SK, High Tatras – Hrebienok
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.
But lets look at things one after another. You can get to Hrebienok easily. From Starý Smokovec there goes mildly raising asphalt road right to the top. The road is suitable for children and elder people as well. The walk will take you about 45 minutes and, of course, there is an alternative that used also Queen Elizabeth II during her first visit of the High Tatras and Slovakia. A modern surface cableway will spare you about thirty minutes of walk. But before we tell you something about the present of the place we will move few decades to the past first.
1908, the year is important for the fact that the very first cableway ride from Starý Smokovec to Hrebienok happened. In the upper station of the cableway was located an electro-engine that winded a steel rope up on which there were two open carriages that operated as a shuttle service. There was no waiting room in the station, on the other hand its platform was roofed. Tickets were sold in the carriages. Local business man Vincent Matějka bought land nearby the upper cableway station shortly after the cableway operations were launched. He built there a coffee stand and bistro stand that in the course of time were rebuilt to small but cozy hostel. After the Great War, a change of the owners of the cableway caused a change in business intentions there. The then Legiobanka, the new owner of the cableway, intended to built a “folk” touristic hotel on Hrebienok. And so it did! In the year 1928, the intention of the bank was carried out and the result was Sporthotel that replaced Matějka’s hostel. Not far from the hotel there were built flats for employees. The hotel had 66 rooms, electric lightning, bathrooms and even barber’s shop. A flat roof of the hotel guest used as “sun spas”. Maintenance of the hotel and its surroundings was carried out by František Pavela who got it from Legiobanka for rent. Under Mr Pavela administration the place flourished. Since 1930, he had began adjusting easy ski hills and ski slopes, he was maintaining a road from Starý Smokovec, or in winters he changed it to a sledge track. He also initiated a modification of the Under Slavkovský štít ski slope. Thanks to this there were regular competitions for so-called PAVEL cup, but when the Second World War began this tradition wanished. He also planned a construction of “mammoth” ski jump, unfortunately, it never happened.
After the Second World War, the cableway became a property of national railways company and in 1947 Sporthotel became a possession of Revoluční odborové hnutí (ROH). A renovation was launched, the cableway with opened carriages was rebuilt to a roofed cableway. Also equipment changed. In 1970, two new stations were built. The upper station was constructed 200 meters lower than its predecessor. The old building was demolished and Sporthotel got a new façade. In 1988, the hotel (or in ROH terms ROH Sanatorium Hrebienok) was closed due to an extensive renovation. It lasted 11 years. OIt was opened only in 1999 as a two-star Hotel Sorea Hrebienok. As usually, its fame hadn’t last long. Thanks to changing political circumstances it soon changed an owner and was renamed to Horský hotel Hrebienok. In the course of several last years the hotel experienced fire, in 2009 when a short circuit created a fire. Thanks to a short response from people who walked by the fire didn’t do much damage.
In the present, there are 112 beds. And also thanks to the road its furnishing is above-standard. In the bottom part of the hotel there are two restaurants. Hrebienok is one of the most popular places in the High Tatras. It is sort of an entrance gate to Malá Studená valley and Velká Studená valley. In the hotel’s vicinity there are several ski slopes where the World Skiing Championship of 1970 happened. Operations of majority of these ski slopes are, in the present, ceased and their long-gone fame is reminded only with judge towers. There are several events on Hrebienok each year. Among the most attractive are Bear days, various sport and adrenaline activities, or ice carpenters’ championship we recently saw.
Text and photo: Oskar Mažgút
Vysoke Tatra sis one of the most beautiful nature gems in Slovakia. These high mountains lure tourists for their grandiosity, monumentality and immesurable beauty of their deep valleys and sharp pyramidal peaks reaching up to the skies. Jehneci pyramidal peak (2 230 m) one of the accessible summits in the High Tatras. The climb is amazing and valuable experience.
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.
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.
Winter is getting over slowly yet there is quite a lot of snow there. This is the reason why we take you to the district of Mengusovce town sort of the gateway to the High Tatras. The village is situated in the district of Poprad close to the crossroad of the road E50 and D1 freeway.
Soon winter closure of Tatranian tourist trails (15th June 2014) weill end. Therefore, in advance we bring you an interesting alpine hike trip. Our goal today is the peak of the peaks, the symbol of Slovakia – majestic Krivan in the High Tatras.
Two weeks later we go again to the Tatras. This time we visit a small village of Tatranska Lesna. It is located almost in the middle on the road from Stary Smokovec and Tatranska Lomnica. On one side it borders with the Path of Freedom and from the other side with the mouth of Studena Valley.
The one who loves adventure and is reasonably physically fit, undoubtedly would like a few tips about easy winter hikes Velka Studena Valley, located in the Slovak part of the High Tatras. A year-round open cottage, Zbojnicka Chata (1960 meters), which waits for us in this valley, offers a place to rest, refreshment and cozy accommodation. We can spend here a few days without getting away from the surrounding of Tatranian peaks. Keep in mind, however, that the motion in the Tatras in winter outside marked trails is very limited according to the TANAP rules!
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.
Today our steps head to a Tatranian village located beneath the second highest peak in Slovakia. Lomnicky Stit. Tatranska Lomnica is one of the most beautiful areas of Vysoke Tatry city district. It hides not only rich architectural history, or the largest ski resort in the Tatras but also the new Ski museum.
Fall is perfect for walks in nature. Today we follow spa sidewalk, which is less known to the public, that we accidentally discovered in the High Tatras, in the village of Stary Smokovec.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Slovakia is a rich country. It has many historical and natural beauties. 40 % of its area cover forests in which many protected and unique spiecies of plants and animals live. For them protected areas of various characters were declared. Today we will visit one of them.
After visiting many places we return to nature today. Our steps lead us to beautiful, untamed, and unique Western Tatras, concretely to the Rohace.
I spent two day in the High Tatras while on my way from Kosice and east Slovakia. I was lucky to spend there the most beautiful days of autumn. Even though sun shined only in the morning the weather was very good. It did not rain, snow, and it was not cold nor hot. Perfect when you go to mountains.
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.
Last week started an autumn in the town of Svit, and we will continue in it even today. We told you some basic facts about the foundation of one of Slovakia’s youngest towns. We walked among its typical brick houses and found there a mark pointing to a nature trail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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