Tatra Mountains Poland, Kraków

Tatra Mountains

The Tatra Mountains, Tatras or Tatra, are a mountain range that form a natural border between Slovakia and Poland. They are the highest mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains. The Tatras should not be confused with the Low Tatras which are located south of the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia.

The Tatra Mountains occupy an area of 785 square kilometres (303 sq mi), of which about 610 square kilometres (236 sq mi) (77.7%) lie within Slovakia and about 175 square kilometres (68 sq mi) (22.3%) on the territory of Poland. The highest peak, called Gerlach, at 2,655 m (8710 ft) is located north of Poprad, entirely in Slovakia. The highest point in Poland, Rysy, at 2,499 m (8200 ft) is located south of Zakopane, on the border with Slovakia.

The Tatras' length, measured from the eastern foothills of the Kobylí vrch (1109 m) to the southwestern foot of Ostrý vrch (1128 m), in a straight line is 57 km (35 mi) (or 53 km (33 mi) according to some), and strictly along the main ridge, 80 km (50 mi). The range is only 19 km (12 mi) wide. The main ridge of the Tatras runs from the village of Huty at the western end to the village of Ždiar at the eastern end.

The Tatras are protected by law by the establishment of the Tatra National Park, Slovakia and the Tatra National Park, Poland, which are jointly entered in UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves. In 1992 the Polish and Slovak parks were jointly designated a transboundary biosphere reserve by UNESCO in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves under its Man and the Biosphere Programme.