HISTORY TALKS...

'Monte Carlo' in the Tatras

THE STORY of the Móry Hotel coincides with the story of the expansion of the well-known summer resort in the High Tatras, Štrbské Pleso. In 1897, architect Karol Móry bought 43 hectares of forested land south and south-east of Štrbské Pleso. Móry hoped to build an entire wide-ranging recreation complex here.

THE STORY of the Móry Hotel coincides with the story of the expansion of the well-known summer resort in the High Tatras, Štrbské Pleso. In 1897, architect Karol Móry bought 43 hectares of forested land south and south-east of Štrbské Pleso. Móry hoped to build an entire wide-ranging recreation complex here.

To improve his location, he partially dammed up a stream called Mlynica and then cleaned up a muddy marshland which was a remnant of an ancient glacier. He called the new lake Nové (New) Štrbské Pleso. On an elevated platform at the western end of the lake he then built a wooden observation tower that offered a scenic panorama of the Tatras. Soon, people started to call the platform “Karolov kopec”, i.e. Karol’s Hill, or “Monte Carlo”. The hotel was finished in 1905 over the southern bank of the lake. Karol Móry intended to lure a less-demanding clientele to his hotel as compared to the nearby, more luxurious Štrbské Pleso. His idea succeeded and the hotel thrived.

In 1921, Karol’s nephew, Ján Móry, inherited the hotel. He was a classical music composer, but a skilful businessman as well and the hotel continued to prosper.

In 1945, the hotel was stricken by the fate of all private businesses in the country – it was nationalised. And the Móry Hotel, too, started to slowly deteriorate. In the 1970s, it was torn down and a new unions’ convalescent home was built on the site.

We can admire the charms of the Móry Hotel in this colourised postcard from 1908, i.e. three years after it was completed.

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