Harrachov (ˈɦaraxof; ) is a town
A town is a human settlement larger than a village but smaller than a city. The size a settlement must be in order to be called a "town" varies considerably in different parts of the world, so that, for example, many American "small towns" seem to British people to be no more than villages, while...

 on the Mumlava river in the northern Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, 300 m from the border with Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

. It is within the Krkonoše mountain range, about 700 metres (2,296.6 ft) above sea level.


The first written reference dates back to the 17th century, when German-speaking settlers founded a village Dörfel there. In 1714 it was renamed Harrachsdorf after a local noble landowner, Count
A count or countess is an aristocratic nobleman in European countries. The word count came into English from the French comte, itself from Latin comes—in its accusative comitem—meaning "companion", and later "companion of the emperor, delegate of the emperor". The adjective form of the word is...

The Harrach family is a Bohemian and Austro-German noble family. The Grafs von Harrach were among the most prominent families in the Habsburg Empire.-History:...

. Since the end of 19th century Harrachsdorf has been known for its glassworks
Glassworks is a chamber music work of six movements by Philip Glass. It is regarded as being a characteristically Glass-like work. Following his larger-scale concert and stage works, Glassworks was Philip Glass's successful attempt to create a more pop-oriented "Walkman-suitable" work, with...

 production, textile
A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands...

 industry, and mining
Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, from an ore body, vein or seam. The term also includes the removal of soil. Materials recovered by mining include base metals, precious metals, iron, uranium, coal, diamonds, limestone, oil shale, rock...

. At the beginning of the 20th century, industrial production was bolstered by the construction of a railway line between Bohemian Tannwald (Tanvald
Tanvald is a town in the northern Czech Republic. Its population was 6,836 as of August 28, 2006.The town has direct rail connection with Prague and Dresden. Traffic on the railway line to Jelenia Góra in Poland was restricted in 1945; the trains terminate in Harrachov...

) and Silesia
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with smaller parts also in the Czech Republic, and Germany.Silesia is rich in mineral and natural resources, and includes several important industrial areas. Silesia's largest city and historical capital is Wrocław...

n Hirschberg (Jelenia Góra
Jelenia Góra
----Jelenia Góra is a city in Lower Silesia, south-western Poland. The name of the city means "deer mountain" in Polish, Czech and German. It is close to the Krkonoše mountain range running along the Polish-Czech border – ski resorts such as Karpacz and Szklarska Poręba can be found...

). The fact that the nearest stop, Strickerhäuser (after 1945 Tkacze, after 1959 Mýtiny), was on the other side of the Austro-Hungarian border in German Silesia was not a major obstacle at that time.

After the Second World War, Silesia was acquired by Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and the border was closed. Trains from Tanvald had to terminate in Kořenov
Kořenov is a mountain village in Jablonec nad Nisou District, Liberec Region in the Czech Republic. Kořenov is situated in the Jizera Mountains near the well-known winter sports centre Harrachov. Part of the village is situated in protected landscape area....

, trains from Jelenia Góra were terminated in Jakuszyce (former Jakobsthal), on the northern side of the Novosvětský pass.

In 1947 there were 1,553 people living in Harrachov.

Instead of opening the border, the communist governments of Czechoslovakia and Poland arranged a territorial exchange. In 1959, Czechoslovakia acquired the area around Mýtiny, that allowed it to extend the cog railway Tanvald-Kořenov to the outskirts of Harrachov, Poland was compensated by land to the north from Mrtvý vrch. Harrachov, joined by the originally independent settlements Nový Svět and Rýžoviště, became a town in 1973.


Harrachov is one of the most important Czech centres of mountain hiking and skiing
Skiing is a recreational activity using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding....

; several winter sport
Winter sport
A winter sport is a sport which is played on snow or ice. Most such sports are variations of skiing, ice skating and sledding. Traditionally such sports were only played in cold areas during winter, but artificial snow and ice allow more flexibility...

 events take place in Harrachov regularly. The whole region is of increasing importance for alpine tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 in Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

. Located near the Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 river's source in the Krkonoše, it is known for its internationally used ski jumping
Ski jumping
Ski jumping is a sport in which skiers go down a take-off ramp, jump and attempt to land as far as possible down the hill below. In addition to the length of the jump, judges give points for style. The skis used for ski jumping are wide and long...


The international road E65
European route E65
European route E 65 is a north-south Class-A European route that begins in Malmö, Sweden and ends in Chaniá, Greece. The road is about in length.-Itinerary:* Sweden** E 65: Malmö – Ystad* Baltic sea, ferry Ystad-Świnoujście* Poland...

 (from Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

to Poland) goes through the town. There is a border crossing between Harrachov and Poland at Jakuszyce.

External links

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