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    Historic European Paper Mills on UNESCO Tentative List

    Five European countries have launched an initiative to inscribe pre-industrial paper mills on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Leading this effort is Poland, joined by the Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, and Italy.

    Poland’s Duszniki-Zdrój Paper Mill

    Dating back to 1562, the Duszniki-Zdrój paper mill not only produced paper but also housed its noble owners. The building’s unique architecture resembles a noble manor. Notably, post-WWII, a collection of 17th and 18th-century polychromes was discovered inside, including a depiction of Joseph’s temptation by Potiphar’s wife. Adjacent to the main building are a wooden drying house from 1749 and a 17th-century entry pavilion over the Bystrzyca Dusznicka River.

    Other Notable Mills

    The tentative UNESCO listing includes mills in Velké Losiny (Czech Republic), Capellades (Spain), Homburg and Niederzwönitz (Germany), and Pescia (Italy). These mills highlight Europe’s pioneering role in hand-made paper production from the 16th century.

    UNESCO Tentative List

    The UNESCO Tentative List consists of properties proposed for World Heritage status within ten years. Besides the European Paper Mills (2024), Poland has four other sites on this list, including Gdynia’s Modernist Centre and the Augustów Canal.

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