In the Kingdom of Krakonoš
Hairpin bends on the mountain roads took us to the edge of a village in the Giant Mountains. Here our hosts found the cottage of their dreams.
The search had not been easy, although they knew what they wanted – or perhaps just because..
„We wanted a log cabin in this corner, among the hills and with a nice view. One that would not be spoilt by modern adaptations. We searched for five years before this offer came up – the cottage met all our wishes, it was just not made of logs,,“ recalls Kateřina. „One of the criteria was
also year-round vehicle access. We spend as much time as possible here – we go on hikes, and we are enthusiastic skiers.“
With the Stars Above
“The cottage is about 200 years old,” David continues the narration. “Originally it had a residential room and sheds. When we purchased it, two small rooms were already built on the site of the sheds. The previous owner had partially altered the house, but it had been empty for about 10 years, open to the rain and so changed into an ice rink in winter.”
„We bought the building in January and set the goal to spend Christmas here,” Kateřina starts to describe the subsequent rapid reconstruction progress. At that time, only one room could be used for living. “We devoted all our free time to the cottage. My husband and I did everything ourselves, a construction company was hired only for the roof frame. Then we laid the roof. We chose Ranillo profiled sheet.“
Only the rough brick shell remained during the rebuilding of the house. All the woodwork – except for the ceiling in the living room – was done recently. “When the roof was torn off, we could see the stars. Luckily it did not rain all summer,“ Kateřina recalls.
Originally only the gables were of wood, then someone covered the cottage with wood throughout. “I don’t like it when a person pretends something. So now all the brick walls are again visible,” explains the owner, looking at the old photographs.
An Expert is Distinguishable
“We tried to respect all that was original. We restored what could be saved,” comments David, the owner of a restoration atelier, where he deals with variously damaged old furniture on a daily basis. Pointing to the ceiling, he adds: “This was the hardest part, because it was painted green. It turned out to be much more expensive than if we had made a new one, but it is beautiful.”
The furniture comes mostly from the cottage – it has been restored and the cottagers had other pieces of furniture made in the same style. “For example, the kitchen furniture was painted green, I wanted to throw it away, but my husband convinced me – so we had it scraped, divided the cabinets, completed the shelves. And it serves its purpose well,“ Kateřina looks at the practically arranged kitchenette in the corner of the room, which is complemented by various pieces of old crockery and utensils, commonly used here. Even the doors of most rooms remain from the past.
Only the bathroom door and the doors to the bedrooms in the attic are new, made according to the preserved original doors.
Everything Revolves Around the Stove
A tiled stove is the centrepiece of the cottage. It is used for cooking and baking (the electric stove is used only occasionally for quick cooking), there is a cushioned bench next to it. The tiled stove was built according to the original, of which only the feet (a local speciality) and the back boiler with a tap to drain the water remain. New tiles were constructed similar to the old ones. “We wanted the stove to be indistinguishable from the one which had stood there before, and to heat well. Mr. Podsedník has really done a good job,“ David praises the handy stove builder from the Aš-based company of J+K.
The biggest problem that the cottagers had to resolve when arranging their furniture was to place everything required in a not very large room. Indeed, the room serves as a kitchen, dining room, and is an area for relaxation as well as children’s games. This effort was crowned with success. The stove separates the kitchen unit from the relaxation area, in which only an upholstered bench and one armchair fits, mutually shared by David and Kateřina.
In another corner there is a large dining table with a bench and chairs, that can accommodate the whole family and a couple of friends as well. In two wall niches (one of them was discovered bricked up and the cottagers restored it), old pottery and porcelain have found a place. The atmosphere of the Giant Mountains exudes from everything here. „The decor should be stylish, from the region where the cottage is situated,“ says David. That’s why we find a woodcutting of the Giant Mountains, locally blown glass and several utilitarian objects of various ages.
Krakonoš in the Storeroom
In addition to the main sitting room, the family can now use four bedrooms – two downstairs and two in the attic – a bathroom and toilet, a spacious hall and the storeroom, which initially was just a covered narrow alley between the house and the slope, with a wooden and later a brick wall. There are doors at both ends and today this space serves as the entrance area, where skis and dirty boots are left. There is also a spring of water and a place for everything one needs to have on hand. Old sleds, skis, skates hang on the walls – after all, we are in the Giant Mountains. Old skis even serve as non-traditional shelves in the cottage.
Experience the Atmosphere of the Giant Mountains
If you wish to visit the Kingdom of Krakonoš to experience the atmosphere of a stylish rustic mountain chalet with all the modern amenities, you have come to the right spot. The cottage can be used yearround for weekly stays. We will be happy to welcome you to our place. We would like to welcome among us, more on Chalets no. I.