THIS PHOTOGRAPH was taken at the turn of the 19th and 20th century and shows the lengths that period photographers were willing to go to to get the best picture. To climb the steep parts of the highest peak in the High Tatras - Gerlach - certainly required a lot of courage.
The two mountaineers climbing the massive mountain, which at the time was named after the emperor Franz Joseph, do it dressed in a suit and tie, the common attire of that time. Below them is the Velická Dolina valley, enclosed by the Polský hrebeň (Polish Ridge) at its end.
Despite its inaccessible and wild look, shepherds regularly visited the valley with their herds, and the smugglers who climbed across the ridge to get to Poland had had their eyes longingly set on the rocky fence for a long time.
Prepared by Branislav Chovan,
Special to the Spectator