▫ ▫ From the History Pages

The highest peak of the High Tatras is “Gerlachovský štít”. Its summit reaches at 2655 m above the sea level. “Gerlachovský štít” is also the highest peak in the middle Europe.

What does the name of this giant of the High Tatras mean? In one of the fairy-tails is this peak described as a monster. The monster eats stony dumplings. Looking for the right answer, we have to look back at the history.

”Gerlach” is a name with the old Germanic origin, which might be translated as a one who exercises with the spear or a one who plays with the dart. St. Gerlach lived in Holland in the 12th century. The old legend says that his life has been very complicated until he has found peace and quiet in his soul.  

The self-government villages have existed in this area since 12th century, and their name had something to do with the lances. Following the historical facts, the name Gerlach (a pike-man) was somehow popular in the medieval Spiš.

A few important people named Gerlach lived in this area in the 14th century. Such as Gerlach, the son of Maynhard from Spišská Sobota, who has established the settlement called Gerlachov in 1326. This settlement was established under the High Tatras. The peak above the village is named after the village. The village is named after its patron – Saint Gerlach.

The village has always had relatively well-developed agriculture. Later, people worked as shepherds and they also planted flax and treated it. Inhabitants of this village distilled oil from the knee timber and other trees, too.

Historical building: The ruins of early-gothic church, and the classical church built in 1799.

At the cemetery, there are the graves of 24 pilots and soldiers. They have tragically died when their plane crashed into the “Zadný Gerlachovský štít” on 9th October, 1944.

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