Pieniny National Park is a national park in northern Slovakia. The park is located in the eastern Pieniny Mountains on the border with Poland. It is the smallest national park in Slovakia with an area of 37.5 km².
Pieniny National Park is located in the Dunajec river basin, and the river occupies important position among factors that influence Pieniny’s look. Even though the Park is small in size, on its area thrive hundreds of species of plants, including 640 kinds of mushrooms. Sometimes, on the same rock, grow plants with opposite means of survival. Park’s meadows, which are the result of human activity, are some of the richest plant ecosystems (30 to 40 species of flowers for every square meter).
So far around 6500 animal species have been proven to live in the Pieniny. It is supposed that the area is even more abundant – with up to 15 000 species. There are numerous birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians as well as mammals. The most important predator is the lynx. On the shores of the Dunajec the otter thrives.
Dunajec is the only river that takes waters from the Slovak territory to the Baltic Sea. It is actually one of only two Slovak rivers flowing to the north. Back in the middle ages people started to use it to transport the goods to the North. It was easier and faster to put the piles of wood to the raft and let the mother Earth do the work for you than to carry them over the mountains. Wood got transported this way the most often because the north people needed wood for the ships. Later in the 18th century locals started to use it as a form of transportation for people too.
What can you do in Pieniny National Park?
- hiking in the mountains,
- visit the museum Červený Kláštor,
- do rafting on the river Dunajec,
- visit castle Stará Ľubovňa,
- eat Slovak traditional food .
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