Aug 24

Tatra National Park (Parcul National Tatra)

Tatra National Park is situated at the southern border of Poland and consists of the natural reservation which has been declared a protected monument back in 1954. Initially, the national park consisted of 215.56 square kilometers, only to have shrunk in time with almost 4.000 km2. While the entire area is protected under the law, only close to half of it consists of secured zones due to the fact that it shelters various species of animal and plant life which are on the verge of extinction.

There have been several attempts to include Tatra Mountains into some sort of program in order to ensure that the natural area is protected from any human interventions that might be detrimental to the environment. Awareness was first drawn close to the end of the 19th century and after various organizations were created with the purpose of protecting the area, the Tatra National Park finally came into being in ’54.

It is common knowledge that the Tatras traverse both the Polish and the Slovakian territories and each state had created its own natural park. But in 1992, the two parks were unified into a biosphere reserve that transcended the territorial boundaries (the borders) and formed a single protected natural reservation under the Man and the Biosphere Program developed by UNESCO.

The Tatra Mountains located in Poland are part of the Carpathians and are divided into 2 mountainous ranges: the High and the Western Tatras.

As a general rule, the alpine environment has impressive landscapes to offer, not to mention that its specific characteristics make various mountainous regions worth exploring. For instance, this specific park consists of numerous peaks which seem to pierce the sky, as well as various natural depressions with specific rock formations, thus creating this beautiful effect of elevation versus concavity. The Polish Tatras contain within their rocky slopes 650 caves. These are divided based on their location, type, as well as formation. The most renowned cave from Poland is called Wielka Sniezna and it differentiate itself from the rest due to the fact that it is the lengthiest one (18 km) and the one that reaches the highest depth (814 m).

From a geological perspective, the Tatra National Park is endowed with quite a number of rivers and lakes. These contribute extensively to the general imagery offered by the park which conveys the impression that one has entered into an oasis. Thus, tourists are bound to be mesmerized by the crystal clear water of these ponds and streams which traverse the region. While some of these are average in size, you will also find yourself being taken aback by the impressive length of several rivers which can exceed 20 km. In the majority of the cases, tourists feel more attracted to the cascades probably because these have a way of “manifesting” themselves – the sound the water makes when falling freely into the torrent which takes it further down the stream or the visual imagery of the agitated water splashing everything that gets too close to it.

When it comes to taking a vacation, one should never lose sight of the peace and relaxation a trip “into the wild” can confer. It is one thing to evade into a secluded resort, up the coast, far from any trace of humanity, but taking a trip into the Tatra Mountains and exploring the land, with all its natural wonders, will bring you closer to the much needed escape you have been aiming to attain.

The national park consists of a mixture of forests and meadows, each characterized by a differentiating trait. Some of the endangered animals which have found their retreat and, consequently, their salvation within the park are the marmot, the falcon, lynx, wolf, eagle, the brown bear, etc.

Taking into account the surface it occupies from the territory of Poland (0.07%), we might be inclined to believe that the ample impact that this park has in regards to tourism is minimal. But we couldn’t be more wrong to believe so. In fact, Tatra National Park is the most visited park of its kind on the entire Polish territory and draws as much as 3 million visitors on a yearly basis.