Tatrzański National Park
The snowy mountains, as the Tatras were called centuries ago, is the only alpine mountain range in Poland.
They inspire awe and command respect. On the one hand, the landscape consists of sharp ridges, jagged peaks, chimneys and postglacial corries continuously capped with snow and hidden among billowing clouds. On the other hand, the Tatras are framed by the scenic valleys of streams and vast glades dotted blissfully with continuously grazing sheep. In terms of natural resources, the Tatras are one of the most precious areas in Poland. Hence, the park has been included in the Natura 2000 network and has been designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve (jointly with the Slovakian Tatranským národným parkom), which proves its uniqueness on the world scale. The park includes all the characteristic vegetation zones linked to the changing altitudinal climatic conditions. The lower subalpine zone consists of both mixed forests and coniferous woods whose undergrowth blooms with thousands of flowers in the spring. The upper subalpine zone is a kingdom of spruce joined on the north side by Swiss stone pine trees, distinctive for their dome-rounded tops. The dwarf pine belt is framed by a clump of bushes, which in higher altitudes give way to the meadows of the alpine zone, also known as mountain pastures. The latter is home to edelweiss that arrived from Asia and became a characteristic feature of the park and its floral symbol. The highest peaks of the mountains delineate one more altitudinal level, called the subnival or peak zone, which is covered with low-lying grass tufts. This vegetation zone has evolved only in the High Tatras.