Photographer's Note

The Commune of Kościelisko is among the most fascinating subalpine areas in Poland, and the gate leading to the West Tatras. It is the seat and homeland of many eminent highlander families, and the place where the centuries-old history is still alive, as authentic folk art, ancient crafts, relics of shepherd culture, and highlander architecture.
The stunning beauty of the landscape, variety of landscape forms, large number of tourist routes which begin there, ample hotel accommodation and sports infrastructure are the features which make the area very attractive to tourists. It is the starting point for the exploration of the two largest and most beautiful valleys in the Polish Tatras: Kościeliska and Chochołowska Valleys. Rich in specific fauna and flora, and remains of the shepherd past, they lead to the wolds, meadows and deep caves. They offer spectacular views, and provide starting points for the routes to many Tatra summits.
Already in the 16-th century, in the mines under Ornak and Pyszna Wolds, silver and iron ore were excavated; a forge, and then a smithy, operated in Kościeliska Valley until 1770. In Chochołowska Valley, where sheep grazing is still continued for cultural purposes, old shepherd buildings can be seen.
Today, the Commune of Kościelisko is widely known as a recreation centre, with plenty of cozy hotels, guesthouses and rooms to let. It is a biathlon centre recognized in Europe and the world, and the home of many skiers - competitors in the Olympic Games. It has also hosted a number of important sports events, including world championships.
The spiritual culture of Kościelisko is based on the achievements of renowned regionalists as well as a host of painters, sculptors, story-tellers, musicians, dancers, singers and experts in various folk crafts. The local government is planning to start cooperation with Slovakia and to increase the offer for tourist.

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Additional Photos by Damian Onderka (makkak) Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 0 N: 15] (89)
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