The High Tatras Mountains

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The High Tatra mountains are one of the smallest mountain ranges in the world. They are the highest and the only mountain range of the alpine system in Slovakia.

In 1949 was the High Tatras were declared to be the first Slovak national park (TANAP) and in 1993 it was together with the polish part of the Tatra mountains declared by the UNESCO to be the “Biospheric reservation of the Tatras”.

The territory of the High Tatras, together with adjoining Belianske and Western Tatras, form the most important national park of Slovakia – The Tatra National Park.

Location

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They are situated in the northern part of the Slovak republic on the border with Poland. The state border between those two countries runs along the main mountain ridge starting with Laliove sedlo saddle and leaving the High Tatras at Rysy peak (2499 m). There are 25 peaks surpassing 2500 meters above the sea level. The highest peak of the mountains is Gerlachovsky peak (2655 m).

The territory of the High Tatras lies on 260 km of land. The length of the main mountain ridge is 26.5 km. It begins with Laliove sedlo saddle on the western side and ends with Kopske sedlo saddle on the eastern side. There are numerous side mountain ridges spreading out to north and south of the main High Tatras ridge, all lined by deep and rustic valleys – the opposite pole of mountain ridges, which were formed by the past glacier activities.

 

Facts

LakesMountains04As a reminder of this magnificent era the High Tatras uncover 85 mountain lakes on the Slovak side of the mountains, which are located in most of the Tatras valleys. The largest and deepest lake is Velke Hincovo pleso tarn (20 ha, 53 m deep). Modre pleso tarn has the highest elevation of all the tarns in the High Tatras (2157 m). At the end of many valleys there are waterfalls situated which make the Tatras surroundings even more unforgettable. Some of the most important are Vajanskeho, Kmetov, Hviezdoslavov, Obrovsky, Waterfall Skok and waterfalls Studeneho potoka.

 

Fauna and Flora

Golden Eagle - Ben HallThe Tatras region has rich flora – almost 1400 species of vascular tissued plants grow there. Bluebells, Primroses, modest Elweiss or rare delights to the eyes of every visitor. The real ornament of the Tatras is a Cedar pine. It is an alpine species of pine tree, which grows at the steepest parts of hillsides. Above the rocky relief of the Tatras there rules a golden eagle. Other most popular are chamois and marmots both being endemic animals of the Tatras. Wolfs and brown bears found their hiding places in the deepness of the Tatras forests.