Graduation tower

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Bad Kissingen, Germany
Ciechocinek, Poland
Close-up view of brushwood with mineral deposits

A graduation tower (occasionally referred to as a thorn house[1]) is a structure used in the production of salt which removes water from a saline solution by evaporation, increasing its concentration of mineral salts. The tower consists of a wooden wall-like frame stuffed with bundles of brushwood (typically blackthorn) which have to be changed about every 5 to 10 years as they become encrusted with mineral deposits over time.[2] The salt water runs down the tower and partly evaporates; at the same time some minerals from the solution are left behind on the brushwood twigs.

Graduation towers can be found in a number of spa towns, primarily in Germany but also Poland and Austria. The mineral-rich water droplets in the air are regarded[by whom?] as having beneficial health effects similar to that of breathing in sea air.

A large complex of graduation towers is located in Ciechocinek and Inowrocław, Poland.[2] This entirely wooden construction in Ciechocinek was erected in the 19th century by Stanisław Staszic. The complex consists of three graduation towers with a total length of over 2 km. Many tourists visit it for health reasons.[citation needed]


Partial list of towns and cities with graduation towers[edit]

View from the top of the tower at Ciechocinek, Poland

With years of initial construction where available. Does not include modern indoor facilities found in some spas.



  1. ^ "Graduation House". Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Affelt, Waldemar: Wooden masterwork of saline in Ciechocinek, Poland Archived 2011-09-07 at the Wayback Machine, in: Santiago Huerta (ed.): Proceedings of the First International Congress on Construction History: Madrid, 20th–24th January 2003, Instituto Juan de Herrera, Madrid 2003, ISBN 84-9728-070-9

External links[edit]

Media related to Graduation towers at Wikimedia Commons