Zakopane offers more than Krupówki Street, ski slopes, ski jump, cable car to Kasprowy Peak and Tatra Mountains. The town has its unique history with unique people. What about nice walk, connected with discovering of Zakopane’s interesting history? We suggest you some history walks’ trails. This time we’ll walk to ski jump and Kuźnice, with cable car to the peak of Kasprowy Wierch. Let’s go!
Route: Krupówki Street-ski jump-Alley of Tatras Guides-Kuźnice-cable car to Kasprowy Wierch
Time: 60-80 minutes
Today’s walk let us know ones of the most popular attractions in Zakopane: ski jump Wielka Krokiew and cable car to Kasprowy Wierch. Additionally, we’ll see the brave rescuers’ from Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue base.
The way to ski jump – Piłsudskiego Street
We’re going to begin our walk in upper part of Krupówki Street, next to the water pond. Slightly the right, there’s Piłsudskiego Street, that we’ll go up.
After a few steps, on our right, we pass a regional restaurant Bąkowo Zohylina – Niźnio. This name sounds strange even for Polish people and in highlander’s dialect it means ‘hiding place with Bąk’ (Bąk is a Polish surname). There are two restaurants, that’s why this one is called niźnio (Polish: lower) and the one located in upper part of the street (which we’ll going to see later) is called wyźnio (Polish: upper).
The Piłsudkiego Street is one of the most popular walking path in Zakopane. There’s beautiful view for Tatras, especially for Giewont Peak, from this street.
A little bit higher, on our right, we’ll see a nice tenement. It’s the House of Creative Works ‘Halama’. It was a pension, where the most popular Polish actors, writers and composers stayed.
On the right side as well, there’s already mentioned restaurant Bąkowo Zohylina – Wyźnio (wyźnio, in highlanders’ dialect means ‘upper’). The building isn’t as nice as the previous one, but it’s hidden in small and cozy forest.
Let’s go to the other side of the street. There’s a seat of Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue (TOPR) in Tatra Mountains. Until 2013, there was also an inn, where in unique atmosphere everyone could rest from crowded Krupówki Street. Unfortunately, it was closed, because of TOPR’s development and need to have more space for rescuers.
Going further, we’ll see a beautiful view for Giewont Peak and… ski jump!
Ski jump Wielka Krokiew
Ski jump Wielka Krokiew is the biggest ski jump in Poland. In 1925, project of building a ski center in Zakopane was made and the owner of Zakopane at this time, gave some land to do this. When ski jump was built, there was a contest, but the results were so poor, that there was made a decision to rebuild the ski jump. After that, in 1929, the first world ski jump championships were organized in Poland, and Polish representative, Bronisław Czech, get the 10. position. In 1997 there was a Holy Mass on the ski jump, said by a pope John Paul II.
The street that turns left is the Street of Bronisław Czech, very known sportsman in XXth century.
As we go further and on the left, there are buildings of the Center of Sport (COS) and Center of Olympic Preparation, where we can find swimming pool, gym, fitness hall, judo hall and salt cave. To COS belong also athletics stadium, football pitches, ice rink and ski jumps, that we can see on the other side of the street.
The way to Kuźnice
We come to roundabout, where we turn right to the Alley of Tatras’ Guides (Polish: Aleja Przewodników Tatrzańskich). This street is closed to cars, because it leads directly to Tatras National Park and the cable car to Kasprowy Wierch. A lot of tourists don’t notice the road sign of “no entry” for cars and they park their cars along the alley or drive to Kuźnice. Local police punishes these activities with ticket or wheel blockades, so it’s better to leave your car in the parking next to the roundabout. Only buses, taxi, hackneys and cars of Kuźnice employees are allowed to go the Alley of Tatras’ Guides. And, of course pedestrians.
Walking the alley, on our right, we can see a Polish Episcopate’s House. Previously, the building had a residential character, but later, the building became Episcopate’s property. Nowadays there are often conferences of Catholic priests.
On our left, there’s a big building of Hotel Murowanica, where previously was an administration and offices of ironworks in Kuźnice.
A little bit further, after turning left in field path, we’ll go to shepherds hut, just next to the forest. There is a place to rest here and are displayed tourist information guides. The shepherd’s hut is open in the summer season and you can buy there fresh local cheeses.
We go back to the alley and on the other side of the street, there is a glade, where in XIXth century was a forge. There’s a monument here now, Prometheus Executed, made by Władysław Hasior, which commemorates the 20 Polish men shot by Germans in 1944.
A little bit further, there is a first reservoir of water pipes in Zakopane. We go straight forward and on our right we can see a characteristic peak of Nosal Hill, which we can reach without any difficulties from Kuźnice.
Kuźnice and cable car to Kasprowy Wierch
The road divides and we choose to go to the left – we arrive to former court park. Now there are some farm buildings available to visit in the park and an open-air gallery.
In the big building on our left, there’s a seat of Tatras National Park (TPN) and a historic chapel. Previously, there was the Women’s School here, that was famous not only in Poland, but also in Germany, Austria and Russia. There were reading, writing, history and literature classes in the school, but also household, good manners and social rules classes. This school was also an important place to educate about Polish nationality and identity (at this time Poland was occupied for more than 100 years), women were learning patriotism and piety. The school was attended by countrywomen, as well as high born women from rich houses, and all were treated the same way. The school was closed in XXth century.
When we go further and leave the park, we’ll see on our left a small bridge and some paths, that lead to the most popular Tatras trails: Nosal, Gąsienicowa Valley and Gąsienicowe Lake. Straight forward, wide cobbled path leads to the glade of Kalatówki and mountain trail to Kasprowy Wierch Peak (1987 m.a.s.l.) and Giewont Peak (1894 m.a.s.l.).
On our right, situated on a low hill, there’s a lower station of cable car to the peak of Kasprowy Wierch. In the summer season, a queue to buy tickets is so long, that sometimes it’s faster to go there on foot (on mountain trail it takes about 3 hours), than wait to go up by cable car. Queues can be avoided if you purchase tickets on the Internet or at many ticket machines located in Zakopane.
The length of the travel of the cable car is about 4,300 meters and the elevation change is 936 meters. The ride takes about 20 minutes. The cable car doesn’t work in case there is halny or very strong wind and twice a year for conservation work.
At this point, our history walk is ending. From Kuźnice you can go back to the town center by bus, taxi or hackney or just walk the same way as we came here.
We hope you have enjoyed this article. Let us know if you’ve seen presented monuments, what do you think about this trail and what else you’d like to read about!
We invite you to read other articles about history walks in Zakopane: