SK, High Tatras – Cottage by Zelené pleso I
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.
In the beginning we should say how we can get to this cottage. In the period from June 15 to October 31 you can choose several paths to the cottage. For the rest of the year there is only one access to the cottage.
A path suitable for more experienced tourists leads on a red marked road from Skalnaté pleso through valley under Svišťovka and ends at the cottage. You can get to Skalnaté pleso either by a cable way from Tatranská Lomnica or you can get there by your own. There is also a touristic road from the eastern side of the Belianské Tatrasr and also a red marked road from Velké Bílé pleso (lake). While the first road takes about two hours the second only will take thirty minutes of your time. But do not forget that to get to the lake you also need to take quite long walk. Now, in winter, there is accessible only yellow road. The road starts at Bílá voda bus stop, about three kilometers from Tatranská Lomnica. This easy but lengthy route is suitable even for families with children.
A predecessor: Egida’s cottage
An ideal place for a cottage knew our ancestor who built here first sheds in the beginning of the 19th century. Some records mention even 17th century. Since 1894 there was built a predecessor of the present cottage. An interesting thing is that few years before, in 1879 to be precise, there was opened a first touristic pavement from Bílá Voda to Zelené pleso.
Before we talk about a predecessor of the cottage we know today we can not forget Egida’s cottage. It used to stand on the shores of Zeleného pleso (1 551 meters above the sea level) and shepherds used it as a shelter against a bad weather. The then Hungarian-Carpathian Association (HCA) gave 200 gold coins to finish the construction of the cottage however, it wasn’t enough. That’s why the construction begunlater at more accessible Rakouská polana where old farm roads from Kežmarok to Spišská Biela crossed. The construction of the cottage took two weeks. After its finish they named it after a landlord from Velká Lomnica, the head and founder of the HCA - Egidu Berzevicz.
The members of the association could use it without any restrictions and for free. Soon it was a popular destination for more and more tourists. However, local shepherds didn’t like this new trend. They often made some damage on the cottage since nobody cultivated it. When the situation peaked the tourist HCA decided to dismantle the cottage and move it on the northern shore of the Zelené pleso. But even this didn’t save the cottage. Nobody wanted to rent it. A strong windstorm did some serious damage on the cottage and teared off its roof. In the following year the cottage burned down. HCA asked a carpenter from Ždiar to renew the Egid’s cottage. A new shed with two rooms and an attic was built more on south from the lake due to bad experiences with a microclimate of the northern part of the lake. The construction was finished in 1887. The ill fate of the cottage, however, continued. Three years later its roof burned down but in autumn of the same year resisted no more. It was destroyed in a fire that left only ruins.
A Cottage by Zelené pleso
There was a necessity for a touristic cottage in the area of Zelené pleso. The HCA knew about it however, a material that would be used for the cottaege was very important. The fate of previous cottages was a lesson. Before the construction itself it was decided the cottage has to be made of stone and during summer it should have some cultivator. The whole plan was published in local weekly magazine. The board of the HCA chose the cheaper version. Despite that the project had to be co-financed by the general public. A builder of Kežmarok, Schwarz built a simple cottage for workers in 1895 and he laid basis of a new cottage by Zelené pleso, which was third in its history. To years later the cottage had its roof. It was constructed again on the northern shore of the lake under Jestřábí věž. It was a concrete building, 11x10 meters; with 63 centimeters thin granite walls. Its shallow roof was made of wood-cement material. The cottage had a 3 meters wide porch from which was a nice view over the lake. After bad experiences from the past they equipped the cottage with metal window shutters. The interior of the cottage consisted of four rooms with two beds, a kitchen and dinning room. To the equipment belonged also metal heater and a basement. According to the first visitors book we can learn that first tourists visited the cottage in July 1897.
The next article will be also on the cottage by Zelené pleso. We will further tell you about its story from ceremonial opening, through other renovation to its present.
Text and photo: Oskar Mažgút
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