SK, High Tatras – Bilík’s Cottage
We invite you today again to the High Tatras, this time to visit Bilík’s Cottage that is popular among families with children or less physically capable tourists. The cottage is easily accessible and the pathway leading there is also easy.
You can get very easily to Bilík’s Cottage. The shortest way is, perhaps, from Starý Smokovec to Hrebienok and from there it is a mere half an hour of walk along tourist pathways to the cottage itself. Of course, there are some trails from Rainer’s cottage or Tatranská Lesná however, they are longer.
The southeastern corner of Slavkovský štít known as "Kancel" became a home to the Bilík’s Cottage but before it there was a simple Růžena’s cottage , later supplemented with a tourist hotel. The first of these historical milestones has its origin in 1875. Eighteen years later were local buildings demolished and two hotels were erected there and created a small settlement known as Studenopotocké lázně. The settlement had great plans that included completion of six buildings with 400 rooms, opening of a cake shop, beerhouse or own cattle farm. Nothing of this happened. Shortly after the second world war a building of the health resort was demolished. Even later investments were not sufficient to safe the spa because the spa burned down at the beginning of 1927. On their original place there was built a single-story building with a kitchen on the ground floor and accommodation units on the first floor. The whole construction was planned by dr. Michal Guhra Jr., who, unfortunately, didn’t live long enough to see the ceremonial opening. The cottage was named after him, the Guhr’s cottage.
This tourist accommodation with a restaurant was adapted to requirements of young German tourists of the Carpathian Association. The ground plan of the cottage was enlarged in 1936 that meant the capacity had risen from 40 to 58 beds. After the Second World War, in 1946, the cottage was taken over by the Club of Slovakian Tourists and Skiers (KSTL). The club changed the name of the cottage to the Bilík’s cottage. The cottage had underwent a renovation, in its vicinity there was built a hostel that was, unlike the cottage, without any water or heating. The hostel was improved as well as the Bilík’s cottage the use of which expanded to the winter season. A terrace, showers, central heating were added to the cottage. In 1965, the works were completed and according to an inspection committee Bilík’s cottage the best equipped cottage in the High Tatras. Improvement reflected on prices that were not particularly affordable in that time. The cottage was accessible by car.
Another significant renovation that partially changed building’s exteriors happened in 1922. The walls were. I would like to mention an important cottager who is sort of a spirit of the cottage. The cottager who spent most time there was Rudo Kacian, he administered the cottage for long 29 years. Perhaps you ask, why the cottage is named after Bilík then? This is derived from the name of the financial guard inspector Pavel Bilík who happened to be also a very active ski contestant of KSTL. Mr Bilík was involved in the Slovak National Uprising in fights that took part above Horní Smokovec. He was captured by the Germans and on September 7 1944 he was executed at Kežmarok castle. In tribute to his memory the cottage was renamed and his name, the name of the Slovakian partisan, it carries until the present.
When Czechoslovakia split in 1993 the cottage had been privatized and since 1999 some Bratislavian company has been owning it. Mr and Mrs Fassinger are current administrators of the building.
The recent shape of the cottage is different from the previous. Once it used to be a tourist cottage, after renovation it became rather a hotel with accommodation units and later suites were constructed. Today, the cottage has 29 beds and its own filtered well. Supplies come to the cottage easily by cars via a road that lead right to the cottage. During the winter season a land cableway comes to use as well as snowmobiles. A relatively large restaurant offers many different meals. There is a wine bar and a sauna in the bottom part of the cottage. The cottage has become a popular destination for many tourists or less physically capable trippers thanks to whole-year operation and good accessibility or vicinity of the Studený Potok Falls.
Text and photo: Oskar Mažgút
Perhaps every one of us has visited the High Tatras. Beautiful enchanting nature, noble and sharp peaks of mountains or crystal clear lakes give the place its unique feeling that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Today alpine cottages enrich this scene. We will examine their history on the following lines.
Skialpinism has becoming increasingly popular. Hence we became interested in a relatively new book which contains a selection of the best skialpine rides in the mountains of Slovakia.
This week we visit the Tatras as well. However, their cognition will no longer be child's eyes, but rather a factual way. We will focus on their history, monuments, nature and tourism through a new and richly illustrated tourist guide - Tatra - from the family publishing house Dajama.
Our journey across cottages in the High Tatras will bring us today to popular place known as Hrebienok where an alpine hotel is located as well as an upper station of a cableway, great initial place for alpine tourism or once famous ski center that comes to live in the present from time to time.
Today we move to Malá Studená valley guarded by Téry Cottage located in 2015 meters above the sea level. The monumental Tatras and Pět Spišských ples surround the cottage and it is here more than a century to offer you a touch of history, refreshments of the present and unparalleled beauty.
In the upper part of Velká Studená valley behind the Zbojnický ridge there is Zbojnická Cottage, a building with a hard fate. Going to a visit there means tourism, mountaineering, ski touring or crossing of near ridges.
There are many cottages hiding in the High Tatras. Together we will explore its youngest cottage that for decades guards Štrbské pleso and surrounding mountains.
Today we move from the High Tatras to Western Tatras where we visit Žiarska valley where popular Žiarska Cottage is located (1324 meters above the sea level). This position is a great starting point for any trek to the regions of Braníkov and Barance.
Although winter is in full swing and snow inspires people to put on ski boots rather than hiking boots. However, it is time to schedule trips for the summer season. Those planning to go to the High Tatras, for example, may rise to one of the easternmost mountains shields, Velka Svistovka (2037 meters). Because the adjacent Kezmarska Biela Voda Valley could be walked through also in winter, many winter hikers will appreciate the following tip.
It is not necessary to provide you with some extensive introduction of the High Tatras. These mountains are simply splendid. They lay in the heart of Europe, being a well-known and popular destination among domestic and foreign tourists. Mostly those who love alpine treks travel here frequently. Koprovsky peak (2367 m) is one of the most famous and most visited points of interest there.
One beautiful day we came into conclusion to climb one of the Tatranian shields. Therefore, we travelled to Strbske Pleso lake and from there we set off for the Salisko summit.
In the previous article we began walking our tour of knowledge about cottages in the Tatras. We found out how they developed from simple sheds to regular cottages that are mostly parts of some settlements today. Now we will move a step ahead. We will examine the past not that distant.
In the eastern part of the High Tatras in the end of Zelené pleso valley there is the Cottage by Zelené pleso. This popular place is often called “Brnčalka”. The cottage lies by an emerald green lake surrounded by massive peaks of the High Tatras. The history of the cottage began towards the end of the 19th century. Come with us and learn about this cottage in the middle of mountains.
Dear readers, today we will return again to the Cottage by Zelené pleso. In the previous article we talked about its predecessor – Egida’s cottage, its construction, reconstruction and other hardships. Today we will focus on the fate of the cottage itself. The cottage remained until present something like a guardian of Zelené pleso.
Today we will continue in our tour de cottages in Tatras. This time we will go to the Rocky Cottage (1751 meters above the sea level) that is located under the second highest peak of the High Tatras – Lomnický peak – and above the settlement of Tatranská Lomnica.
In our journey across cottages in the High Tatras will continue even today. This time we move to the mouth of Malá Studená valley to Zamkovského cottage (1475 meters above the sea level) built by Štefan Zamkovský in 1943.
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