Everything began on a January evening in 2011. We were making plans for the development of the grounds of the former sawmill in Złoty Stok we had just bought. We were having a pleasant evening in our restaurant on the grounds of the Gold Mine, considering various projects. It was then that Arek Knych suggested we make his dream come true and build medieval mining machines in a 1:1 scale. He wanted to reconstruct an entire medieval mining settlement and create a great tourist attraction. It took some time for the idea to grow and crystallise.
In April 2011, we started preparing for the new investment.
We decided - as Arek suggested - to create the Medieval Technological Park on this empty land. It was May 2011.
Sometimes you have to demolish before you start to build. The old sawmill disappeared in June 2011.
This is the view without the sawmill in June 2011.
The basement of the former sawmill - this is where the Executioner's Cottage and the Labyrinth of Fear will be built.
Late August 2011. You can already see the frame of the horizontal treadmill and a lot of ground works.
Mid-October 2011. The horizontal treadmill is completed. Arek is constructing the vertical treadmill. This construction has always looked like an Indian tipi to us.
A month later, the vertical treadmill was finished. It was 17 October 2011. Behind the horizontal treadmill, you can already see a lot of progress in the construction of the Executioner's Cottage.
This is another view of the area on the same day. A large building from wooden logs is clearly visible. It is the Executioner's Cottage. In the foreground, in front of the vertical treadmill, you can see the wheel of the crushing mill - which has already been assembled - and the tracks for the carts driven by the mechanism of the vertical treadmill.
This general view of the park with its originator and constructor Arek Knych was taken on 19 November 2011. The whole Złoty Stok was supporting Arek and us in our endeavour. The gables of the Executioner's Cottage are not completed yet, but the roof is already covered by a tarpaulin. On the right, you can already see the earthworks for the fence.
The general view on 12 December 2011. The Executioner's Cottage is finished. Most works on the vertical treadmill are completed, too.
Late December 2011. You can already see the first roof of the crushing mill. It is the beginning of the construction of the most interesting machine in our park. There will be crushers for grinding and launders for enriching ore there.
The same day - the camera was moved slightly to the right.
13 March 2012. This is a very sad picture, because nothing is going on in the park. The works were suspended. We thought that everyone was pleased with the progressing works. We believed that everyone was keeping their fingers crossed, admired Arek's ingenuity and diligence and supported us in creating this new tourist attraction and new jobs in our town.
However, there was one man who was jealous of our success. The thought that others could create something great made him sleepless and uneasy. It was the former mayor of Złoty Stok - Stanisław Gołębiowski in person. Already on 7 December 2011, he wrote to the Building Authority that in his opinion, our works were illegal and personally requested them to intervene and stop all works.
He succeeded. As a result of his denunciation, our construction works were reclassified, so that our previous building permits became invalid. The building works were stopped, and we had to move all objects to the neighbouring site.
18 and 19 April 2012 - instead of preparing for the new season, run an advertising campaign and hire employees, we saw huge cranes arrive and remove everything that was already completed. Believe us, we had tears in our eyes.
Instead of a beautiful Medieval Technological Park, we, the local community and tourists got a sad, dirty, grey building site. All because of one man's reluctance, jealousy and denunciation.
During the weekend at the beginning of May 2012, instead of exploring the new attraction, tourists could only park their cars here.
There was a moment when we wanted to give up on Złoty Stok. Other municipalities contacted us, offering land and support for our project if we agreed to build the park in their area. One of them even wanted to buy all objects at once and employ Arek, offering him good working conditions and a fair remuneration.
However, we decided to finish our work here in our Złoty Stok, because we love this town. At first, the mayor did all he could to prevent it. He intervened with the Building Authority, wrote more denunciations and made it hard for us to obtain any official consent. But the local community supported us and when the Municipal Council stated asking inconvenient questions, he realised that we would not give in and stopped interfering. Suddenly, our requests were examined smoothly and quickly and, most importantly, favourably. What had been impossible before, became possible. It turned out that we did not need any special assistance, all we wanted was to work undisturbed.
Owing to the help of many people, the favour of local authorities and officials as well as the work of designers, we managed to compile a new documentation from scratch and on 11 December 2012, we obtained the building permit for our park.
5 January 2013 - the objects could return to their original locations.
Joy, smiling faces and eagerness to work. The relief that the weather did not prevent the operation, which went smoothly despite some rain and wind. All the objects returned to their original locations undamaged. We could continue working on the park.
The works were resumed at a double speed. We had to make up for the lost time, especially since the weather was favourable. The fence was stored under tarpaulins on the building site, ready for assembly. The excavator had just started the ground works for the fence.
Soon afterwards, the building site was covered by snow, and the world became even more beautiful. The works were not interrupted. It was time to work on all details again, to weigh revolving parts and to assemble additional elements and equipment. The general views from that time already reveal the aqueduct that will bring water to the mill. You can also see the structure of the hand lift.
27 January 2013
2 March 2013 - after many days, finally the Sun has appeared! Our park has a lovely new fence, there are windows in the Executioner's Cottage and Leonardo's Tank is already standing on the building site (covered by the blue tarpaulin).
5 march 2013
20 march 2013
12 april 2013
20 april 2013
23 april 2013
23 april 2013 evening
The morning of 24 April 2013 - this is one of the last photographs in the tab "History of the Technological Park". The building works had already been completed, and all we had to do was to tidy up, sow grass and wait for the tourists. 24 April was the day when the grounds were cleaned, the mill wheel was put in operation, we hung the information signs and banners. It took us exactly 2 years to implement the ideas we came up with on the January evening in 2011.
19 May 2013 - the last element assembled in the park was the steeple of the vertical treadmill. The pennant with the logo of the Medieval Technological Park is proudly flying from it. It is our icing on the cake. Owing to the courtesy of our forester, we added some greenery, too.
Of course, it is not the end - now, we will be searching for and adding new features related to medieval handicrafts and mining. There is plenty of space and we intend to fill it with exciting exhibits.
IS IT NOT BEAUTIFUL? IT WAS WORTH IT!!!