Story and photographs by Henika
The official name of our country is The Slovak Republic. It is situated in Central
Europe. We can say that it lies in the heart of Europe. (Editor’s Note: Poland is
north; Ukraine is east; Czech Republic is west; Austria is southwest; Hungry is
south) The Slovak Republic covers an area of 19,000 square miles (49,036 km).
Slovakia ranks among the smallest European countries. It is a mountainous country.
The most beautiful range is the High Tatras which is spread over 300 square miles.
The High Tatras or Vysoke Tatry (in Slovak language) represent, in Europe,
a unique concentration of natural beauty deserving their nickname of the
“Miniature Alps.” The main Tatra ridge is only a little over 16 miles long,
offering many natural beauties. In the Tatra’s Valleys and basins there are about
6,100 mountain lakes called tarns. The largest and the deepest Tatra tarn on the
Slovak side is the Great Hincovo tarn (Vel’ke Hincovo pleso). The most visited
tarn is the Strbske pleso, which is the second largest tarn on the Slovak side.
In the High Tatras you can also find many different and unique plants and animals.
In Tatras there are also very rare species of flowers –edelweiss and saffron. All theses
plants, flowers and animals are protected by law. That’s why, in the year 1948, the
government established the Tatra National Park (TANAP) which has protected the
area of about 270 square miles (70000 hectares). There are many hotels, apartments,
and bungalows. They have been built so that visitors may enjoy the beauty of nature.
Those people who live in this historic city are always close to the High Tatras.