Reviving the industrial pasts of Piechowice and Demitz-Thumitz

A cross-border tourist route featuring a ‘glass garden’ and ‘old stone saw’ museum has been constructed in the area stretching from the Giant Mountains (the Glazers' Town of Piechowice, Poland) to the Lusatian Highlands (the Granite Town of Demitz-Thumitz, Germany). The number of tourists visiting the region has dramatically increased as a result.

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" This project was a great example of using cultural and historical traditions to develop tourism. An innovative feature of the project was the combination of the glass and granite themes, which is now being enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. "

Piechowice municipality representative

The project team firstly created a 185 km tourist trail for cyclists, connecting the municipalities of Demitz-Thumitz and Piechowice. There are 10 separate trails along the entire route. 
In the centre of Piechowice, Poland a glass garden made from local granite and glass was then constructed and opened in September 2013. Images in the garden tell the visitor about the various steps involved in the ancient process of glass-making. 
Meanwhile, in the centre of German Demitz-Thumitz, its old stone saw museum was entirely revamped with the help of volunteers and companies who came together to restore the building to its original condition. Today, visitors can discover first-hand the process of stone making, and in several short films former stone workers explain the technical steps involved. 

Tourist numbers up

In Piechowice, an old glass factory named ‘Julia’ was redeveloped and is now a major touristic draw. 50 000 people came to see the factory in 2014 – a marked increase on the 5 000 visiting in 2010 before the works. A similar annual increase in the number of tourists has been reported in the municipality of Demitz-Thumitz. 

In addition, a glass-route promoting the glass-making traditions was built in Piechowice, while on the German side – a similar granite route promotes the mining traditions of Demitz-Thumitz. 
Crucially, infrastructure and service facilities for tourists were improved across the region. Various publications describing both regions’ important industrial past were also produced and disseminated widely.
The new infrastructure has spurred both municipalities to organise various cultural and artistic events. These include the so-called ‘Open days of the granite village’ in Demitz-Thumitz and the ‘Crystal weekend’ in Piechowice. 

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the “Ways to glass and granite - a discovery route between the Giant Mountains and the Lusatian Highlands” project is EUR 742 103, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 604 033 from the Operational Programme “cross-border cooperation between Saxony and Poland” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date