SK, West Tatras – Žiarska Cottage
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.
Žiarska Cottage has an all-year access and you can get there easily. From Žiar, the Liptovský Mikuláš district, there is a blue tourist path along which is an asphalt road leading right to the cottage. A tourist path is not difficult, its elevation is moderate and it ends in Žiarska valley. A walk to the cottage via this road will take you about one and half hour.
A beautiful walk across Žiarska valley crossed by the Smrečianka River will lead you to the cottage itself. There you can buy some refreshments, souvenirs or your children can play at a playground. The cottage has, indeed, a very interesting history. It is closely related to and surprisingly influenced by nature Only few meters from the cottage there is a memorial place devoted to theWestern Tatras victims. Avalanches have been the greatest threat of this fabulous valley. In case you like contracts you shouldn’t postpone a trip there. Beautiful, always green Žiarska valley where are the Šafran Falls located are only 15 minutes of walk from Žiarska Cottage. This creates a contrast to Smutná valley (only 2 hours from Žiarska Cottage via a blue path), which is dry, deserted and seems like there is no life at all. There are, indeed, many such contrasts but now we are going to take a look at the history of the cottage.
Žiarska Cottage began its story in the year 1939 when its construction began and in the same year it had been already opened to the public. Suddenly it was one of the most modern cottages in Slovakia. There was a hostel with 20 beds on the ground floor and 10 rooms with 30 beds in upper floors. Also there was a large dinning room, warm and cold water and it was lit with oil lamps. Thanks to easy accessibility it soon became very popular among tourists. Also famous personas visited it such as Dominik Tatarka, a writer,, Alfons Bednár, a Slovak novelist, orFedor Klimáček, a painter. During the second world war it was an asylum for people and partisans sought after the Slovakian National Uprising began. However, this was the end for the cottage since during a strong offensive of the Wehrmacht, partisans were forced to leave the cottage and left it to Germans. Ti ji obsadili, vydrancovali a podpálili. Zůstaly jen ohořelé základy.
Fortunately, during the years 1946 – 1947, constructions were resumed as a program for cottages renovation ordered. Two years later, the cottage operated only as a workers’ accommodation. Žiarska Cottage began opening to the public when a cottager arrived there. In the year 2006, the cottage was not up to date, thus it was completely demolished and a whole new cottage was built instead.
A new Žiarska Cottage gives its visitors complete accommodation services. It is whole-year opened with only exception during maintenance. The cottage is opened also during the time of serious avalanche threat. Except the winter months, guests are allowed to get there by a car right in front of the cottage.
The power of nature shouldn’t be underestimated as the cottage experienced in March 2009 when a hundred years avalanche had fallen into Žiarská valley. It changed the character of “green” valley for a long time as it destroyed hectares of forests and trees. Mechanical tear of the avalanche reached 2 to 3 kilometers and a drift was one kilometer. A chain reaction caused another seven to eight avalanches going fast one after another. It was a miracle that Žiarska Cottage survived without almost any damage. But this isn’t the cause of the AlpinaMountain Rescue cottage. A chimney of the building had been damaged as well as windows and roof. This megaavalanche caused Žiarska valley was not accessible for several months however, snow from the avalanche visitors could see for next several months.
Žiarská Cottage is a real gem among other alpine cottages. Its strategic location is an ideal starting point for climbs to near peaks of the Western Tatras and it is also a great start or finish for treks to crystal clear lakes. Careful tourists can also see there small and large inhabitants of Tatran valleys.
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.
The Western Tatras is very popular and frequented mountain range. Treks here, the main ridge especially, are amazing and people who go there long remember it. Ostry Rohac is perhaps the most attractive and most well known peak in this area. Many tourists hike across it every year.
This time we visit West Tatra Mounains, 10 kilometers northeast of Liptovsky Mikulas. There we visit the quiant town of Ziar.
Today we set out to the beautiful Tatra village of Podbanska, partially a borough of Vysoke Tatry town, the other part belongs to Pribylina village.
There is something about making winter treks. Harsh, icy beauty of nature in winter tempts many people to set out to nature. We can make some more difficult trips even in Slovakian mountains, concretely in the Low Tatras, Western Tatras, and High Tatras. Placlivy mountain in the Western Tatras, is a locality accessible to tourist even during the winter season.
The West Tatras are very attractive mountain ridge for tourists. These mountains are especially known for trek difficulty. Yet any tour along their ridges, into their klippes or climbs up Rohace's exposed ridge are worth it. However, you may make here an easy tour as well particularly to Preduvratie klippe.
The Western Tatras are the most beautiful and most charming in autumn - when the grassy slopes of the ridges and moutains as well as the trees are painted in bright shades of brown, yellow-brown and reddish-brown. In this article, we will introduce the transition of the autumn Alpine landscape, our goal will be the highest mountain of the Western Tatras - Bystra mountain.
Tourism in the Western Tatras is very popular. This mountain range owes its attractiveness to the possibility of completing beautiful ridge trekking paths with individual hills. In this article, we invite you to an unusual tour of one of the side ridges of the Western Tatras, which will lead us to the Sivy Hill - a mountain situated on the main ridge of the mountain range.
Like the High Tatra West Tatra is also popular area. You can have some remarkable outdoor experience there. Both mountains seems to be one whole. However, unlike the High Tatra, West Tatra are lower. Its mountains are more covered of grass. Barance mountain (2 185 m) is a popular locality by tourists. This mountain is situated in the south of this mountain ridge.
After visiting many places we return to nature today. Our steps lead us to beautiful, untamed, and unique Western Tatras, concretely to the Rohace.
The Western Tatras are a magical mountain range that offers many outdoor activities to lovers of outdoor activities. Hiking and more and more popular skialpinist tours can only be done in certain areas of the mountain range. An interesting locality that can be visited in winter is the Holy Hill.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 today’s part of the cottages in the Tatras series we will explore the history of the smallest and oldest cottage in the Hihg Tatras, the Rener’s Cottage. It is called “Reinerka” in short. We will talk about its founder, its fate in the course of years and we won’t miss the present either.
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.
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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