History of Sokołowsko

History of Dr. Brehmer’s Sanatorium

The first mention of Sokołowsko (then a German town called Goerbersdorff) appeared in 1357. The village was most likely founded by Benedictine monks of Broumově.

In 1509 Sokołowsko, along with the south part of Duchy, Świdnica, was bought by count von Hochberg who set his family siege in Książ. Until the middle of the 19th century, Sokołowsko wasn’t different from other villages owned by Hochbergs. It changed in 1849, when countess von Colomb arrived at the village. Enchanted by the landscape of Sokołowsko, she encouraged her brother-in-law, Dr. Hermann Brehmer to open a health resort.

In 1855, the worlds first specialized tuberculosis sanatorium, using an innovative method of climatic and dietary treatments, was opened in Sokołowsko. The Davos Sanatorium was modeled after Sokołowsko. Prof. Alfred Sokołowski became a close co-worker of Dr. Brehmer, and he village was named after him to commemorate his merits. The health resort in Sokołowsko was quite costly, but very well organized – by 1888, they have already established a post office and dial-up connection. In 1887 it hosted 730 patients.

After World War II, a tuberculosis sanatorium still existed in Sokołowsko. Under the pressure of Dr. Stanisław Domino, the profile was changed to the treatment of respiratory diseases. In the 1970s, the village underwent transition into a center of winter sports: the Regional Center of Winter Sports was meant to be created there. The project remained unfinished for financial reasons. Only some cross-country running routes (incorporated as part of Bieg Gwarków) remained. In recent years, the health resort business has been regressing due to general economic stagnation.

Krzysztof Kieślowski spent his childhood years in Sokołowsko, it was also where his documentary movie “X-ray” was created.

In 2007, The In Situ Contemporary Art Foundation acquired the premises of the former Dr. Brehmer’s Sanatorium, working to rebuild it after a 2005 fire destroyed the historical monument. It now houses The International Cultural Laboratory as well as the Krzysztof Kieślowski Archive.