The name ‘Jaszczurówka’ comes from spotted salamanders, which once lived at that place, and were called ‘Jaszczury’ by the local mountaineers.
The chapel, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, founded by the Uznański family, has been designed by Stanisław Witkiewicz (1851-1915), a prominent writer, painter, historian of art and social worker. The erection started in 1904 and was completed three years later. Considerable help in realisation of this object was offered by engineer Blacha and the local mountaineers, masters of hatchet and chisel.

The main altar remains, with the structure, a typical mountain cottage. At the sides of the main altar there are two colourful stained glass windows with the national emblems of Poland and Lithuania, made according to the design of Stanisław Witkiewicz. The chapel at ‘Jaszczurówka’ is one of the most beautiful monuments of the Zakopane architectural style in Poland. In the 50’s of the 20th century the chapel has been furnished with two side altars; Our Lady’s and St. Joseph’s. The pictures of the way of the cross were painted on glass by Józef Jan Jachymiak and the local mountaineers have carved in oak a hanging chandelier.

The chapel is under the care and management of the Roman Catholic parish at Zakopane-Cyrhla. 



One of the characteristic elements of highlander culture is the Zakopane style. Actually this particular style is one of the main reasons why the thousands of tourists are attracted to come to his city every single year. Of course, many of the characteristic features of this architectural style are due to geographical conditions such as very heavy snowfall in winter, or the wide availability of wood and stone in this area. However, it was next to the style characterized by Stanisław Witkiewicz, the style in architecture called the Zakopane style.

The Zakopane style was defined in the 1890s in a series of articles published in 1891 in Kurier Warszawski. It was based on elements of highlander culture, which Witkiewicz considered native Poland. This style included not only the construction of houses and churches, but also equipment, clothing and musical instruments.

The basic elements that characterize the Zakopane style are:
  • high stone foundations, used for building amphibians laid on a log. Characteristic tree trunks cut in half, which form the layout of the walls of highland houses.
  • decorations engraved in wood
  • numerous slants, faults diversifying the body of the building.
  • Shingle roofs with high and decorative chimneys.
  • Decorative terraces and verandas placed on the garden side.

All this gives this building a wonderful charm that we experience when visiting Zakopane.
The new architectural style introduced by Witkiewicz gained not only great recognition among the intelligentsia, but was even recognised as a national style, and propagating it became almost a patriotic duty of the Pole.
The first building in the Zakopane style designed by Stanisław Witkiewicz was built in 1893. It was Willa Koliba (in highlander's dialect it means "shepherd's hut"),

Other known objects representing the Zakopane style are:
  • Chapel on Jaszczurówka
  • Willa pod Jedlami
  • Atma Villa
  • Chapel of St. John the Baptist
  • Tatra Museum
  • Hostel at Morskie Oko.
  • Interestingly, buildings in the Zakopane style are also found in other parts of Poland, such as in Sosnowiec (People's House - ul. Klubowa 2) or in Augustów (Tree House - ul. Tartaczna 19), and even outside of Poland, for example is a housing estate in Brasław, Belarus.

In general, the Zakopane style is the penetration of folk elements of Podhale art into national culture and everyday life. The period of 1891-1914 is considered the time frame for the dominance of this style. After Witkiewicz's death, the Zakopane style slowly began to fade away and was eventually supplanted by other trends in architecture and culture.