Bratislava, December 30 (TASR) – The Tatra National Park (TANAP) is the oldest national park in Slovakia, spreading over an area of 1,045 square kilometres, of which 738 square kilometres is included in the territory of the park, while an additional 307 square kilometres forms a protection zone.
TANAP was established on January 1, 1949, which means that on Tuesday (January 1) it will have been 70 years since its founding.
Attempts to preserve nature in Slovakia, but also to discover the Tatra nature, go back to the 17th century. For example, Jan Frohlich and his son David contributed to this. In 1615 David Frohlich ascended a Tatra peak. This is the first documented ascent to a Tatra peak.
The Hungarian Carpathian Association started to deal with systematic nature conservation in the second half of the 19th century. It tried to restrict the use of Tatra meadows for grazing livestock, and was devoted to the protection of some animal and plant species.
After the First World War, the Tatras were badly damaged by the theft of wood and poaching. After the founding of Czechoslovakia, the efforts to protect the Tatra’s nature were renewed and in 1921 a proposal to establish a national park in the territory of Tatra mountains was submitted.
The law on the Tatra National Park was adopted on November 18, 1948. It entered into force on January 1, 1949. At the beginning it encompassed only the territory of the High Tatra mountains.
Grazing livestock in the TANAP territory completely ended only between 1953 and 1955. In 1957 the Mountain Service was established. In the same year, the TANAP Museum was created. A significant year was 1987, when the territory of the Western Tatra mountains was added to TANAP.
In 1993, by a UNESCO decision the territory of the National Park was included in the biosphere reserve network under the MaB (Human and Biosphere) programme. TANAP is also part of the NATURA 2000 system, which aims to maintain or improve the favourable status of rare and endangered plant species, animals and natural biotope types, thereby preserving the biodiversity in the European Union.
Around 3.5 million people visit the national park annually, the network of tourist paths have a length of about 600 kilometres. The highest peak in Slovakia and of the Carpathian Mountains – Gerlachovsky Stit peak – is located in TANAP and measures 2,655 metres.