A town in the Tatra Mountains (Poland)

Zakopane is the biggest Polish centre of mountain hiking and skiing. Its population is about 28.000 citizens. The town is visited by about 2.000.000 tourists a year. Zakopane is situated in Nowy Sacz voivodship, in southern part of Podhale region, at the feet of Tatra Mts. – the only alpine mountain range in this part of Europe. It lies in big glen between the Tatra Mts. and Gubałówka hill.
The Tatra Mts. are the main attraction for the tourists from all over the world. Here you can find the Internet's Guide-Book, referring to Polish Tatras.
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Zakopane is the town located at the highest elevation in Poland: its municipal region extend from 750 to 1000 m above sea level. The town area includes part of the Polish part Tatra Mts., with the highest peak called Mt. Swinica (2301 m). The central point of the town - the cross-roads of Krupowki St. and Kosciuszki St. (look at the plan of the town) are located at the elevation of 838 m. Such an altitude causes that Zakopane is situated in mountain climate zone.
The municipal law was given to Zakopane in 1933. From 1 Jan. 1995 Zakopane is the independent unit of local government. The mayor of the town is Mr. Adam Bachleda Curu.

The very first documents mentioning of Zakopane descend from XVII c. A.C. and have described the Zakopisko glade. Its further history was connected with the development of mining and metallurgy industries and then with the progress of health service and tourism. It went a long way from a little village to climatic health-resort and next big town, named the winter capital of Poland.

There are plenty of relics and museums in the town. The biggest one and the oldest is The Tatra Museum ant its departments. There are also Nature Museum of Tatra National Park and biographical museums of famous Polish artists, among them great composer Karol Szymanowski and the poet Jan Kasprowicz.
Tourists can visit numerous exhibitions of arts and galleries. There are also several artistic schools and famous the professional Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz Theatre.
Mountaineers' culture is shown in Tatra Folk Centre and at the opportunity of various celebrities by amateur folk-groups from Zakopane and its vicinity. The folk culture of mountaineers from all continents is presented at annual every-September International Festival of Highland Folklore.

In Zakopane the newspaper "Tygodnik Podhalański" (The Podhale Weekly) is published every Thursday. It is distributed all over the Podhale region and even among the Polish citizens of Chicago. There is also local broadcasting station "Radio Alex" (FM 72,26 and 105,2 Mhz).
All over the year plenty of sport, culture and other events go on in Zakopane.

How to reach Zakopane?

There are many convenient traffic connections to various Polish cities. The nearest civil airport is located in Poprad, Slovakia (70 km) and Kraków (100 km) - the first is about 1 hour, the second - 2 hours from Zakopane by car, by bus or by train . A little airport (with a grass runway) is also in Nowy Targ, 20 km from Zakopane.
The nearest frontier crossings to the Slovak Republic are on Łysa Polana and Chyżne, both open day and night, for citizens of all countries whereas these in Chochołów and Niedzica are open only by day, for citizen from Polish and Slovak Republic.

Zbigniew Ładygin
Dorota Gaczorek
Last update D&Z 30 july 1995