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Zakopane

Zakopane
Summer Activities
Winter Activities
Ski Slopes for beginners
Auschwitz-Birkenau
Bialka Tatrzanska
COS
Giewont
Jurgow
Gubalowka
Karol Szymanowski Museum
Kasprowy Wierch
Krakow
Kulig
Morskie Oko
Nosal
Rysy
Szymoszkowa
Tatra
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Krupowki Street - Pedestrian Zone

Zakopane

Zakopane is the largest Polish tourist and winter sports centre. Situated at the foot of the Tatras, the highest mountain in range in the Carpathians, it owes its growth and present status to its mountain site. In the twentieth century the climatic and scenic factors turned the mountain village into a famous health resort. The town of Zakopane spreads now over the area of 8486 hectares.

There are ca 29 000 inhabitants, while the number of tourists reaches over 2,5 million annually. The town is situated at the hight of 730- 1000 metres above sea level, in a vast sunny valley, flanked by the Tatra Range from south east and by the ridge of Gubalowka from north west.

The beginnings of Polish skiing, tourism, life-saving, environmental protection and mountain climbing are closely connected with the history of Zakopane. Between the two World Wars it ceased to function as the spiritual capital of Poland; it first became the country‘s summer and the winter capital.

The growing popularity of skiing resulted in the construction of a ski-jump, a cable-railway to the summit of Kasprowy Wierch and a funicular to Gubalowka. Still, Zakopane continued to attract a number of eminent artists, such as Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Karol Szymanowski.

In the first years after World War II Zakopane resumed its former role of a health resort for TB patients. Later the sanatoria were gradually closed down, while the town began to function mainly as a tourist and sports centre. Numerous hotels and guest houses were built accommodate the growing stream of visitors.

Apart from being a well known tourist, sports and recreation centre, modern Zakopane remains a cultural centre as well, its inhabitants being particularly fond of their own Highland tradition.

Many old buildings have survived in Zakopane, among them the unique complex of the oldest peasant houses in Koscielska Street. The Zakopane style is best exemplified by the houses Koliba and Pod Jedlami and by the chapel at Jaszczurowka.

Zakopane hosts a number of national an international sports events. The first international event was organized as early as 1910. Zakopane sports facilities have been repeatedly modernized, and they are going to be thoroughly refurbished and extended, as the town intends to compete for the right to organize the Winter Olympics.