THE HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE PAPER MILL


The most renowned in Poland, the Museum of Papermaking in Duszniki Zdrój, is located in the 17th century paper mill, a unique industrial monument. It is seated on the Bystrzyca Dusznicka River, on the southern outskirts of the town by the international road leading to the Polish-Czech order.

The first records on the Duszniki paper mill and its paper maker called Ambrosius Tepper date back to the second half of the 16th century [photo 02]. The buildings of the preserved paper mill make a group of adjoining constructions erected step by step, at different time intervals. The most significant, main building of the paper mill, once serving as living and production quarters, was built in 1605.[photo 03, photo 04, photo 05, photo 06]. The production of paper took place on the ground floor. The upper floors of spandrel beam construction accommodated living quarters and production rooms. The attic was used as a paper drying room [photo 07]. The building was topped with a gable roof, whose extents are bound from the west with a wooden baroque volute top [photo 09, photo 04]. The adjoining paper drying plant and the entrance pavilion were probably built in the 18th century [photo 10, photo 11, photo 12, photo 13, photo 14].

 

The history of the Duszniki paper mill in the years 1562 - 1939 was made by three families of papermakers: the Kretschmers, the Hellers and the Wiehrs. In the 17th century the paper mill was considered as one of the most renowned in Silesia. It also had exclusive rights to supply Wrocław (Breslau) offices with paper. In the 18th century the paper mill was substantially extended and modernised with modern paper making machines. The production of paper in Duszniki was brought to a stop in 1937. Two years later Karl Wiehr, the last of the owners of the paper mill, presented the mill to the town with the intention to have a regional museum of technology started in the historic building.

 

The paper mill at the time of takeover by Polish authorities in 1945 was abandoned and dilapidated. Only the drying clamps were preserved alongside some 19th century paper moulds. Highly valuable fragments of the interior decoration were also preserved - the wall and ceiling paintings in the loft floor of the mill dating back to the 17th-19th centuries [photo 16, photo 17].

 

Translation: Aneta Ożga

 

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