High Tatras



The High Tatras (Slovak Vysoke Tatry, Polish Tatry Vysokie ), a part of the Tatra Mountains, is the highest part of the Carpathian Mountains and is one of two thirds of Slovakia, one third to Poland. In both countries, it is in each case as part of a national park under special protection, at the same time it is a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. On the Slovak side of the High Tatras belongs mainly to the Zips, only the extreme southwest of Liptau.

Since 1999, the Slovak communities on the south side of the High Tatras, as already summarized 1947-1960, as a city under the name of Slovakian High Tatras High Tatras.


The High Tatras offers an alpine panorama with similar high mountain relief and occasional snow fields. Another unusual feature is the arrangement of the highest peaks in the ( southern ) outer edge. It is often, although it is actually a part of the mountains, as the ( in terms of area, but not in terms of height ) called " smallest high mountain range in the world." The main ridge of the High Tatras is "only" 27 km long. The mountain still offers an abundance of natural beauty and tourism opportunities ( hiking, climbing, ski mountaineering, ski run locations, numerous spa and resorts).


The tree line is at about 1,500 m. 24 (or 25) peaks of the High Tatras exceed the 2,500 - m limit.

The highest elevations are the Gerlachovský stit ( Gerlsdorfer tip) with 2,655 m, also the highest mountain of Slovakia and the whole Carpathians, the Gerlachovská veža ( Gerlsdorfer tower) with 2,642 m, the Lomnický stit ( Lomnitzer tip) with 2,632 m and the Ľadový stit ( Eistaler tip) with 2,627 m. From the somewhat lower summits, especially the powerful Slavkovský are stit ( Slavkovský peak) with 2,452 m and consisting of three peaks Rysy ( Rysy ) call whose average almost on the Slovak- Polish border, the highest with 2,503 m, whose north-westerly as second highest with 2,499 m is also the highest mountain in Poland. Another notable peak is shown as an important national symbol of the Slovak cent coins Kriváň ( Krumm or ox horn) with 2,494 m height.


The largest of the numerous glacial lakes of the High Tatras are located below the Rysy ( Rysy ) on Polish territory, the Morskie Oko (Sea Eye, Slovak:. Sea Eye ), the Czarny Staw pod Rysami ( Black pond under the Rysy ) and lakes in the Dolina Pieciu Stawów Polskich ( valley of Five Polish ponds ). On the Slovak side are lakes such as Štrbské Pleso ( Czech Pleso ), where the same tourist destination is, the force as the main source of Poprad Veľké Hincovo Pleso ( Big Hinzensee ) or Zelené Pleso (Green Lake ) to the east of the High Tatras.

Czarny Staw ( Black Pond), Poland

Dolina Pieciu Stawów Polskich ( Valley of Five Polish Ponds ), Poland

Morskie Oko (Sea Eye), Poland

Skalnaté Pleso ( Steinbachsee ) (1751 m) with Lomnický stit ( Lomnitzer tip) ( 2632 m), Slovakia

Cottage in the valley Gąsienicowa, Poland


The Tatras, particularly the Tatra Mountains, is the best for the tourism -developed part of the whole Carpathians. Especially in Zakopane - the largest town in the Tatra Mountains as the " capital of the Tatras " known - Bukowina and Białka and the Slovakian Poprad places, Štrbské Pleso, Stary Smokovec and Tatranská Lomnica (last three districts of the city Vysoke Tatry ) there is a well developed tourist infrastructure. The Tatra Electric Railway connects the larger valley communities of the Slovak High Tatras. Furthermore, there is an international airport in Poprad. Zakopane is easy to reach from the highway " Zakopianka " as well as by train from Krakow. In the foothills of the High Tatras are several open-air museums, such as the Village Museum and the Museum of the Orava Liptov village.

Tatra National Park

There are both on the Polish ( since 1954 ) and the Slovak (since 1949 ) side of the Tatra National Park each one. He is the oldest and largest Slovak and Polish most visited National Park - the " Tatra National Park " (abbreviated TANAP in Slovakia and in Poland TPN ). About four -fifths of the cross-border national parks are on the Slovak, the rest on Polish territory.

The main entrance on the Polish side is Kiry. Partly also borders the city of Zakopane at the National Park.

On the Slovak side of the National Park is threatened by lack of control and the associated uncontrolled development of tourism infrastructure.

Mountaineering and climbing

Because of the relatively long distance in the Alps was the mountaineering for the Poles long time synonymous with climbing in the Tatras. Logically, is to polish a Taternik (fem.: Taterniczka ) a ( Tatra ) climbers. Even with the mountaineers of the GDR before the turn of the Tatra was extremely popular, but it was the only mountain range that was accessible and in close proximity without the socialist emigration restrictions. After the reunification of Germany, the onslaught of German has subsided, but has since come more Eastern European tourists and climbers in the Tatra Mountains.

To visit the Slovak National Parks Tanap strict rules apply. Within its boundaries hikers may only use roads and marked trails. Tours outside of marked trails are allowed only under the guidance of a registered mountain guide. For most alpine routes a winter closure applies from November 1st to June 15th. The climbing peaks is - if not marked trails lead up - only permitted with the mountain guide. Marked paths lead to Kriváň, Rysy, Slavkovsky stit and a number of smaller peaks such as the Volia veža or Batizovský stit.

Skiing is possible only on marked and groomed slopes and trails. May be used also marked hiking trails, but there pedestrians have priority. Cycling is on public footpaths and bike trails ( marked on local maps) allowed. Skydiving and paragliding is limited to specially designated areas.

Camping and parking is limited to marked camping or parking. Nights in the open air are not allowed, not even on roads and parking areas. The use of motor vehicles and bicycles outside of public roads is prohibited, dogs are not allowed in the National Park. A number of other provisions examined the full protection of fauna and flora make.

Mountaineering in the proper sense is allowed after registration at the TANAP mountain rescue only "organized" climbers ( members of recognized associations such as climbers DAV, OeAV, SAC, CAI, CAF). Some areas, however, are completely blocked for all mountaineering activities. Climbers are allowed to enter the National Park off the teaching and hiking paths during the period or periods to II or to climb a summit of the difficulty UIAA higher, are included all the degrees from the second difficulty UIAA, except Kopské - Jahňací stit and VeLka Svišťovka - Kežmarský stit. Each commission under the second difficulty is in summer only permissible if it makes the descent required, or from December 21 to March 20 in both directions, if it belongs to the winter training of mountaineers or ice climbing is necessary. Climbers must carry their membership card with you and present it on request to those employees of the National Park. In a climbing course, all participants must be supervised by an experienced climber with valid trained mountain guide. Bivouac in the mountains is prohibited. Organized climbers are allowed to use the camp in Bielovodská valley, the camp is not for public use. Demanding tours (about winter tour over the main ridge ) must be booked in advance at the National Park Authorities. All climbers need their destination and the expected date of return to the starting point deposit before they embark on a tour. In some areas of the national park winter ski tours are allowed.

In the Polish National Park TNP similarly strict rules apply, however, is on the Polish side tourist use stronger. Only the lightest of the three ways to Morskie Oko (Sea Eye) is committed in the summer up to 10,000 people per day.

Hurricane in November 2004

A hurricane has destroyed nearly half of all trees on the Slovak side of the High Tatras, on 19 November 2004. The path of destruction is 3 kilometers wide and 50 kilometers long. It is estimated the size of the damaged area to 12,000 hectares. Due to the unwanted " deforestation" now threaten after rainfall and snow melt floods and landslides as well as in the damaged areas not yet adjusted or a proliferation of bark beetles. First, this hurricane damage were seen as a national disaster. After 2006 it gradually the realization that this event can be seen as an opportunity for accelerated conversion of spruce monocultures to natural mixed forest. Really victims of the disappearing forests are locally resident Roma families who were able to get in the past by collecting wild berries and mushrooms a lucrative additional income.