Alpy nie tylko dla alpinistów, czyli Juliusza Słowackiego wyprawa alpejska jako rozrywka towarzyska
The ascent of Mont Blanc in 1786 began a “golden age” of European mountaineering during which most of the highest summits on the continent were reached. The climbs initiated the process of “touristification” of the mountains, primarily the Alps, which were located on a popular trail to Italy. Thanks to the first attempts, still fraught with danger, to climb various summits, it later became possible to mark out easier routes and trails, and as a result guides were able to show the mountains even to amateurs, who expected only breathtaking landscapes and wanted to experience a fraction of a “true” Alpine trek. The mountains were explored by many famous poets, including Goethe, Chateaubriand, Mickiewicz and Słowacki. Słowacki described his trip in great detail in letters to his mother, thanks to which we can now reconstruct it and demonstrate that the popularisation of Alpine treks made the poet’s trip possible – it was for him not only an opportunity to capture sights he would later use in his work, but also an interesting social occasion, for he was taken to the mountains by friends of his, the Wodziński family. The poet’s long letter describing a given trip (and memories of authors like Antoni Odyniec or Zygmunt Krasiński) makes it possible to recreate this unique moment in which broadly defined mountain trekking was split into specialist “mountaineering” and recreational “tourism”, which drew on the achievements of the former and popularised the mountains as a tourist attraction and possibility of active leisure.