Giewont Poland, Zakopane


Giewont is a mountain massif in the Tatra Mountains of Poland, and is 1,895 metres AMSL at its highest.

It comprises three peaks (all m/metres in AMSL):

There is a mountain pass located between Great and Long Giewont, known as Szczerba (1,823 m). It is located between the valleys (doliny) of Kondratowa, Małej Łąki and Strążyska. Long Giewont and Great Giewont are situated at a higher altitude than the nearby town of Zakopane, making them clearly visible from that city.

On Great Giewont, there is a 15 m steel cross (erected in 1901) - the site of religious pilgrimages. The area is notorious for its hazardous nature during thunderstorms, so this should be taken into consideration when approaching the summit.

Geologically, Giewont is composed of dolomite and limestone caves, as well as gneiss and granite in the southern section.

The first recorded ascent to Giewont's summit was undertaken in 1830 by Franciszek Herbich and Aleksander Zawadzki (the 19th century explorer, not the 20th century communist). The first winter ascent of Giewont occurred in 1904 by a group of five mountaineers led by Mariusz Zaruski. Nowadays the climbing on Giewont is strictly banned. On the other hand hiking on the hiking trails is allowed and the access (except the winter) is not difficult hence Giewont is a very popular destination among amblers and Sunday tourists. In the summer up to few thousands tourists a day ascend the top.

Giewont lies in the area of the Polish Tatra National Park (Tatrzański Park Narodowy). In Polish folklore it is associated with a legend about oversleeping knights, who will awake when Poland is in danger. The profile of the mountains is similar to a lying knight, wherein the Long Giewont is the knight's torso, and the Great Giewont is the knight's face as viewed from the side (the three 'peaks' being the chin, the nose, and the eyebrow). The image of Giewont as viewed from the north (see below) makes the profile easy to discern.