The Pieniny National Park is a nature reserve in the extreme south of Poland near Slovakia. The Pieniny mountain range is divided into three areas: Pieniny Spiskie, Małe Pieniny and Pieniny Właściwe, where the park is located. The area is 23.46 square kilometers, of which 13.11 km² are forested. A third, around 7.5 km², is strictly protected. The Pieninský národný park is located on the Slovak side of the mountain.
The idea of establishing the national park came from Professor Władysław Szafer, member of the National Commission for the Conservation of Nature in 1921. In the same year Stanisław Drohojowski opened a private protected area on an area of 75,000 m² around the ruins of the Czorsztyn Castle. In 1928 the Polish government made the first land purchases and on May 23, 1932 the Ministry of Agriculture created the Pieninen National Park on an area of 7.36 km². After the Second World War, the decision was confirmed by the law of October 30, 1954, which officially established the area as a national park.
Flora and fauna in the Pieniny National Park
The Pieniny Mountains are mainly made of limestone and form picturesque and impressive, almost vertical walls that slope down towards the Dunajec River. The most famous peak – Trzy Korony (Three Crowns) is 982 m above sea level, Pieniny’s highest mountain – Wysokie Skałki – is 1050 m above sea level and is not in the protected area. The Pieniny National Park is located in the Dunajec catchment area and the river plays an important role in terms of appearance. Although the area is relatively small, hundreds of plant species thrive in its area, including 640 types of mushrooms. So far, around 6500 animal species have been identified in the park. It is believed, however, that the biodiversity is even greater – with up to 15,000 species. There are many birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, as well as mammals.
Active vacation near the High Tatras
Hikers will find their challenge in the main ridge of the Pieninen. The Punajec offers water enthusiasts suitable activities.
Biebrza National Park
Especially for nature lovers all over Europe, Poland has long been more than just an insider tip for tourists. And if you are traveling in the north-east of the country, you should take plenty of time to visit the Biebrza National Park. The largest national park in Poland is located between the Biebrza and Narew rivers, which also form the largest river system in Europe, around the village of Osowiec-Twierdza near the town of Bialystok. The city of 300,000 is often referred to as the “green lung of Poland”.
Natural paradise with almost 1,000 species of plants and 270 species of birds
The Biebrza National Park is characterized by a great diversity of species. A large number of water and marsh birds and almost 1,000 different plant species have settled in the almost 60 hectare park. Rare mammals are just as native here as bats, reptiles and amphibians. With a little luck you can even see moose and bison in their natural habitat on a foray through the national park. Around nine hectares of the park form the largest swamp and peat areas in Central Europe. If you want to actively explore nature, the Biebrza National Park is the right place for you. After all, there are more than 420 kilometers of forest trails and around 20 kilometers of cycle paths available to visitors. You can also explore the beautiful region on a relaxed kayak or raft trip.
The Hirschberger Tal is a valley basin, which is located on the Silesian north side of the West Sudeten in Poland. The area is located at an altitude of 250 to 400 m above sea level. NN and extends over an area of 273 km² at the foot of the Giant Mountains. This landscape was already popular with the nobility in previous centuries. The dukes and princes built manors and castles there, where they spent their free time. They also created wonderful parks there, which fit wonderfully into the landscape.
The history of the Hirschberg Valley
Like Silesia itself, the area was under either Polish or Bohemian administration. Many citizens found a room here that ensured that all vital conditions were met. Streams provided fresh water and the forests themselves also offered many opportunities. Wood was always available for construction and the game living in it was another source of food. Therefore, it is not surprising that 34 settlements are documented as early as the 14th century.
The region underwent major changes after the end of the Second World War. The now ruling Soviets enforced that the Polish government had to take care of the administration of a large part of Silesia. The name-giving place Hirschberg was renamed “Jelenia Góra” because it was too reminiscent of the former German population.
Interesting sights and destinations
Many of the country mansions and manors that were built in the 19th century are still preserved and accessible to tourists. Those interested can find them in Mysłakowice and Staniszów. Furthermore, the Cieplice Śląskie-Zdrój spa is a popular excursion destination with wonderful spa facilities and a beautiful spa park.
The lake district, which was laid out in the 1980s and 1990s, also invites you to visit. The reservoirs created there are the habitat for many animals and plants. Nature lovers can discover them on their walks and enjoy the fresh air.