The Colourful Lakelets

In the Rudawy Janowickie, south of Wieściszowice and on the north-east slope of the Wielka Kopa there are excavations of the pyrite slates mines that date back to the end of the XVIII century. In 1785 the “Nadzieja” (Hoffnungsgrube in German) mine was opened there. Eight years later and 400 meters above, the “Nowe Szczęście” (Neu-Gluckgrube in German) mine was created. After that, in 1796 another mine “Gustav” was opened and was situated 600 meters above the “Nowe Szczęcie”. All of the mines were the opencast mines with a depth of up to 70 meters. There were several crushing and sorting devices operating in the mines and the pyrite slates were transported for processing to the nearby Płoszów. In the “Silesia” plant (later called “Morgenstern”) the slates were processed into an iron sulphate, a sulphur and a vitriol (a sulphuric acid). The works were administrated by Christian Melchior Preller who had opened a vitriol factory in Szklarska Poręba in 1773 – the biggest plant of this type in Prussia. The sulphur, which was obtained in the chemical processes, had a huge strategic importance for the country because it was one of the main ingredients of a gunpowder. Mining and production was finished in 1925. Next, the abandoned excavations were flooded and due to the compound left, the water became colourful. That is how the Colourful Lakelets were created: The Purple Lakelet, The Azure Lakelet and the Green Pond.The Purple Lakelet (560 meters above sea level) is situated dozens of meters from the parking place and south from

Wieściszowice. It is the biggest and certainly the most interesting lakelet surrounded by vast excavations and slag heaps. Just above the water surface there are vertical sides of the excavation reaching 150 meters. In the summer and on the fair weekends near the Purple Lakelet there is a Tyrolean crossing and a barbecue house open. One can not only buy food and drinks there but also rent a bike. Beside the Azure Lakelet, at the base of the Mnichy hill, there is an approximately 40 meters long adit – the remains of the old excavations. The Green Pond on the other hand, which is the highest set Lakelet among the others, remains dry throughout the most of the year. The surrounding of the lakelets is the ideal place for the minerals collectors that can find here, for instance: fluorites, chalcopyrites and pyrites. Every lakelet is connected with one another by the didactic path called the “Green trail through the Colourful Lakelets”. It is planned to take the whole surrounding area under the protection of law as a nature reserve.

The Colourful Lakelets are situated in the Rudawski Landscape Park beside the green walking trail leading from Marciszów to the Wielka Kopa (871 meters above sea level) and then to Kowary. One can get there also via the blue bicycle trail called “Ring Road Colourful Lakelets”. The lakelets are opened for sightseeing throughout the whole year.

Edited by Andrzej Mateusiak
Translation: Andrzej Rudkowski


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