Poland is noted, among other things, for amber, healthy fruits, and health resorts.
Amber has played significant role in the development of Gdansk since ancient times. Gdansk was a crucial stop on The Amber Road - an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber from coastal areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
In ancient times amber was regarded as an important raw material and was often called “the gold of the north”. Amber was transshipped in Gdansk, therefore local industry started to specialize in amber processing.
Today, the world's largest international exhibition of Amber takes place in Gdansk (annually).
Poland is the largest grower of apples, sour cherries, raspberries, currants and high bush blueberries in the EU
Poland is the world's largest exporter of apples. The apple owes its delicious taste mainly to the content of malic acid, citric acid and sugars. It is a source of vitamins, especially vitamin C, which strengthens our immunological system. Given the large content of alkaline mineral salts, apples deacidify our body. Their relatively low calorific value and body cleansing ability makes them also useful for dietetics.
Owing to the large scale of production, improving quality of dessert varieties and a relatively low production costs, in 2013 Poland outstripped China and became a global leader in apple exports.
Poland is the largest producer of sour cherries in the European Union. In 2012 the share of Polish crops in the EU sour cherry production amounted to 64%. At the same time, Poland is the third largest producer (after Turkey and Russia) of this fruit in the world, with a 15% share in the global production. Sour cherries belong to the group of fruits with the largest content of antioxidants. Furthermore, they are low-calorie and contain vitamin B and fibre in abundance.
Poland is the largest producer of raspberries in the European Union and the second largest ? after Russia ? worldwide. In 2012 the share of Poland in the EU and global raspberry production amounted to 70% and 21% respectively.
The tradition of Polish health spas dates back to the 13th century. Deposits of therapeutic mineral waters and therapeutic mud allow many disorders to be treated in Poland. Polish spas are not only for people with health problems, but also for those who seek peace and quiet for resting. From the Baltic Sea to the Tatra Mountains, Polish resort towns promote nature-filled holidays, combining them with the beneficial effects of medical, relaxation and beauty treatments. All year round, more than 40 localities offer a gentle climate, picturesque landscapes, charming boarding houses, and modern sanatoriums as well as a high standard of treatment. Polish health resorts are not only beautifully located SPA centers with treatments and promenades for social gatherings but also historical locations with mementos of past visiting royalty, politicians, writers and artists.
Polish health resorts have rich resources of mineral waters with medicinal properties.
The mineral composition of the waters in Polish spas is very diverse and their distribution is irregular. The richest resources are located in the southern part of the country. This is why more than half of all Polish health resorts are situated in the Sudetes and the Carpathian Mountains. The waters also differ when it comes to the degree of mineralisation. Carpathian waters are generally more mineralised than those from the Sudetes, and mountainous springs outrival the ones in the lowlands. Less mineralised, sulphide waters are found in the mountains and in central Poland, particularly in the area of Ciechocinek.
Ciechocinek has a unique lowland microclimate and the mineral springs that have been discovered in the area have therapeutic healing properties. The waters here have been found to include traces of sodium chloride, bromine, iodine, iron and boron. It is without doubt one of the best known Polish spa centers. Poland's most famous complex of brine graduation towers can be found in Ciechocinek. The droplets of brine flow down the walls of the graduation towers and due to the action of the sun and wind the moisture is extracted. The intense evaporation creates the famous microclimate, which is rich in iodine, around the graduation towers and is a natural therapeutic inhalator. The salt plant along with the graduation towers are a unique historical monument on a global scale. For more than 170 years household salt has been produced here as well as its natural derivatives like the therapeutic mud and medicinal tonic.
Besides mineral water springs, the most precious resource in Polish health resorts are peloid deposits of various mineral compositions (borowina)
Peloids are organic humus masses formed over thousands of years by natural processes. Today, there are thirty Polish health resorts relying on medicinal properties of peloids for therapeutic baths, compresses and wraps. Peloids used in therapy situations have the texture of pulp (natural peat mixed with water) which retains temperatures very well.
Krynica-Zdr?j is famous for the mineral waters and the therapeutic mud. The spa resort at Krynica-Zdroj specialises in the treatment of women's complaints, diseases of the urinary tract, digestive system, heart, cardiovascular system, endocrine and metabolic disorders, musculoskeletal diseases, anxiety and anaemia. There are also facilities that concentrate in the rehabilitation of gynaecological, urinary, musculoskeletal, digestive and respiratory conditions as well as diabetes and obesity.
Kołobrzeg is another health resort which very popular among Poles as well as international visitors. Kołobrzeg is located on the seashore where the combination of winds is very favorable from a therapeutic point of view as they carry with them high levels of ozone that has been saturated with particles of iodine. The basic elements of the Kolobrzeg spa are its climate and its brine and mud deposits. The therapeutic mud from this region is exported and used in several other Polish health resorts. Respiratory and cardiovascular disease, disorders of the endocrine system and metabolism are treated here. Treatments for children include those for asthma, diabetes, thyroid, obesity and skin allergies. Kolobrzeg is also a centre for medical rehabilitation. Filling the spare time of both patients and tourists is the responsibility of a number of cultural institutions by staging various concerts, spectacles and artistic events.