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GoPoland!: Where to Go: Zakopane: History

Chapel What was once a source of barley, oats, and cabbage is now a source of amusement. Zakopane shows up in the history books around the 17th century when it fed surrounding regions its agricultural supplies. Moving on from an above-ground economy, the area eventually established an ironworks and began seeking out local metals. But not many spent their summers here until there was a place to spend their Sundays: Zakopane constructed its first chapel in 1800, and the first church almost 50 years later.

Tatras From a trickle developed a deluge. As always, one individual can draw others; a famous Warsaw doctor was followed here by his artist friends, and the town began to develop as a resort. Other well-educated, artistic types moved in, and the area started to evolve its own style. A newly built rail line facilitated these moves, and by the turn of the century Zakopane was a well-established retreat. It has more or less kept its reputation up since, adding new hotels, theaters, museums, sports, and musical events until nearly a million people stop by annually.

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