The summit of Sněžka (1603 metres above sea level) has been attracting wayfarers for more than five centuries. Its name is derived from the Czech adjective sněžná, which means snowy, covered with snow in English.
Several buildings have were built at the summit of Sněžka: Polská bouda (Polish Hut) with a meteorological station, the terminal station of a cableway from Pec pod Sněžkou, a stone triangular obelisk and a 14-metre high rotunda. The latter, St. Lawrence Chapel, built there already in 1681, is the oldest object on the at the Sněžka peak. On the contrary, the newest building on the summit is the Česká poštovna (Post Office), a building designed by the architects Martin Rajniš and Patrik Hoffman.
By its shape, Sněžka resembles a three-sided pyramid, with a steep northern slope falling into Poland, a western ridge to the Úpská rašelina tableland and a southern slope into Obří důl (Giant Valley). The national border between the Czech Republic and Poland crosses the peak of the mountain, which boasts unique alpine nature unparalleled in Central Europe.
The summit of Sněžka can be reached by many ways from various directions.
- - By cableway
- The easiest way to reach the Czech Republic's highest mountain is to use the cableway. Its lowest station is about 30 minutes from the town centre. The cableway, which is in operation daily except for April and November, has two sections. The operation of the higher section from Růžová hora to Sněžka depends on the weather conditions. For information, see www.snezkalanovka.cz or call +420 499 405 522 or +420 499 405 531.
- - From Pec pod Sněžkou via Obří důl (Giant Valley)
- - From Pec pod Sněžkou via Růžohorky
- - From Velká Úpa through the valley of Šraml via Růžohorky
- - From Velká Úpa via Růžohorky using the cableway to Portášky
- - Via Richter's Huts, Výrovka and Luční bouda (Meadow Hut) (variant via Modrý důl - Blue Valley)
- - By cableway to Hnědý vrch, via Liščí hora, the bistro Na Rozcestí, Výrovka and Luční bouda (Meadow Hut)
- - Via Severka, the bistro Na Rozcestí, Výrovka and Luční bouda (Meadow Hut)
- - From Horní Malá Úpa via the Jelenka hut
Whichever way of ascent you choose, be ready for a change of the weather and temperature, as the altitude on the summit is 800 metres higher than down in the valley.