The Conquerors of Rysy Club

Klub Zdobywców Rysów

The Conquerors of Rysy Club is a meeting place of the mountain lovers, enthusiasts of climbing, lovers of Tatra trails. The Conquerors of Rysy Club is also a meeting place for the friends of the Hotel.

Everybody knows the tune of the song ”Góralu czy ci nie żal” (”Highlander, don’t you feel sad”), but it is worth remembering that it is originally a poem titled ”Dla Chleba” (”For money”) by Michał Bałucki (1837 – 1901). At the end of 1863 he was put in the St. Michael prison in Cracow (now the Museum of Geology of the Polish Academy of Sciences on Senacka Street) for his participation in the national movement during the insurection. He was put in the middle cell, on the first floor, above the gate on the Wawel side. His fellow-prisoner was a highlander from Chochołów village who was caught by gendarmery near Michałowice on the Russian border when he attempted to join the insurgents. They say that this accidental meeting was an inspiration for one of the saddest poems which ”escaped the heart of Bałucki, tuned by highlander’s violins”. The poem was published on the front page of the 336st edition of ”Tygodnik Ilustrowany” on 3 March 1866, titled Dla chleba (For Money). Michał Bałucki visited Zakopane for the first time already in 1856 as a student and then he visited the town frequently, e.g. in 1857 and in 1859. He contributed remarkably to the popularity of Zakopane and the Tatras by publishing, in 1860-1870 and in the next years, a number of literary works on the subject of Podhale, Zakopane and the Tatra Mountains.

While the authorship of the text is undisputable, still it is difficult to determine who was the composer. According to one version the tune of the poem was composed by Władysław Żeleński, father of Tadeusz Boy – Żeleński.

Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński ( 1874-1941) French literature translator, essayist, critic, publicist and doctor. He climbed the Tatras already as a young man. In 1888-1892 he conquered Furkot and Staroleśna, which at that time was quite an achievement if you remember that in those days climbers used no ropes and wore casual shoes. Boy was the enthusiast of Tatras for his whole life. When he was already too weak for mountain excursions, he still wrote: ”For me the nature means just one: the Tatras and their accessories. To chore on smoke of the burning mountain pine, to let the mountain wind blow your whole body, to hear the bells on a mountain pasture …. Or maybe, just like many times before, I could spend the night in Roztoka and hike the Biała Woda, as far as Polski Grzebień, up the mountain …?”

During the meetings in the Conquerors of Rysy Club you will hear not only amazing stories, but also anecdotes and life adventures of known and interesting personae of Zakopane, we will recall the interwar period where Zakopane was the town of Ski-Dancing-Bridge. And we will not fail to wonder whether the life ”is divine” or ”will be divine.”

Let’s create history of Tatra Mountains and Zakopane together!


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