“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer - and often the supreme disappointment."

Ansel Adams .


Sněžka or Śnieżka (in Czech and Polish, Schneekoppe in German) is a mountain on the border between the Czech Republic and Poland.

The first historical account of an ascent to the peak is in 1456, by an unknown Venetian merchant searching for precious stones. The first settlements on the mountain soon appeared, being primarily mining communities, tapping into its deposits of copper, iron and arsenic. The mining shafts, totalling 1.5 kilometres in length, remain to this day.

In Czech, the mountain was initially called Pahrbek Sněžný. Later Sněžka, with the eventual name Sněžovka, meaning "snowy" or "snow covered", which was adopted in 1823. An older Polish name for the mountain was Góra Olbrzymia, meaning "giant mountain".

One side of the mountain is in Poland; the other belongs to the Czech Republic.

On the Polish side a disc-shaped observatory and restaurant was built in 1974, a weather station and the St. Lawrence chapel. On the Czech side are the remains of the Bohemian hut, a post office, and a chairlift station, connecting the peak with the town of Pec pod Sněžkou at the base of the mountain.

In 2004 a new post office and observation platform replaced an old post office and the remains of the Bohemian hut, which was closed since 1980s.
In March 2009 the Polish observatory suffered serious damage to the upper disc as a result of extreme weather and structural failure. The upper disc's floor broke. Fast response from Technical University of Wrocław saved two remaining disc from taking any further damage. The restaurant and meteo offices were reopened soon after the construction team had finished clearing the debris and securing what was left of the observatory. After detailed expertise it was decided that no further damage should occur and the building was restored to its previous state.