Ślęża, The Holy Mountain


About 30km outside of Wrocław is the Ślęża mountain (pronounced Shleszha). At 718 meters (2,355 feet) it is the tallest peak in an otherwise extremely flat surrounding area. Well, it’s the only mountain within 150km of flat farmland. But making do with what we’ve got, we hiked it hoping for a little cooler weather on top. And so it was, though not especially cool, just enough to keep us on the mountain top for about 45 minutes.

The hike up is said to take 2 hours, we did it in 55 minutes. We took a scenic trail which also happens to be the easiest way up. It’s scenic because of a couple of stone statues that have been there for hundreds of years. Though showing their age, “The Maid With a Fish” statue quite literally looks like a vertical stone that somehow could resemble the said title, but you have to look at it fairly close. And it doesn’t help that the “maid” is missing her head.

The mountain has been known to be a holy place as far back as the 7th century BC by the heathen tribes of the Lusatian culture. Maybe it was because being the tallest thing around it’s been known to attract frequent thunder storms, or maybe it was simply the closest spot they could find to the sun. The thunder storms have died down a little after a huge water reservoir was built in the area, that giant water spot does a better job at attracting the lightning storms.

However, while we were there we stopped by my uncles house who happens to literally live at the foot of the mountain near the town of Sobótka. He’s got the last house by the forest, right where the trail begins. As soon as we got back from the mountain a storm broke out and it pretty much rained for 2 days straight after that. My uncle and his wife are always great hosts, and we ate, drank, and talked for hours into the late evening. It was a great hiking trip.

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