Little Carpathians

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Little Carpathians
Zaruby from plavecke podhradie.jpg
Little Carpathians near Plavecké Podhradie
Highest point
Peak Záruby
Elevation 768 m (2,520 ft)
Coordinates 48°31′25″N 17°23′33″E / 48.52361°N 17.39250°E / 48.52361; 17.39250
Geography
Malé Karpaty.png
Little Carpathians within the geomorphological division of Slovakia
Countries Slovakia and Austria
Range coordinates 48°25′N 17°15′E / 48.42°N 17.25°E / 48.42; 17.25Coordinates: 48°25′N 17°15′E / 48.42°N 17.25°E / 48.42; 17.25
Parent range Western Carpathians

The Little Carpathians (also: Lesser Carpathians, Slovak: Malé Karpaty; German: Kleine Karpaten; Hungarian: Kis-Kárpátok) are a low, about 100 km long, mountain range, part of the Carpathian Mountains. The mountains are situated in Western Slovakia, covering the area from Bratislava to Nové Mesto nad Váhom, a very small part called Hundsheimer Berge (or Hainburger Berge) is situated south of Devín Gate in northeastern Austria. The Little Carpathians are bordered by Záhorie Lowland in the west and the Danubian Lowland in the east.

In 1976, the Little Carpathians were declared a protected area under the name Little Carpathians Protected Landscape Area, covering 646.1 km². The area is rich in flora and fauna diversity and contains numerous castles, most notably the Bratislava Castle and caves, Driny being the only one open to the public. The three highest mountains are Záruby at 768 m (2,519.7 ft), Vysoká at 754 m (2,473.8 ft) and Vápenná at 752 m (2,467.2 ft).

Description[edit]

Geomorphologically, the Little Carpathians belong into the Alps-Himalaya System, the Carpathian Mountains sub-system, its province Western Carpathians and its subprovince the Inner Western Carpathians.

Little Carpathians are further divided into four parts (from south to north):

The mountains are densely forested (90% being broad-leaved trees), the southeastern part contains extensive vineyards (e.g. Bratislava, Rača, Pezinok, Modra). Several castles or castle ruins are situated in the Little Carpathians, for example Devín Castle, Čachtice Castle, Červený Kameň Castle, and Smolenice Castle.

Geologically, the mountain range is part of the Tatra-Fatra Belt of core mountains There is together eight karst areas in the Little Carpathians: Devín Carpathians karst, Borinka (Pajštún) karst, Cajlan karst, Kuchyňa-orešany karst, Plavecký karst, Smolenice karst, Dobrovodský karst and Čachtice karst. The most important karst forms include caves Deravá, Tmavá skala, Driny, Čachtická cave and caves along the Borinský potok. Driny, a limestone cave, is the only cave open to public. Major streams include Vydrica and Suchý jarok.

Austrian Carpathians[edit]

Hundsheimer Berge

A small mountain range called Hundsheimer Berge (sometimes also Hainburger Berge) is located in Austria next to the Lamač Gate, part of the Devín Carpathians. The mountain range covers approximately 36 kilometers squared and it is bordered by the river Danube to the north and east, Vienna plate to the south and west. Its highest peak is Hundsheimer Berg (481 meters AMSL). While fairy low, Hundsheimer Berge rise from only 140 meters above sea level by the Danube.[1]

The mountains are densely forested, mostly with beech trees. The southern slopes are traditionally used by humans for agriculture and particularly wine-making. There are many vineyards in the area and south of Edelstal, there are wine cellars offering wine-tasting. The mountains feature the ruins of Pottenburg Castle.

Major peaks:

  • Hundsheimer Berg (481 meters AMSL)
  • Pfaffenberg (331 meters AMSL)
  • Weisses Kreuz (363 meters AMSL)
  • Teichberg (321 meters AMSL)
  • Königswarte (344 meters AMSL)
  • Braunsberg (346 meters AMSL)
  • Spitzerberg (302 meters AMSL)
  • Hindlerberg (298 meters AMSL)
  • Galgenbergl (157 meters AMSL)

Highest peaks[edit]

Image Slovak name Height Location & Notes
Zaruby peak.jpg
Záruby 767.4 meters AMSL
Above the village Smolenice
Vysoka summit 01.jpg
Vysoká 754.3 meters AMSL
Outside of the main ridge of the Little Carpathians, above the village Kuchyňa, summit offers extensive views
Rostun 01.jpg
Vápenná (Roštún) 752.2 meters AMSL
Features a 4 meters tall concrete observation obelisk built in 2003
Čertov kopec.jpg
Čertov kopec (vrch) 751.8 meters AMSL
Forested summit with no marked trails leading here
Veterlin01.jpg
Veterlín 723.5 meters AMSL
Havranica.jpg
Havranica 717.1 meters AMSL
Čelo, Malé Karpaty.jpg
Čelo 716.0 meters AMSL
Forested summit with no marked trails leading here
Vyhliadka na Veľkej Homoli.JPG
Veľká homoľa 709.2 meters AMSL
Since 2001, it features a 20 meters tall observation tower on the summit
Čmeľok.jpg
Čmeľok 709.0 meters AMSL
Features a military radar on the summit
Skalnatá.jpg
Skalnatá 704.2 meters AMSL
Offers extensive views

History[edit]

Abandoned pyrite mine near Pernek

While being a low mountain range, the Little Carpathians were always considered a mountain barrier due to being surrounded by various lowlands, often attaining a prominence of 500 meters. In the past, various types of ore were mined in the Little Carpathians used for the production of gold, silver, antimony, manganese and pyrite.

During Second World War, Little Carpathians were the birthplace of partisan group Janko Kráľ. Insurgency in the mountains lasted until the occupation by the Soviet Red Army in 1945.

Tourism[edit]

The Little Carpathians are a popular tourist destination in the Western Slovakia and the mountains are used for hiking, cycling, tramping, backpacking, automobile and motorcycle tourism, skiing, cross-country skiing and other winter sports. The mountain range contains a dense network of trails and the recreational infrastructure is relatively well developed, especially in the south. The Little Carpathians are popular as a destination place for the inhabitants of Bratislava and other larger cities in the region. Since the Middle Ages, the area is known for its wines and wine-making traditions. Well known centers of local wine-making include Svätý Jur, Modra and Pezinok.

Main tourist centers include the Slovak capital Bratislava, Pezinská Baba (halfway between Pezinok and Pernek) and Zochova chata (near Modra).

Images[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]