More than 230 years of Erlebach's history
In year 2019 celebrates Erlebachova bouda – one of the most important chalets in Krkonoše – 235 years. Although the appearance of the original building has changed many times throughout history and the current appearance of the old Erlebach would have been looked upon with disbelief, the genius loci, the postnumber 109 and especially the name of the hut, have persisted here for centuries.
According to Ignaz Hollmann's literary sources, the building that later became the Erlebachova bouda was built in 1784, as the first of the Špindler’s chalets. (For comparison, today's more famous Špindlerova bouda was built much later in 1824.)
Since the beginning of the 19th century, Erlebachova bouda has appeared in the farm books of the Vrchlabi earldom of Count Morzins with the house number 109 and, as a rare exception, it still bears this number throughout its history.
Franz Erlebach, who lived in the years 1879 -1885 in a chalet near Sněžné jámy as a winter guard and operated the meteorological station there, bought Josef Erlbach's future chalet from Josef Hollman and started to offer the
possibility of overnight stays and entertainment for tourists. Franz was known as one of the best experts on the Giant Mountains and as a reliable guide to the highest Czech mountains in winter. Thanks to his passion for photography, which he later transferred to his grandson Reinhard, a unique picture of life of the people from chalets over Špindlerův Mlýn has been preserved.
Reinhard was the only child of Karolína (Caroline), the daughter of Franz Erlebach, and her husband Philip Erben, who became next landlords on Erlebachova bouda. Reinhard died in World War I. Thanks to him we have more than 200 glass negatives from the events on Erlebach's chalet used in the book "THE STORY OF ERLEBACHOVA BOUDA” by Miloslav Bartoš.
After the death of both her son Reinhard and her husband remained Karolína Erbenová alone, so in 1922 she adopted František Kukačka, who came to the Giant Mountains to serve as a finance constabe. Thanks to his adoption, František became her son and the heir apparent, he was also supposed to use his mother's maiden name, Erlebach.
After World War I, tourism in Špindlerův Mlýn began to develop again. Already in the winter of 1919/20, 7,000 tourists visited it.
World War II stroke the life of Erlebachova bouda again. In the last days of the war and the first peace days in 1945 the chalets came again to the center of events. The Red Army marched by After the Red Army left, the Revolutionary Guards and guerrilla groups unleashed unbridled violence in the village. At least thirty-one men from Špindlerův Mlýn were shot dead and other were tortured and interned. At the same time, the expulsion and displacement of German residents from the entire area of the Giant Mountains began. Karolína Erbenová, who was of German nationality, was lucky as of the Czech nationality of the adoptive son František, which saved her from the fate of the exile.
In 1961, under a regulation on the socialization of private property, the national enterprise Centrotex took over Erlebachova bouda. And so became František Kukačka an employee of the new owner. In 1968 František Kukačka-Erlebach left and died two years later.
The old Erlebachova bouda, the last witness of the old days and the life of the mountaineers of Giant Mountains, was demolished in late 1979.
In 1985, Centrotex replaced it with a new building, a simple five-storey hotel.
Modern history with a new family under Malý Šišák
At the end of 1998 our family bought the chalet. At that time, we were already running business in the neighbouring Josefova bouda and since the spring of 1999 we started also in the Erlebachova bouda. And this is how brand new history begins with a new family on the slopes beneath Malý Šišák. With a permanent team of employees, we strive to create a place of well-being, joy and meeting.
In 2007 we built the Chapel of St. Francesco of Assisi. In autumn 2009 the gradual reconstruction of Erlebachova bouda was started. The first stage was completed in December 2010.
The second phase of the reconstruction was completed in 2013. Wine cellar was accomplished in 2015. The third stage including wellness and an indoor chapel was completed in 2016. We are currently working on an underground car park and another accommodation wing with a conference hall and new luxury rooms.
If you ask: when everything will be done, the answer is: never. Just as life and water in the river never stops, we must constantly work on ourselves and improve the environment around us so that you our guests, would like to visit us, and love to come back. Although we are not perfect and often make many mistakes, we would like you to find joy, peace and good while spending time together. And every time you come back to us, we want you to feel like visiting your second home.