Czech bouda on the Sněžka mountain
The pinnacle of the Sněžka mountain, the highest point of the Czech Republic, carries traces of abodes since 1681. The Chapel of St. Vavřinec (St. Lawrence) has long stood here as the only trace of human existence. It was only in the first half of 16th century that the surrounding area began to get build up with wooden huts. These, along with other few smaller structures helped to create at Sněžka a first little settlement. In fact, nearly a town with all its necessities: a square, a chapel, houses. In 1900 the Prussians built here a remarkable structure. It was a meteorological tower about 18 metres in height, which easily surmounted the old chapel. During the second world war, the tower became a military base serving to Wehrmacht.
The unified town with its wooden façades had seen to a fundamental change in 1974, when a hundred-year-old Polish hut had been taken away and replaced with a new, futuristic one by the architects W.Lipiński and W.Wawrzyniak. Thanks to the revival of the meteorological research, the old observatory lasted another 15 years, before being levelled in 1989 by the Polish for its bad condition. In 2004 the original Czech Bouda from 1868 had been taken away, as well.
The so far planned new Czech Bouda - tower - stands nearby the chapel and the Polish Bouda, trying to regenerate the extinct wholeness of the square. It is neither a meteorological tower, nor just a look-out. It is a pivotal and symbolic point, offering refreshments and shelter in case of need.
The technically unique funicular from the year 1949 (a system of rotating steelen ropes with attached seats, custom-made by a Swiss firm Von Roll) is planned for repair. The tower and funicular should stand separately, with the tower being the only visible element.
1794, Antonín K. Balzar
1835, Caspar David Friedrich
1840, Josef Mánes
1846, Josef Mánes
1896, Otakar Lebeda
1905: once a Prussian / Austrian border