is a town in southern Poland
with some 28,000 inhabitants (2004), situated in Lesser Poland Province
since 1999 (in 1975–98, it was part of Nowy Sącz Province
). The town, a place of Góral
culture and informally known as "the winter capital of Poland," lies in the southern part of the Podhale
region at the foot of the Tatra Mountains
, the only alpine
mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains
Zakopane lies in a large valley
between the Tatra Mountains
and Gubałówka Hill
. It is the most important Polish center of mountaineering
, and is visited annually by some three million tourists. The most important alpine skiing
locations are Kasprowy Wierch
and Gubałówka Hill.
Zakopane has the highest elevation (800-1,000 m) of any town in Poland. The central point of the town is at the junction of Krupówki and Kościuszko Streets.
The earliest documents mentioning Zakopane date to the 17th century, describing a glade
. In 1676 it was a village of 43 inhabitants. In 1824, together with a section of the Tatra Mountains
, it was sold to the Homola family.
Zakopane's further history was connected with the development of the mining and metallurgy industries in the region — in the 19th century, it was the largest center for metallurgy in Galicia — and later with that of tourism. It grew greatly over the 19th century, as more and more people were attracted by its salubrious climate, and soon developed from a small village into a climatic health resort of 3,000 inhabitants (1889).
Rail service to Zakopane began on October 1, 1899.
During World War II, Zakopane served as an important Polish underground staging point between Poland and Hungary.
In March 1940, representatives of the Soviet NKVD and German Gestapo met for one week in Zakopane's Villa Tadeusz, to coordinate the pacification of resistance in Poland.
Zakopane hosted the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
in 1929, 1939 and 1962; the winter Universiades
in 1956, 1993 and 2001; the biathlon
World Championship; several ski jumping world cups
; and several Nordic
combined, Nordic and Alpine European Cups.
It was an unsuccessful candidate city for the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2011 World Ski Championships, but remains in the running to host the latter competition in 2013.
- Jan Bachleda-Curus, Olympian. The Bachleda and Pawlica families are the two oldest families in Zakopane.
- Tytus Chałubiński physician
- Olga Drahonowska-Małkowska, one of the founders of Scouting movement in Poland
- Władysław Hasior, sculptor
- Jan Kasprowicz, poet, playwright
- Kornel Makuszyński, children's writer
- Jan Marusarz, Olympian
- Stanisław Marusarz, Olympian
- Władysław Orkan
- Jan Pawlica, Olympian
- Karol Szymanowski, composer. His house in Zakopane, the Villa Atma, is now a museum dedicated to the composer.
- Stanisław Witkiewicz
- Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), playwright, novelist, philosopher, photographer and painter
- Mariusz Zaruski mountaineer and yachtsman
- Jerzy Żuławski, poet, writer
- Stanisław Kasztelowicz and Stanisław Eile, Stefan Żeromski: kalendarz życia i twórczości (Stefan Żeromski: A Calendar of His Life and Work), Kraków, Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1961.
- Krystyna Tokarzówna and Stanisław Fita, Bolesław Prus, 1847–1912: Kalendarz życia i twórczości (Bolesław Prus, 1847–1912: A Calendar of His Life and Work), edited by Zygmunt Szweykowski, Warsaw, Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1969.