Karpacz [ˈkarpat͡ʂ] (German: Krummhübel) is a spa town and ski resort in Jelenia Góra County, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, south-western Poland, and one of the most important centres for mountain hiking and skiing, including ski jumping. Its population is about 5,000 (2014). Karpacz is situated in the Karkonosze Mountains (German: Riesengebirge) — a resort with increasing importance for tourism as an alternative to the Alps.
Karpacz is located at 480 to 885 metres (1,575–2,904 ft) above sea level. South of Karpacz on the border to the Czech Republic there is Mount Sněžka-Śnieżka (1,602 metres (5,256 ft)).
The first settlements in area of Karpacz are noted by the official website of the city as being of probable Celtic origin and date to the 4th or 3rd century BC when they inhabited the region as part of gold digging taking place in the area. The first mention of permanent location within the current boundaries of the town is dated to the beginning of 15th century and connected to destruction of village called Broniów, whose inhabitants moved to settle the area currently located at the altitude of town's railway station.
The settlement is mentioned in 1599 because of lead and iron mining. Since the construction of Krummhübel's first railway connection in 1895 history was connected with the development of metallurgy industries and with the progress of tourism. The ethnically German village was part of Austria and Austria-Hungary in 1526-1742, the Kingdom of Prussia in 1742-1870 and then Germany between 1871-1945. Krummhübel's German population was forcibly expelled from the village between 1945 and 1947. The town was subsequently repopulated with ethnic Poles and eventually renamed Karpacz — an allusion in Polish to the Carpathian Mountains, from which some of the new settlers hailed.
In Karpacz Górny a gravity hill is located where bottles appear to roll uphill. There is also a Norwegian stave church, moved here from Vang, Norway in the mid-19th century.
Stone sign marking a "place of disturbed gravitation". Image shows Newton's apple with text saying: "gravitational anomaly".
Chapel of Saint Lawrence on Sněžka-Śnieżka
Ski jumping hill