The Tatry Mountains

Tatry

Tatry (The Tatras or Tatra Mts.) are the highest mountain range in the Carpathians. The whole range is situated on the Slovak-Polish border and covers more than 700 square kilometers. Most of the area belongs to Slovakia.

Ten highest peaks reach over 2600 m above the sea level, other fifteen are over 2500 m. The highest peak is Gerlachovský štít (2654,4 m), other remarkable peaks are Lomnický štít (2634 m), Ľadový štít (2627 m), Pyšný štít (2621 m), Vysoká (2547 m), Končistá (2536 m). The highest mountain accesible by a marked hiking trail is Rysy (2503 m), other marked trails lead also to Kriváň (2494 m), Slavkovský štít (2452 m), Východná Vysoká (2428 m), Jahňací štít (2229 m) etc.

Landscape

The range is divided into two basic units: Východné Tatry (East Tatras), that are further divided into the granitic Vysoké Tatry (The High Tatras) and dolomitic Belianske Tatry. The other unit is called Západné Tatry (West Tatras). This part consists of several parts that are geologicaly more varied. The most popular part is the ridge of Roháče (Západné Tatry).

The nature scenery of The Tatras is strongly influenced by glacial modelating process. The rocky peaks as well as deep, U-shaped glacier valleys (trogs) with numerous lakes (tarns) and waterfalls make up the unique and beautiful landscape. In those parts, where the sedimentary rocks (especially limestone) dominate the karst effects (caves, chasms) appear frequently.

National Park

The uniqe conditions of the Tatras (altitude, variable rock base, temperature differences etc.) are suitable for varied and rich flora and fauna, including relicts and endemits. There grow e.g. Edelweis or many species of Gentians, from animals are the most precious Marmot and Chamois. For these reasons the area was established in 1949  as the first national park in Slovakia (Tatranský Národný Park, TANAP). In the area of TANAP all visitors have to keep these rules.

Tatranský Národný Park (TANAP)
059 41 Tatranská Štrba 75
Slovakia
http://www.spravatanap.org

Tatrzański Park Narodowy
ul. Chałubińskiego 42a
34-500 Zakopane
Poland
http://www.tpn.pl

Municipalities

Not only nature but also people are the reason why the Tatras are such a unique region. People settled under the highest mountains very long time ago. The first people to dare high in the mountains were shepherds, poachers and treasure hunters. Later on (from the end of 16th century) some scientists arrived to the tatras from time to time. Occasionally they made some trips, so they were in fact the first tourists. Only from the 19th century the real tourism began.

Many villages under the Tatras have long tradition as a  recreation or spa centers (e.g. Štrbské pleso, Starý Smokovec, Nový Smokovec, Tatranská Polianka, Tatranské Matliare). Remarkable villages are also Ždiar and Tatranská Javorina for their typical folk architecture. Most of the villages joined from 1999 to one municipality - city of Vysoké Tatry (in 2000 near 5 500 inhabitans). The biggest city in the Tatry region is Poprad (56 000 inhabitans).

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