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Along the Amber Route: Kłodzko

The little yellow train to Kłodzko rapidly filled with students and older working men, but I managed to find a seat in the last carriage, next to the guard’s van. A whistle blew, and the train pulled out past sidings full of freight trucks, grey concrete housing and light industrial units. After crossing the river Ślęza, the track wheeled south, past the racecourse at Partynice – where the Iron Age amber pits were found – and out into wide, flat fields of reddish earth with light snow lying in the furrows.

The land began a gentle rise, and we entered a forest of pine and silver birch, the occasional oak still clad in last year’s dry, brown leaves. The line followed the Amber Route through the Sudety Mountains into the ancient County of Glatz. Known as Kłodzko to the Poles and Kladsko to the Czechs, this lozenge-shaped peninsula of Polish territory projecting into the Czech Republic is an oddity of European geopolitics. Once a semi-autonomous fiefdom of Bohemia, it was absorbed along with the rest of that kingdom into the Austrian Empire in 1526. After Frederick the Great conquered it in 1740, the region was annexed by Prussia, and on German unification in 1871 it became part of the Reich.

From Along the Amber Route by C.J. Schüler

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C.J. Schüler

C.J. Schüler