Schedule: Mon-Fri 9 am-6 pm

Carpathian kolyba (shepherd’s cottage)

hut in the Carpathians

Kolyba is a small shepherd’s cottage high in the mountains.  Every year shepherds take flocks of sheep and cows to the alpine meadows and stay there till September. People deliver them food from the villages, and they provide villages with cottage cheese, brynza (sheep cottage cheese) and vurda (sheep cheese, made of serum and milk).

During winter time kolybas are empty, that’s when they are used by tourists.

Kolybas are of two types. “In black” – with a hearth and opening for smoke. Such kolybas are smoked, cold and snowed up. It is better to set up a tent in them – the walls of kolyba protect from wind and snow, though it’s pretty hard to warm up in them.

Another type of kolyba is a kolyba with a furnace. For tourists in winter it’s a 3-star hotel. Usually, rooms in such kolybas are covered with cupboard for insulation, gaps between wood are filled with moss. There are sacred icons, wood ornaments, curtains on the wall. Wooden plank-beds are laid with hay, benches, tables, dish shelves make up a modest interior of a kolyba.  Such kolyba can be good for getting dry and warming up, and thus gaining strength, which is especially necessary during winter trekking. A brick or metal furnace is an important element of the kolyba.  The brick one is long for fire to kindle, but holds heat for long; the metal one, respectively, is quick to kindle, though cools down quickly. When near the metal furnace, it's better to move carefully, as you can burn the clothes.