Homesteads at Kościeliska Street
Kościeliska Street from the church upwards is a living open-air museum; you can admire the highlander houses from before 100 i 150 lat, still inhabited by the descendants of the Gąsienica family, Walczaks, Sieczków. Although a large part of the old buildings has been lost, and the rest is disturbed by new buildings, you can still encounter originals. The Tatra Museum marked these houses with boards informing about the names of the first owners and the year of construction.
19th-century homesteads were built according to a fixed pattern. A dwelling house usually had three rooms arranged in one sequence, in which the middle one served as a common room or hall. The cottages faced south with a slight deviation to the east, farm buildings were built like this, that they are at right angles to the hut, most often from the west. Of course, such an arrangement had its logical justification in the specificity of the Zakopane climate, characterized by, especially in winter, strong west and south winds–western. The farm buildings arranged in this way protected the residential part from the winds.
In place of, where house no. 10a is located behind the U Wnuka restaurant, there was once the farm of Andrzej and Rozalia Tatars, leading at the turn of the century Dom Mody Ludowej, in which richer garlands from Zakopane and the surrounding area were dressed. Rozalia Tatar made a revolution in highlander fashion, replacing blue linen fabric with a colorful one for skirts, floral cashmere. It is said that five skirts and three aprons were the daily norm worked out by her seamstresses. Tatarova was considered a demanding and annoying boss.
The parade of old cottages is opened by the house at no. 12 – the right side of Kościeliska has even numbers – belonging to the Gąsieniców Nawsi family, in which in years 80. XIX w. Tytus Chałubiński and Ferdynand Hoesick lived among others. On the other side of the street you can see just the back of house 23 built in 1863 r. by the Gąsienica Walczak family.
The Gąsienica family belongs to the oldest highlander families and comes from the first seventeenth-century settlers. legend has it, that the founder of the family came to Podhale as an outlaw at the end of the 16th century. He was a servant of the magnate Samuel Zborowski – banished for manslaughter, and then beheaded for arbitrary return to the country – wanted by the people of the king for complicity in the deeds of his master. Escaping from justice, he settled in the backwoods near Ciewont and began to farm on the ground that had been torn by the forest over the years. With time, he married Kunegunda and took the surname of Gąsienica. The Gąsienicas were the owners of the land located at Kościeliska Street and along the Młyniska Stream. Many huts from the Kościelisko open-air museum belonged to their family.