The Zakopane Berghof Cover Image
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Zakopiański Berghof
The Zakopane Berghof

Author(s): Urszula Makowska
Subject(s): Anthropology
Published by: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: anthropology; history; architecture; Magic Mountain; tuberculosis

Summary/Abstract: A medical institution in Zakopane for “those suffering from chest ailments” established and headed in 1902-1918 by Kazimierz and Bronisława Dłuski was the first tuberculosis sanatorium in the Polish high mountains. Its building referred to the architectural conception of an ideal sanatorium conceived by Dr. Karl Turban from Davos, and the interior arrangement and equipment corresponded to European standards. Therapy and the patients’ daily schedule also did not differ from Swiss norms, and thus even the details of the Zakopane-based institution resembled the Berghof described by Thomas Mann in The Magic Mountain. The distinguishing features of the Polish sanatorium against the background of similar institutions across Europe were the outcome of the ambitions of its authors, who decided to render it not only an exemplary centre using almost exclusively local products but also a showpiece of Polish art. This is the reason why the design of the generally accessible interiors was entrusted to artists – Jan Rembowski, Karol Frycz, Henryk Uziemblo and Wojciech Brzega. In this fashion, the sanatorium became a prolongation of a literary-art salon, whose role was played at that time by Zakopane. The establishment of the sanatorium coincided with an outbreak of animosity amidst the authorities and residents of Zakopane towards patients suffering from tuberculosis, whose presence could have deterred potential visitors. At the beginning of the twentieth century the tuberculosis myth, questioned and incapacitated in The Magic Mountain, still remained real in the Tatra Mts. resort despite, or because of the fact that this was the site of a first attempt at a successful battle against the disease in Poland.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 01
  • Page Range: 147-166
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Polish