O oczywistych i nieoczywistych granicach karkonoskich
THE OBVIOUS AND NOT SO OBVIOUS BORDERS IN THE GIANT MOUNTAINS
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Stretching over ca 36 km, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše/Karkonosze) range is a natural border between Silesia and Bohemia, today between Poland and the Czech Republic. In the late Middle Ages and the beginning of the early modern period, i.e. when the highest range of the Sudetes separated two provinces of the Kingdom of Bohemia, its role as border mountains was notas important, although it was precisely a border dispute between Bohemian (Harrach) and Silesian (Schaffgotsch) lords of these lands that increased interest in the region, laying the foundations, in a way, for the development of tourism in the future. Side effects of the border dispute included St. Lawrence Chapel on Śnieżka and spread of the popularity of the source of the Elbe, i.e. sites that have remained the most frequently visited spots in these mountains to this day. Around the mid-18th century, when, as a result of wars, most Silesia was incorporated into the Kingdom of Prussia, the Giant Mountains border grew in importance. From that moment the highest range of the Sudetes would separate lands ruled by two different dynasties — the Austro-Bohemian Habsburgs and the Prussian Hohenzollerns, with two different and hostile religions — Catholic and Lutheran. Having become more significant, the border began to appear in literary works, from Enlightenment period travel accounts to popular novels. The author of the present article discusses literary images of this border, using several selected examples.
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