Pieniny National Park

Pieniny National Park

Pieniny is a part of the limestone and dolomite rock strata. It stretches from the Moravian Gate towards Marmaros in Romania in the length of about 550 km where it makes the border of inner – crystalline and outer – flysch Carpathian Mountains. Pieniny is located in two states, Slovakia and Poland. It belongs to districts Kežmarok and Stará Ľubovňa in Slovakia and to Nowy Targ in Poland. Pieniny borders in the north with Gorce Mountains and Sadeckie Beskids, in the south with Spišská Magura, in the west with Belianske Tatras and in the east with Ľubovňa Uplands. The length of Pieniny is about 35 km and its width is up to 6 km.

Complex geological basis and various resistance to weathering created a base for diversified and aesthetically appealing relief of the whole region. The area of Pieniny was formed mainly by the Dunajec River which made its way/has cut through the resistant limestone rocks in canyon-shaped gorge. The superelevation of the rocks above sea level in the Tri Koruny Massif (Three Crowns Massif 982 m) reaches 520 m.

Pieniny area is divided into three parts

Spisskie Pieniny

lies in the western part of Pieniny only at the Polish side between the Bialka River and Niedzica. A castle cliff Niedzica is a part of it.

Central Pieniny

lies at the both sides of the Dunajec River from castle cliff Czorsztyn to town Szczawnica. Central Pieniny are futher divided into Czorsztyn Pieniny, Three Crowns Massif and Pieninky.

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Small Pieniny

creates a wide-branched crest of state border above the village lesnica. The highest peak of Pieniny Mountains is a part of Small Pieniny called Vysoké skalky (High Rocks 1050 m).

Pieniny is the area significant by its picturesque scenery preserving the features of folk architecture, narrow fieldstrips interweaved with steep balks, small forests accompanied by deep forests on the mountain ridges.


It is the territory admired by many inorganics for its complex and very interesting geological structure, botanists and zoologists for the presence of unique and rare species of fauna, flora and their biotopes, landscape painters for the beautiful coexistence of man with nature that made the picturesqueness and charm of the present country. This makessuch a beautiful piece of land the place of international preservation of nature in Europe.


The zoogeographic exceptionality of the Pieniny territory is considerably determined by geomorphological segmentation. The national park territory is significantly segmented in altitude, from 429 m up to 1050 m. The terrain is strongly differentiated in many exposed slopes, broader valleys are changing with canyon gorges, deep forests with meadows and rocky and steppe hillsides, the Dunajec River together with its streams create a suitable environment for many animal species.


The flora of Pieniny attracts the attention of botanists more than 200 years. The first famous herbalist was a Camaldolese monk Father Cyprian who lived in the Red Monastery. In 1764 he compiled a herbarium and gathered and described 265 herbs from Pieniny and its surroundings. Pieniny was never affected by continual northern nor local glacier. Therefore, it provided a place for survival and a permanent development to flora. The flora of Pieniny has a unique position and exceptional scientific value.

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