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Some facts on history

The history of Zakopane goes back some 400 years. However, the beginnings of this place are not exactely known. It appears to have come into being when the seasonal shepherds settlements became transformed into permanent abodes. It is understood that the Settlement prerogative ( missing ) was issued by King Stefan Batory in 1578.

And the name? It appears for the first time in documents in 1605 and most likely it has its origin in the Polish word "kopane" ("zakopane"), witch once meant the area grubbed up for glade.

Zakopane's career as a resort and holiday centre began in the second half of the19th century. This was after the beauty of Morskie Oko Lake and the charm of Koscieliska Valley, had been discovered by some very well known Poles who had been setting off their trips to Tatra mountains. They were: Stanislaw Staszic (who was here in 1803-1805 )- scholar and educator, Ludwik Zejszner (1829) - geologist, Seweryn Goszczynski (1840) - the author of "Journal of Journey to Tatra mountains" and Zygmunt Steszynski (1840) - the author of the poem "Tatry in 24 Pictures" (1840) Nevertheless.

In 1845 a parish was instituted in the village known as Zakopane, and its first parish-prist The Rev. Jozef Stolarczyk made an accomodation and tourist agency offices of his presbitery.

120 years ago Tatra Mountains Society (Towarzystwo Tatrzanskie) was called into being. One of its founders, Dr. Tytus Chałubinski "discovered" beneficial features in the climate of Zakopane and provided it with a spa status (1886).

In 1875 organization of hydrotherapeutic institutions began. The first one was founded in Kuznice by Dr. Ludwik Ganczarski. One of the biggest - Dr. Andrzej Chramiec in 1887.

In 1888 the Museum of Tatra Mountains was established, and ten years laater - an antituberculitic sanatorium.

94 years ago a railway Chabowka - Zakopane was open, witch was followed by radical increase in the number of tourists.

85 years ago Skiers Association of Zakopane ( Zakopianski Oddzial Narciarzy ) began its activities. They opened a skiing school for civilians.

During the First World War two famous Polish writers Jan Kasprowicz and Stefan Zeromski where among those who were struggling for independence here. The latter would become a leader of a movement known as "Rzeczpospolita Zakopianska" ( Zakopane Republic ) in 1st November 1918.

In 1929 Zakopane had 15,000 residents, in 1939 more than 20,000.

In the time between the two World Wars the great ski-jump was constructed on Krokiew (1925), two sport grounds in Rownia Krupowa were opened (1929), the lift to Kasprowy Wierch was put into service (1936), the railway to top of Gubalowka was built (1937) and power generating station was opened in Kamieniec (1937)

After the Second World War Zakopane became even more fashionable than before. The town was developed. New hotels, holiday-houses and residential are as were built. Numerous sport and cultueal events were organized, as well as folk and film festivals. However, with the development of the city its function as a spa town began to decline; the antituberculitic sanatoriums and many other health institutions have been closed down.

In 1993, 60 years ago Zakopane got town rights. There are 30,000 residents in Zakopane about 1,5milions tourists visit the town annually. Zakopane is an organizer of the Winter Universiade 1993, witch will take place in February; the traditional International Folk Festival of Mountain Regions will take place in August.


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