The memory of hermits at delightful Pustevny

At 1018m above sea level and wedged between two peaks called Radohšť and Tanečnice, Pustevny is the most popular tourist centre in the Beskids. Pustevny gets its name from the hermits (“poustevníci” in Czech) who once inhabited this landscape. They were seeking a place far from civilisation; the last of them passed away in 1874. In the summer Pustevny is an attractive destination for hikers discovering this wonderful area; in wintertime it serves as a well-known skiing centre.

It doesn’t take much physical effort to enjoy the magic of timber folk architecture inserted into the picturesque setting of the Beskids. This is because a cable car runs up to the ridge making Pustevny easily accessible to families with children and less energetic tourists. The original cable car dating from 1940 was the world’s first.

Multi-hued Art Nouveau

Pustevny is dominated by timber structures built in an unusual folk style. But in 1890 the site had no buildings at all. Those that stand here now were commissioned by the Frenštát pod Radhoštěm hikers club. The walkers’ refuges were designed by Dušan Jurkovič and Michal Urbánek; Jurkovič took inspiration from the folk architecture of the Carpathian Mountains and incorporated folk motifs found in Moravia’s Wallach region and Slovakia into a unique Art Nouveau style.

Stylish refuges for all-comers

Blending into the pristine mountain backdrop, the architecture at Pustevny is one of the more memorable aspects of the location. The Maměnka refuge and Libušín restaurant are two of the most valuable pieces of cultural heritage in the Beskids. A century-old wooden Wallach bell tower, decorated in colourful patterns, has also survived up here. The complex is completed by timber mountain chalets where visitors can unwind and sample some Wallach specialities.

From Pustevny to Čertův stůl

Pustevny is a well-known intersection for several hiking trails. From here you can take a trail to the top of Radhošť, from where there are amazing views of the entire Beskids. Heading towards Radhošť you will encounter a statue of Radegast, pagan god of the harvest, hospitality, fertility, the Sun, war, handicrafts and trade. Another trail leads past the only lake in the Beskids to the top of Čertův mlýn (Devils’ Mill; 1,207m). A history and nature trail points the way and is marked with an image of the unique cliff formation called Čertův stůl (Devil’s Table).