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Zakopane
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Zakopane

is a town in southern Poland with approximately 30,000 inhabitants (1995), situated in the Lesser Poland Voivodship since 1999 (it was previously in Nowy Sacz Voivodship from 1975-1998). The town called the Winter capital of Poland lies in the southern part of the Podhale region, at the feet of the Tatra Mountains, with the exception of the Karkonosze mountains the only alpine mountain range in this part of Europe. It lies in a big glen between the Tatra Mountains and Gubalˇwka Hill. Zakopane is the biggest Polish centre of mountain hiking and skiing. The town is visited by about 2,000,000 tourists a year.

The town is located at the highest elevation in Poland; its municipal region extends from 750 to 1000 m above sea level. The town area includes part of the Polish Tatra Mountains, with the highest peak called Mt. Swinica (2301 m). The central point of the town - the cross-roads of Krupowki and Kosciuszki Streets - is located at an elevation of 838 m. Such a high altitude means that Zakopane is situated in a mountain climate zone.

The very first documents mentioning Zakopane are from the 17th century and describe a glade named Zakopisko. Its further history was connected with the development of the mining and metallurgy industries in the region, and then with the progress of tourism. It has come a long way from being a little village to a climatic health resort.