High Tatras

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High Tatras
  • Vysoké Tatry
  • Tatry Wysokie
Tatry Panorama01xxx.jpg
Panorama of High Tatras.
Peaks, from left to right: Gerlachovský štít, Batizovský štít, Kačací štít, Končistá, Gánok, Vysoká, and Rysy
Highest point
PeakGerlachovský štít (Slovakia)
Elevation2,655 m (8,711 ft)
Coordinates49°10′N 20°08′E / 49.167°N 20.133°E / 49.167; 20.133Coordinates: 49°10′N 20°08′E / 49.167°N 20.133°E / 49.167; 20.133
High Tatras is located in Slovakia
High Tatras
High Tatras
Location of the High Tatras in Slovakia and Poland
CountriesSlovakia and Poland
StatesPrešov Region and Lesser Poland Voivodeship
RegionsTatra National Park—Tatranský národný park (Slovakia) and Tatra National Park—Tatrzański Park Narodowy (Poland)
Parent rangeEastern Tatras

The High Tatras or High Tatra Mountains (Slovak: Vysoké Tatry, Polish: Tatry Wysokie), are a mountain range along the border of northern Slovakia in the Prešov Region, and southern Poland in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship. They are a range of the Tatra Mountains chain.


Morskie Oko ("Sea Eye"), the largest lake in the Tatra mountains, is found at an elevation of 1,395m and is surrounded by peaks that rise about 1,000m above it.

The mountain range borders Belianske Tatras to the east, Podtatranská kotlina to the south and Western Tatras to the west. The major part and all the highest peaks of the mountains are situated in Slovakia. The highest peak is Gerlachovský štít, at 2,655 metres (8,711 ft).

Natural history[edit]

The High Tatras, having 29 peaks over 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) AMSL are, with the Southern Carpathians, the only mountain ranges with an alpine character and habitats in the entire 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) length of the Carpathian Mountains system. The first European cross-border national park was founded here—Tatra National Park—with Tatra National Park (Tatranský národný park) in Slovakia in 1948, and Tatra National Park (Tatrzański Park Narodowy) in Poland in 1954. The adjacent parks protect UNESCO's trans-border Tatra Biosphere Reserve.[1]


Many rare and endemic animals and plant species are native to the High Tatras. They include the Tatras' endemic goat-antelope and critically endangered species, the Tatra chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica). Predators include Eurasian brown bear, Eurasian lynx, marten, wolf and fox. The Alpine marmot is common in the range.


Flora of the High Tatras includes: the endemic Tatra scurvy-grass (Cochlearia tatrae), yellow mountain saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides), ground covering net-leaved willow (Salix reticulata), Norway spruce (Picea abies), Swiss pine (Pinus cembra), and European larch (Larix decidua).


Highest peaks[edit]

The alpine character of the High Tatras attracts mountaineers.
Kriváň (2,495 metres), considered to be the symbol of Slovakia

The 15 highest peaks of the High Tatras—all located in Slovakia—are:[2]

Peak Elevation (m|ft)
Gerlachovský štít 2,655 8,711
Gerlachovská veža 2,642 8,668
Lomnický štít 2,633 8,638
Ľadový štít 2,627 8,619
Pyšný štít 2,623 8,605
Zadný Gerlach 2,616 8,583
Lavínový štít 2,606 8,550
Malý Ľadový štít 2,602 8,537
Kotlový štít 2,601 8,533
Lavínová veža 2,600 8,530
Malý Pyšný štít 2,591 8,501
Veľká Litvorová veža 2,581 8 468
Strapatá veža 2,565 8,415
Kežmarský štít 2,556 8,386
Vysoká 2,547 8,356

Other notable peaks[edit]

Panorama of the High Tatras from Poprad

Mountain lakes[edit]

A High Tatras valley (dolina) with mountain lake.
Veľké Žabie pleso (Mengusovské) lake in Žabia Valley

Major lakes[edit]

Other lakes[edit]

Mountain huts are common in the High Tatras, this one is halfway up Lomnický štít.
1922 postcard of tourists in the High Tatras.


The area is well known for winter sports. Ski resorts include Štrbské pleso, Starý Smokovec and Tatranská Lomnica in Slovakia, and Zakopane in Poland. The town of Poprad is the gateway to the Slovak Tatra resorts.


The Górale people ("highlanders"), a group of indigenous people with a distinctive traditional culture, are of the High Tatras and other mountain ranges and valleys in the Tatra Mountains region.

Ludwig Greiner identified Gerlachovský štít (Gerlachovský Peak) (2,665 metres (8,743 ft)) as the highest summit of the Tatra Mountains, and the entire Carpathian Mountains system. It is also the highest point of Slovakia.

Places and services

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UNESCO preserves
  2. ^ "Najvyššie pohoria Slovenska (Highest mountain ranges in Slovakia)" (in Slovak). Matej Lednár. 2003. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved June 2, 2007.
  • "The Tatras: High, Western, Bela's" (1:50,000 hiking map); BBKart/Marco Polo; 2005.

External links[edit]