Visit Nová Lesná, Slovakia – ‘cradle’ of mountain guides in the High Tatras

Accommodation | Famous people | Food | High Tatras - Vysoké Tatry | Hiking | History | Mountain guides | Must See | National Parks | Slovakia | Summer | Traditional | 11. November 2022

Visit Nová Lesná, Slovakia – ‘cradle’ of mountain guides in the High Tatras

Nová Lesná is a village at the foothills of the High Tatras. It is village with the most beautiful view on the High Tatras panorama.

You can see the most famous Tatra peaks – Lomnický, Slavkovský and Gerlachovský peak at once. Closeness of the High Tatras influences character of the village. Nová Lesná has been a ‘cradle’ of mountain guides.

We bring you interesting information about the village and its aims right from the mayor Peter Hritz.

Visit Nová Lesná, Slovakia – ‘cradle’ of mountain guides in the High Tatras

Peter Hritz

Peter Hritz has been a mayor since 2010 and beautifully changed the character of the village. Thanks to his work, the village is attractive for tourists and more and more famous in Spiš region.

Read our blog and know more about this charming village!

Park of mountain guides and rescuers

People in Nová Lesná want to preserve their traditions and history. Hence, there was a park of mountain guides and rescuers established in the centre of the village this year on the 21st of June.

However, the idea of the project started in 2013. Older empty place near a small lake changed into the favourite place for inhabitants and also tourists.

It wants to claim credit to the guides and rescuers who worked in and for the NP High Tatras. Many of them were born or worked in Nová Lesná.

Precisely 82 mountain guides and mountain rescuers. According to archives, Peter Hritz considers this number the highest in Central Europe. Not even Alpine villages can compete with Nová Lesná.

Contemporarily, there are 7 guides living in the village. Hence, it has been using slogan – ‘cradle of mountain guides’ since 2011, as the mayor Peter Hritz says.


Idea of the park came from the need to find the identity of the village. Mountain guiding was the most spread profession and hobby in the village century ago.

This park serves also as a memory of mountain guides and rescuers. It is devoted to the newer generation that started working in 70ies.

There are 15 benches. Every one bears name of a guide or a rescuer and one shows thanks to their work in general. Juraj Sedlačko, Zoltán Lehoczký and Peter Hritz brought the design of a piton to life.

The oldest live mountain guide is Ivan Urbanovič and youngest Tomáš Vaverčák.

Two informational boards presents more information about all guides and rescuers. Lovely atmosphere of the park complete small pond and wooden statues of the older generation of mountain guides.

Aim of the mayor is to make the park a centre for guides and rescuers also from other villages. Moreover, several cultural projects are prepared for the future, including concerts.

Museum of mountain guides

Right next to the park, there is an empty granary. Peter Hritz plans to use one of its walls for summer film projections in the open air. They will present mountain films and documentaries.

Tomáš Vaverčák, a mountain guide, plans to buy the granary and change it into a museum of mountain guides with café and terrace. There will be expositions of Ján Still, historic mountain equipments and mountain photos.

Marked routes to the older generation of mountain guides

Lately two routes have been marked. One heads to the memorial of Ján Počúvaj in Malý Smokovec, upper part of Nová Lesná. The other one heads to the cemetery, to the grave of Ján Still with short description of his ascends and work.

For 18 years, a running race from Nová Lesná to Hrebienok (9.3 km) has been organized in his honour. It is called Memorial of Ján Still.

Bridge (Lávka) of Pope John Paul II

In the area of the park of the mountain guides and rescuers, 2 m long bridge of Pope John Paul II was constructed. This bridge connects the park with the other part of the village over the stream.

This bridge is dedicated to the Pope as he went through the village in 1995 while visiting High Tatras. Moreover, his relic – blood drop – is saved in the Roman Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II is also a patron of mountain rescue service.

Folk costumes from Nová Lesná

Iveta Kontríková has come up with the designs from the archives by the original photos. Several folk costumes have been sewed and presented on the village ceremonies of St. Bartolommeo in 2012.

This folk costume comes from original German one, as Germans settled the Spiš area in the past. Folk costume is very simple but elegant.

Female folk costume consisted from dark medium long skirt, white shirt with red decorations, scarf and dark traditional vest. Nearby villages had similar costumes but with different lacework, embroidery and bonnet.

Male folk costume consisted from white shirt, black trousers, vest and red scarf and black hat.

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