SK, High Tatras – Zamkovského Cottage
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.
Štefan Zamkovský a graduated photographer was born in Levoča however he spent his life in the mountains as could be observed from his first job, he found it in the Tatra. He got job as a load bearer at Téryho and Zbojnická cottage. Zamkovský also practiced mountaineering and he built an image of one of the best mountaineers in the area. He was very hardworking and tough man loving the mountains. He became a co-cottage administrator at Téryho cottage already in 1936. Maybe there he got an idea to build his own cottage. His dream was to construct a cottage in Malá Studená valley so together with his wife he made a blueprint of two-story cottage in 1942. There was nothing standing in the way of the project thus the project could be put into practice. In the time when the cottage was opened to public it had no name. Thanks to amazing charisma of the cottager and to pleasant atmosphere of the cottage itself, people began to call it after its landlord - Zamkovského cottage, and its name remained until present..
In the cottage’s history there were many interesting people who visited it. Wife and children of partisans were, except tourists and mountaineers, hiding in the cottage during the Second World War. Even Zamkovského cottage has some shadows in its history. In 1948, the cottage was nationalized and Zamkovský and his wife were forced to left it since the regime considered them as “capitalists” and it was unthinkable to be capitalist under the rule of the new regime. In 1951, Slovaktour took over the cottage and renamed it to Chata kapitána Nálepku, so nobody would be reminded of its previous owner. Meanwhile Štefan Zamkovský was, after he had involuntary left his cottage, employed at Bílkova cottage. Due to political decisions he had to left the territory of the the High Tatras. Despite all the effort to erase his name from the history of the Tatras, locals and tourists sticked to the name "Zamka". The cottage got back its original name in 1991. If we return few years back in time we can see that a small hydroelectric plant at the cottage was opened in 1989. In 1993, the cottage was as a property restitution given back to heirs-at-law of Štěpán Zamkovský. Ing. Jana Kalinčíková has been administering the cottage since 1993, she got her previous experience at Zbojnická cottage.
Today, Zamkovského cottage hes six rooms and 25 beds, sanitary facilities are collective there. On the ground floor there is a kitchen and a cozy dinning room. There is also a relatively large terrace in front of the cottage where, during summer days, you can refresh and relax. The cottage is supplied thanks to load bearers who are bearing goods from a storehouse on Hrebienok. The cottage’s interior is completed with historic photographs showin early years of its operation.
You can get to the cottage relatively easily from Starý Smokovec settlement to Hrebienok. From there you can take easy red path leading to Skalnaté pleso. About an hour long walk is suitable also for kids. The pathway is accessible during the whole year. The Zamkovského cottage is an ideal place from where you can set out to treks to Tatranian highway. The road to the cottage is completed with the Studený potok falls. The cottage offers to its visitors also unique specialities, such as a typical herbal bearer’s tea "Marmot’s Milk", an alcoholic beverage Rainer, or a sweet tidbit called Tatramelka.
Text and photo: Oskar Mažgút
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