Polana Szymkówka with Chalets
In 2014 three unusual houses appeared on Polana Szymkówka – wooden shepherd chalets. They have been tailored to suit the taste of people who love the mountains, appreciate the excellent regional cuisine served at Szymkówka Restaurant and who would like to spend some time in close contact with the austere and beautiful nature of the Podhale region.
Our shepherd chalets are a unique combination of folklore, highlander building traditions and modern interior design. The chalets are inviting with their warmth, originality, functionality and beauty. They have been designed on the basis of museum documentation and erected in accordance with the principles of highlander building construction and artistic design, with due respect for shepherd culture. The only difference is in the comfortable interiors equipped with all the modern amenities, to suit the most demanding guests. One of the most beautiful views of the Tatra mountains can be enjoyed from the veranda and panoramic windows of each chalet. See for yourself in the gallery pictures.
Sheep Herding Today
Polana Szymkówka is one of the main glades where the shepherds Janina (the only woman shepherd in Poland) and Jędrek Rzepka tend their sheep. Their currently owned herd consists of 300 sheep, where 70% are milking sheep, about 10% ewe lambs, and the rest – rams and ewes with their young. Not far away, at the shepherd’s hut (bacówka) at Karpenciny, situated on the neighbouring glade, typical sheeps’ cheeses are made: oscypek, redykołka, bunc, bryndza podhalańska. Often you can also obtain the healthy żętyca, or whey of ewe’s milk. During sheep grazing time, every day you can watch as the sheep are herded across the glade, and sometimes also as they are milked.
The sheep herding traditions at Polana Szymkówka date back to the 18th century – as confirmed by the 1787 survey. According to an entry from 1811, the glade was owned by Jakub Głodziak, a resident of Bukowina Tarzańska. Two other glades – Kiczora Niżna and Wyżnia – were also used for grazing. Here sheep were tended by shepherds from Białka Tarzańska, and also from Brzegi and Gronie. In the 1811 entry referred to above one can find eight owners of glades and shepherd chalets, all from Białka and Bukowina Tarzańska. Just before the Second World War, thirty-four cows and seventy-five sheep were grazed on the Szymkówka and Kiczora glades and there were eleven shepherd chalets.
You will absolutely enjoy your stay at Polana Szymkówka. What can be more pleasing that the breathtaking view of the majestic Tatra mountains from your window, a starry sky and the rustle of pine trees before you doze off…? And maybe you will be lucky enough to hear the murmur of the mysterious Foehn wind, while safely sheltered in “authentic” shepherd chalets!
Pytom piyknie ku nom.