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The Ján Pálka cabin

THIS BARREN place with an inconspicuous cabin among dense forests does not give the impression that crowds of tourists would flock here. Vrbické pleso (a pleso is a mountain lake formed by a glacier) is the only lake of its kind in the Low Tatras.

THIS BARREN place with an inconspicuous cabin among dense forests does not give the impression that crowds of tourists would flock here. Vrbické pleso (a pleso is a mountain lake formed by a glacier) is the only lake of its kind in the Low Tatras.

In 1936 the Czechoslovak Tourists Club (Klub československých turistov) began to build a cabin near the lake for tourists, mainly skiers who skied on the slopes of Chopok and Poľana. The construction was based on plans by architect Juraj Povolný.

The Czechoslovak Tourists Club received money from Ján Pálka, who gave an unusually large sum for the time – 20,000 crowns – and the cabin was named after him. The cabin at first had two shared dormitories and two private rooms. The cabin was expanded in 1938 due to enormous interest from skiers and tourists. The first cabin-keeper was Mária Brtáňová.

This postcard from 1941 shows the cabin and the main ridge of the Low Tatras in winter.

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