As a national symbol of Slovaks, the Kriváň montain in High Tatras fascinates and inspires for centuries. Beside numerous individual ascents, many tours are organised to its peak, National Ascent being the most prestigious one.
An annual two-day hiking event
on the third weekend
is organized by the Slovak Tourist Club, Matica slovenská and the towns of Vysoké Tatry
and Liptovský Mikuláš
. This year, ascent is again dedicated to several jubilees - the 100th anniversary of the founding of Tatra Tourist Club and to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the birth of Aurel Bohuslav Stodola, the founder of steam and gas turbine theory.
Nowadays unique event of its kind in Europe
, Kriváň tours date back to the second half of the 18th century. As far as known, Lutheran Pastor Andreas Jonas Czirbes from Spišská Nová Ves
was the first who recorded his ascent of Kriváň on August 4, 1773.
Most memorable ascent was the one by another Lutheran
and leader of the Slovak national revival Ľudovít Štúr
, Jozef Miloslav Hurban
, Michal Miloslav Hodža
and their group in summer of 1841, August 16th
. It became the first recorded ascent that included women. Kriváň
thus became a symbol of the freedom of the Slovaks and an important motive for poesy of so-called Štúr generation
. It still has an important position in the Slovak folk
songs and poems.
Similar hikes also took place later. Known as national excursions, they were constituted as an annual late-August event
by the authorities at Poprad
in 1955 in order to commemorate the anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising
of 1944. They have continued with a broader national designation through the present. The number of persons allowed to ascend the summit on each of the event days is nowadays limited to 500 participants.
Slovak Tourist Club