At the foot of Gubałówka, where the pedestrian precinct begins – Krupówki – here begins the town's oldest street – Kościeliska, commonly known as the "Zakopane Old Town". This is
where Zakopane was born, with many of the most valuable historic sites located right at its beginning.
Sts. Andrew and Benedict Chapel (known as the Gąsieniców Chapel)
This is the oldest sacred building in Zakopane. It was built in 1800 on his land by Paweł Gąsienica (allegedly with stolen money). The small stone chapel with its shingled roof, and surmounted by a turret, is one of Zakopane's most valuable heritage sites.
The Old Church of Our Lady of Częstochowa (formerly St. Clement's)
Next to the Gąsieniców Chapel, thanks to the Homolacs, landowners in Zakopane, in the years 1845-1848 a single-nave wooden church was constructed, the first parish in Zakopane. The church's interior has retained its old character, mainly thanks to old folk paintings and figures of saints. The most interesting of these is an image by anonymous painters at the turn of the 19th century, depicting St. Paul falling head first from a horse.
The Old Cemetery on Pęksowy Brzyzek
This is considered the most valuable heritage site in Zakopane and is one of Poland's most important cemeteries. The cemetery was established in the 1850s through the efforts of Zakopane's first pastor, Fr. Józef Stolarczyk, on land donated by Jan Pęksa (hence the name). Currently, there are about 70 of Zakopane's most distinguished inhabitants both in terms of Polish history and culture, interred here. Noteworthy are not only the eminent names, but also the artistic form of many of the tombstones, of which a number are true works of art.
Between the Old Church and Skibówki, Kościeliska Street is a living museum and is entirely historic. Visitors can see a dozen well-preserved highland cottages from the second half of the 19th century, including the "U Wnuka" inn (No. 8), the first inn and the first multi-storey highlander house, dating back to around 1850, which is still a centre of cultural life to this day. Then there are the homesteads of the Gąsienica Nawieś (No. 12), Gąsienica Walczak (No. 23), Walczak Michałek (No. 26), Janik (No. 37), Bednarz (No. 38) and Walczak Wójciak (No. 78) families. Noteworthy is the Gąsienica Sobczak Farm (6 do Rojów St.). This hosts a branch of the Museum of the Zakopane Style – Inspirations, presenting a traditional highland cottage interior, as well as ethnographic collections from the late 19th century, collected by Maria and Bronisław Dembowski.
Koliba Villa (Kościeliska 18)
On this historic plot, a splendid villa stands out, the first house in the Zakopane style, built to a design by Stanisław Witkiewicz in the years 1892-1894 for Zygmunt Gnatowski, a landowner from the Borderlands. Today it houses the Museum of the Zakopane Style – Branch of the Tatra Museum.
Continuing our stroll down Kościeliska, we reach the Sabała Cottage on Stare Krzeptówki 17 (passing the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on Krzeptówki 14). The cottage is an example of one of the oldest types of residential building in the Podhale region. It dates back to the turn of the nineteenth century. According to tradition, Jan Krzeptowski Sabała, a famous storyteller, musician and Tatra guide and friend of Dr. Tytus Chałubiński, was born and lived here.