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Main Attractions in Zakopane

Being a premier ski destination, its follows naturally that winter sports is the main draw to this beautiful hamlet. With over 50 ski lifts, you will have a number of slopes, ranging from easy to difficult at your disposal. Climbing and ice- skating are also popular. In summertime the town turns into a haven for hikers. The Tatras, the hills of Podhale as well as the town itself are ideal places for walks or longer or shorter hikes. Once can hike, bike, or climb the mountains - all options are available.

The more adventurous sort can even join the increasing number of para-gliders, which take off regularly from the Tatra Peaks. Its probably the most daring way to view the mountains, though the view from up above is to die for.

Once you've had your fill of the ski-slopes, you can turn your attention to more cultural activities. Zakopane, which lay in the comparatively more liberal Austrain section, was somewhat of a Mecca for Polish thinkers and artistes, who were being repressed in other parts of the country in the 19th century. It is here that the Zakopane Style, the movement launched by Stanislaw Witkiewicz, that aimed to create a patriotic and beautiful national style of architecture, based on folk traditions, was born.

You can revel in the charm of this style in the quieter areas of the town like Sienkiewicz and streets. You can also visit the delightful Museum of Zakopane Style, Villa Koliba, which was Witkiewicz's first expression of the style. In the same building you will also find a magnificent collection of paintings by Witkacy, the son of Witkiewicz, who went on to surpass his father as an artist. On the same street you will find the old Church of St. Clement, Zakopane's first parish, and behind it the extraordinary Old Graveyard.

If you wish to see wacky Polish fantasy at its best, then do visit the Museum of Wladyslaw Hasior, which is slight grotesque, slightly enchanting and definitely good of a few laughs. Not to be forgotten is the famous Witkacy Theatre, amongst the most cherished theaters in all of Poland.


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