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Sniezka Meteorological Observatory

Karpacz, Poland
1 of 4
Sniezka observatory in 2006

The Meteorological Observatory building, located on Sniezka, the summit of Sudeten range system at 1,602 metres above the sea level. The first measurements on this location has been conducted in the middle of XIX century in old wooden chapel and mountain hut, whereas the first significant enlargement has been made in 1900 when new buildings were constructed. The whole wooden complex survived WWII, but heavily deteriorated due to harsh climate conditions they have been finally replaced by a new and more resistant concrete structure (only the chapel has been carefully restored and is still open for tourists).


The current observatory building has been constructed between 1966 - 1974 according to the project of Witold Lipinski and Waldemar Wawrzyniak. The main concept of the building was to replace the old observatory and mountain hut from 1862 that were in bad technical condition and did not meet increasing influx of tourists. However new building now serves only as observatory and restaurant, whereas the mountain hut function was excluded from the programme. As the main architect Witold Lipinski is explaining, in 50's the world was fascinated by the UFO theory and thus inspired by this phenomenon he has decided to design a building based on three disks symboling unidentified flying objects.


Indeed the whole building structure consists of three joined disks of iron cast, where each disk serves different function. The highest disk is used as a proper meteorological observatory. Middle disk is a technical facility and observatory employees rooms. Finally, the lowest disks serves fully commercial functions and includes restaurant, restrooms and tourist chill room. Thanks to its northern exposition it gives a pictoresque view on local Sudeten hollow.

The building quite controversial in its times, as it does not correspond with the mountaineous surrounding is nowadays perveiced as a real icon of Polish post-war modern architecture. It is also a perfect example of a futuristic building of 1960's represented by a couple of other constructions in Sudeten Mountains build in the former Czechoslovakia such as Jested Tower in Liberec.

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ibex73, June 23rd, 2015
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