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PTTK mountain huts and shelters

Here you can inexpensively and comfortably stay overnight, eat warm soup, and above all – stay away from the crowds. A small mountain shelter – the so-called “bacówka” (shepherd’s hut) is an idea that was born 50 years ago in response to the development of mass tourism in the Polish mountains. The most atmospheric of them you will find – of course – in the Bieszczady Mountains.

Back in the 1970s, hiking in the Polish mountains became a very popular leisure activity. Large, old shelters began to experience a siege of organized school and company groups in particular.

Supported by the authorities of the time, the policy of funding holidays for employees of factories and state-owned plants, although it contributed to the popularization of active forms of leisure began to distort what was most important in the mountains – solitude and contact with nature.

In such an aura, the concept of shepherd’s huts for qualified tourism – that is, tourism that involves people who walk in the mountains consciously – was born. Its indefatigable promoter became Edward Moskała – author of numerous guidebooks and maps, a man who has marked out countless hiking trails.

In consultation with architects from Zakopane, Moskała designed a model of a small hut, accommodating up to 30 guests. The name “bacówka” refers to a traditional shepherd’s hut from the Carpathian Mountains (“baca” means shepherd in the local dialect). The original design did not include connection to the electricity and telephone networks – the shepherd huts were meant to maintain the “atmosphere” of a mountain hike.

Shepherd’s huts and atmospheric mountain shelters in the Bieszczady Mountains

On Moskała’s initiative, 10 such shepherd’s huts were built, followed by other facilities of a similar nature. Two of them can be found in the Bieszczady Mountains. These are Bacówka pod Małą Rawką and Bacówka Jaworzec, hidden in a desolate valley.

The Bieszczady Mountains are also home to wooden student huts, established since the 1960s by students from big cities escaping civilization here. The most famous of these is the so-called “Chata Socjologa” – an intimate mountain shelter established by sociology students from Warsaw at the top of the wild Otryt mountain.

The hut was intended to be a place for free scientific discussions and a home for creative work. It continues to operate to this day. It hosts concerts of songs and wandering ballads, film screenings and even shamanic workshops.

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Startpunkt - PTTK-Hütte Pod Małą Rawką

PTTK mountain huts and shelters