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Kościeliska Valley
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Dolina Kościeliska is the second, alongside the road to Morskie Oko, most popular walking route in the Polish Tatras. It is considered by many to be the most beautiful valley of these mountains. A trip there means a six-kilometer walk along a winding and roaring creek. At the end of it, there’s tea and food awaiting the tourists in one of the most famous Polish shelters.

Kościeliska is not only the most beautiful, but also the largest Tatra valley in Poland. Lots of interesting environmental facts – beautiful views of the Western Tatras, mysterious caves, narrow rocky gates over the road, picturesque halls, an atmospheric shelter at Hala Ornak.

Today, the valley is fully protected – it is located in the Tatra National Park. However, it was once inhabited. In the mid-nineteenth century, the steel industry flourished here. Traces of forges, a church, sawmill and cottages, although hardly visible, can be found in the glades. The robbers’ shrine, which tourists pass on their way up, was funded by the former inhabitants of the valley. Wooden shepherds’ huts and shepherds, speeding flocks of their sheep remind of the traditional occupation of local highlanders – pastoralism.


  1. Introduction

  2. The Kantaka Gate, a rock gate to the Kościeliska Valley

  3. Shepherd’s hut on Wyżnia Kira Miętusia

  4. Customs related to sheep grazing

  5. Stare Kościeliska – the robbers' chapel

  6. Stare Kościeliska – ice source

  7. Mroźna Cave - Beautiful stalactites and stalagmites in the most famous Tatra cave.

  8. Polana Pisana - beautiful Tatra landscapes

  9. The Kraków Gorge and the Dragon's Den

  10. Raptawicka Gate - the narrowest place in the valley

  11. The Raptawicka and Mylna caves, the largest caves open to visitors in the valley

  12. Clearing of trails in front of Hala Ornak

  13. Smreczyński Pond - beautiful views of the highest peaks of the Western Tatras.

  14. A beautiful hall in the Tatras with a cult shelter

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