Few know that the High Tatras conceal a piece of fascinating history connected with the renowned royal Habsburg dynasty. This powerful dynasty ruled the Habsburg Monarchy and later Austria-Hungary from the 15th to the 20th century. Let’s take a look at where the Habsburgs left their traces.

Villa Maria Theresa and Villa Augusta in Štrbské Pleso In the 19th century, two magnificent villas were built on the shores of the most beautiful high mountain lake in the Tatras: Villa Maria Theresa and Villa Augusta. Both were named after archduchesses from the Habsburg dynasty and served as resorts for the imperial court. Unfortunately, neither of the villas has survived. You can see a replica of Villa Augusta, although in a much simplified form, as today’s Solisko Hotel.

The Summer Residence of Archduke Joseph in Starý Smokovec Archduke Joseph Karl Ludwig of Austria-Este belonged to the Hungarian line of the Habsburg dynasty. His wife was Clotilde of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. When she visited Starý Smokovec to undergo treatment with her family, the local nature captivated her. Clotilde decided to have a permanent residence here. The plans for the construction were entrusted to Gedeon Majunke, a renowned architect from Spišská Sobota. Thus, the Summer Residence of Archduke Joseph in Starý Smokovec was created, which became an exceptional residence and an example for the Hungarian aristocracy. Today, we can admire it as Villa Kamzík. It serves as a recreational facility for the highest constitutional officials and is a national cultural monument.

Kežmarok – a Medieval Town with Habsburg Nobles The Sub-Tatra town of Kežmarok is only 15 km away from Poprad. In the past, it was home to several Habsburg nobles. Various members of the Habsburg dynasty chose Kežmarok as their home and invested in local infrastructure and cultural projects. Today, visitors can enjoy the rich history of Kežmarok in its museums, preserved streets, and beautiful landmarks, which also reflect the influence of the Habsburg nobility.

Once upon a time, the highest aristocracy and cream of society gathered in the Tatras. Don’t miss your chance to stroll through the Tatra villages. For all history enthusiasts, the High Tatras are a must-visit destination.

The Habsburgs in the Tatras: Follow in the Footsteps of the Famous Royal Dynasty

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