaffgotsch family, the town remained for the next centuries. In 1403 the progenitor of this renowned line gave one of the two known springs to the Cistercians who had come from Krzeszów. From that moment on, both the Schaffgotsches and the monks conducted their therapeutic activities. Already in the 16th century, visitors from the whole Reich, or even Poland, came to Cieplice. In 1526, along with the Bohemian Kingdom, Cieplice became part of the Habsburg Monarchy. In 1569 medical practitioner Caspar Hoffmann examined and described the local thermal springs. After him, in 1607, Caspar Schwenkfeldt, a renowned naturalist and doctor from Jelenia Góra, did the same.
surely slowed down the development of the resort, although not much information from those days can be found. The second half of the 17th century was a period, when a number of personages from Poland visited Cieplice to repair their health, being invited by Christoph Leopold Schaffgotsch, the then ambassador in Poland. His guests included Albrecht Stanislaw Radziwill the Grand Chancellor of Lithuania (1653), Zygmunt Radziwill the Castellan of Wielun (1677) and Primate Michal Radziejowski (1692). The most renowned guest was Marie Casimire the Queen of Poland, who arrived here with numerous courtiers in 1687. People of Cieplice remembered her visit for a long time. In the 17th and 18th centuries the town was also famous for its glass grinding shops. After 1741 Cieplice were part of Prussia. The turn of the 18th and the 19th centuries saw more outstanding visitors, including Johann Wolfgang Goethe (1790), King Frederick William III of Prussia with his wife (1800), John Quincy Adams the future president of the USA(1800), Hugo Kołłątaj (1792 and 1808), Józef Wybicki (1802) and Izabella Czartoryska (1816). Following the secularization of the Cistercian property, the Schaffgotsches bought the monastic spring in 1812, now possessing the whole health resort. Starting from the mid-19th century, the Schaffgotsch collection became one of the attractions of Cieplice. It included a library, an armoury, and numerous ethnographic and mineral exhibits.
was however the ornithological collection, the greatest private collection in Europe. In those days, a few outstanding ornithologists were connected with Cieplice, Ernst Luks and his pupils, Otto Finsch (the future traveller and Papua-New Guinea colonizer) and Georg Martini (the creator of the Schaffgotsches' ornithological collection). Famous people still visited Cieplice in the mid-19th century: men of letters Karl von Holtei and E.T.A. Hoffmann or painter Caspar David Friedrich, and Polish visitors like Wincenty Pol or Kornel Ujejski (1847). From the mid-19th century, Eugen Füllner's workshop and then a paper machine became very successful. In 1902 an exquisite wood carving school was established.
Cieplice was famous for its yearly market called "Tallsackmarkt", where excellent gingerbread was sold. Shortly before World War II, the resort was granted the town privileges, which it enjoyed until 1975, when the town became part of Jelenia Góra. The war itself did not bring any damage to the town. After the war, the Schaffgotsch collection was divided and dispersed, while the health resort lost much of its fame. Fortunately, in the recent years Cieplice has been re-establishing the position it really deserves. Thanks to numerous investments of the city and "Uzdrowisko Cieplice" Limited Liability Company, visitors can take advantage of modern treatment facilities and enjoy the newly renovated old town centre. 2009 is going to witness the long awaited breakthrough - the construction of a large thermal water pool complex in Cieplice is about to start, for the benefit of visitors and Jelenia Góra residents. It seems that the old wealth of Cieplice is coming back to its sources.