Izera Mountains attracting tourists again after ecological disaster

The Izera Mountains, part of the Western Sudetes on the border between the Czech Republic and Western Poland, are a Mecca for enthusiasts of winter sports, cycling and hiking.

The area of the Izera Mountains is still commonly associated with the ecological disaster that occurred in the area several decades ago. Pollution from mines and power stations in Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany coming from the west had a negative impact on its forest, leaving large areas of dead wood for many years. Fortunately, the remaining flora coped with the acid rain and many of the forests are in the process of regrowth.

The Izera Mountains are also famous for their peat bogs, spreading on both the Polish and the Czech side of the border. The bogs are several thousand years old, with the oldest one estimated to have been established 10,000 years ago

The mountains are rich in large mammals, including deer, roe deer and wild boar, as well as mouflons coming from the Giant Mountains. The avifauna is represented by the mountain plover, mountain plover, gray wagtail, and the wood grouse and black grouse can be heard during their migration.

People also visit the region due to its glass-making traditions. The first glassworks were established as early as in the 13th century near a stream flowing into the Kamienna River in Piechowice.

Later, when there was not enough wood for glass melting in the nearest vicinity and its transport from further places became unprofitable, the glassworks were moved higher and higher up the river, giving them the name "the wandering glassworks".

Today, only three of the buildings remain and serve as popular tourist attractions.