SK, High Tatras – Rocky Cottage (Skalnatá chata)
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.
You can get to the Rocky Cottage via many routes. The easiest way you can get there is by a cable way from Tatranská Lomnica right to Skalnaté pleso where it is only 5 minutes downhill to the cottage. A little bit more difficult is a route along the Tatranská magistrála from Hrebienko. Even more difficult routes lead from Tatranská Lomnica alogn a cableway and along the Tatranská magistrála from Zelené pleso. Despite several levels of difficulty of named routes it is suitable also for family with children. Before you move off to see this beautiful cottage, hidden somewhere in massive granite of Tatras, we will tell you something of its history.
From the past to the present
The history of the cottage began already in 1209 during the rule of Andrew II . Wayfarers were hiding there behind a large boulder sticking out from the hillside to avoid bad weather. This place used to be called a Rocky Fireplace . The thing that attracted people then was the same at it is today - Lomnický peak. Since ever climbers tried to climb up one of the most impressive peaks in the High Tatras. In the course of time a Rocky Fireplacy became something as a point for ascents and descents. The number of people who were interested in climbing up onto the peak was rising so a Rocky Fireplace was adjusted in 1841. Four tourists from Silesia walled the fireplace in. During summer adjustments there improved thanks to other tourists. Thank to the initiative of the Hungary-Carpathian Association the fireplace became a shed in 1915, during the administration of the State Forests agency. It was built and finished in the same year by the army. In front of the furnace there was built a meter and half high half-circle wall and a roof of reinforced concrete. A barred window was put to a concrete wall. The shed was equipped with a fireplace and up to 25 persons could stay overnight there. The construction used to be called " a cavern". The shed was taken over by the Czechoslovak Tourist Club in 1932 and in 1934 the club offered a long-time assistant Michal Tomčík participation in upcoming rebuilding of “The Cavern” to a real cottage. Tomčík had to be also an administrator of the cottage. He agreed and the former reconstruction change to the construction of a whole new cottage.
Works were fast and a year later the cottage was completed however, there were many financial problems during the construction. There were added kitchen equipment, a bed, a bench, tables and after it was opened the capacity was 14 beds. Together with his wife Tomčík administered the cottage on a whole year basis. Right during the first winter they learned western winds brought massive snowdrifts due to which they constructed a 2x2 meters large terrace that created a lee side. Tomčík were good administrators until 1945 as it was apparent on its popularity among local and foreign visitors. Due to a very unfair lease contract Tomčík had later to apply to be a joiner at the construction of the cableway from Tatranská Lomnica to Skalnaté pleso. His wife continued with maintenance of the cottage. A new cottage administrator, Michal Bobula, replaced the Tomčík’s family. Thanks to the cableway the cottage could flourish and with the installation of electricity perfect conditions were established for new clients to come and for the tourism to flourish there.
But, as it happens, the opposite happened. Due to political and other changes, e.g. in property rights, the cottage was falling into despair. No of its owners was particularly keen to renovate it. The cottage was even marked as “unsuitable” and it was suggested the cottage would be renovated in 1952. Since 1953, Rudolf Presler was administering the cottage and he was instrumental in rise of number of beds and comfort of accommodation. In the course of time the cottage, however, was falling into despair. In 1972 its operation was closed and the Rocky Cottage changed to a storehouse for couple of years ,until March 1984. After the former TANAP Administration and the additional construction from 1955 was disclaimed, even the part that covered the fireplace. Even the rest of the cottage had to be demolished but the cottage was, in 1993, rented to the former High Tatras load bearer Laco Kulang. He had been instrumental in a vast renovation during which water pipeline was brought to the cottage and even a sewage disposal plant was built. All of this resurrected the plant. In 1994 the operation of the cottage was limited but two years later it was in full operation
In the present the cottage has 8 beds, a bathroom, and WC facility. The kitchen offers hot and cold beverages and the whole building has electric heating. The cottage administrator who to this day carries goods from the cableway right to the cottage provides its supplies. The Rocky Cottage offers an unusual look at the subtatranian landscape and, at the same time, it is a starting point for nice walks or a pleasant shelter for freezing skiers.
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.
The High Tatras are among the most popular places for tourists in Slovakia. In summer, many visitors from home and abroad come here to enjoy the magic of mountains or do some hiking. Sedlo pod Ostrvou is a popular spot for easy alpine tourism.
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.
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.
Today we visit the third most highly located mountain cottage in Slovakia – Stone Cottage Below Chook. Many people who love our mountains know it just as Kamienka.
As many other places in the High Tatras (2314 meters) even Bystre Sedlo is not that well known among tourists. Perhaps, it is given to the fact that there is no cottage that would offer tourists some refreshments after being whole day on food. Or, perhaps, the route is not leading to any of the High Tatras’ peaks. There are only a few people but you will definitely enjoy your time in untouched Tatran nature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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