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Historie obce Špičák


This part of the trail is an extraordinary example of historic use of technology and its durability. This unobtrusive path into the slope is a unique remnant of the original stone path. The path was hand made with the „dry“ building technology in relation to the construction of the tunnel under the Špičák Saddle. The tunnel is 1747 m long and was built in 1874–1877 as one of the first railway tunnels in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The road was used for workers (barabs) to transport quarried stone from a small quarry, opened for this purpose. The quarry can be now found in a deep forest with thick forest vegetation approximately 1,5 km from this place. The „dry“ building technology of stone paths (which means with no bonding substances) has been known to the mankind for thousands of years. The stones are laid next to each other in height, wedged by smaller stones, sometimes even sprinkled by finer fraction material. Perhaps the most famous buildings of this kind is the Old Roman path Via Appia, the pyramids of Egypt or the Incas´ headquarters in South America – Machu Picchu. Despite the fact that these buildings were made by simple stone composition, they resist time well if not better than similar buildings, using various bonding mixtures. The use of this technology is especially appropriate in areas with increased water erosion, i.e. beds of streams or rivers, mountain slopes, drainage ditches, leads and mountain roads. Mountain roads are often the case of excessive water amount with unconsolidated material from melted snow running there. With the exception of modern machinery, such as tracks or lifter winches, this work has been done in the same way for centuries, using only basic equipment and manpower. 600 workers from the whole Austro-Hungarian Empire including Italians and Croatians helped with the construction of the Špičák tunnel. Half of them were miners. They were called the „barabs“, which is probably derived from the Italian word barabba = ranger. The Chapel of St. Anthony and St. Barbara, which can be found near the station Železná Ruda city, was used for funeral ceremonies for victims of various construction disasters, only the Muslims were not allowed there. The former administrative office in the fear of epidemies and unrest did not permit to perform such ceremonies in the main church.

GPS position

N 49° 9.651', E 13° 13.641'



Milan Kříž