High Tatras History

The settlement of the High Tatras stretches back to the prehistoric age, where hunters of bears and salmons had started to discover the wild Tatra area. The finding place of a Neanderthal man skull traced by Koloman Koky in Gánovce in 1926 confirmed the young Stone Age. At first the skull was considered an animal, but in 1949 the doctor Emanuel Vlček stated human origin of the skull. This significant finding started international archeological researches in the middle of 20th century. The exposition is located in Podtatranske museum in Poprad.

In the Middle Ages the gold miners and treasure searchers considered the area a land of opportunity. To the most famous mines belong gold mines in the Krivan peak area. In the 11 century the Ugrians controlled the whole mountain territory. The polish army was interested as well, but its expansion was avoided by Hungarian soldiers and follow German colonization. The first written prove about the High Tatras is the deed of donation dated 1209, in which the Ugrian king Ondrej II donated the right of property to his courtiers.

The colonization had continued in the next periods, where the High Tatras area started to attract the scientists, botanists as well as tourists and climbers. The first fourteen settlements were built; Stary Smokovec built in 1797 is the main resort. The railway Kosice-Bohumin built in 1871 helped to expanse the tourism. Appropriate climate conditions on the south part gave birth to the Tatra spa. In 19th century a lot of spa and sanatoriums were founded.

Rainerova chata The first mountain cottage for tourists, the Rainerova chata, was built upon the Studeny potok waterfalls in 1863. At these days it offers a small historical exposition of climbing and the High Tatra Sherpas. The first tourist organization- the Ugrian Carpathian Verein laid foundations of the Tatra cottages and marked tourist trails.

After the World War II tendency to join the Tatra settlements to one unit was successful and in 1947 the town of High Tatras was founded. Two years later the oldest Slovakian national park was established. For more information about TANAP, see the section Tatras National Park.

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