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Zakopane city (Poland)

Tatrzański county, Malopolskie vojvodship

Last modified: 2011-02-12 by editor unassigned
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[Zakopane city flag] image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 Jun 2009
adopted 30 Jun 2004 See also:

Zakopane city

Zakopane - urban commune, Tatrzańskie (Tatra) County, Małopolskie Voivodship.
Zakopane is a town in southern Poland situated in Lesser Poland Province since 1999 (in 1975-98, it was part of Nowy Sącz Province). The town, a place of Góral culture and informally known as "the winter capital of Poland," lies in the southern part of the Podhale region at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, the only alpine mountain range in the Carpathian Mountains.
In October 1939 it was designated to be the capital of the ill-conceived and aborted Nazi protectorate of "Goralenvolk".
Zakopane lies in a large valley between the Tatra Mountains and Gubałówka Hill. It is the most important Polish center of mountaineering and skiing, and is visited annually by some three million tourists. The most important alpine skiing locations are Kasprowy Wierch, Nosal and Gubałówka Hill.
Zakopane has the highest elevation (800-1,000 m) of any town in Poland. The central point of the town is at the junction of Krupówki and Kościuszko Streets.
Area: 84 sq.km (32.4 sq.mi); Population: 27,486 (2006).

The earliest documents mentioning Zakopane date to the 17th century, describing a glade named Zakopisko. In 1676 it was a village of 43 inhabitants. In 1824, together with a section of the Tatra Mountains, it was sold to the Homola family.
Zakopane's further history was connected with the development of the mining and metallurgy industries in the region -- in the 19th century, it was the largest center for metallurgy in Galicia -- and later with that of tourism. It grew greatly over the 19th century, as more and more people were attracted by its salubrious climate, and soon developed from a small village into a climatic health resort of 3,000 inhabitants (1889).
During World War II, Zakopane served as an important Polish underground staging point between Poland and Hungary used by the Home Army (AK) couriers to go to London.
In March 1940, representatives of the Soviet NKVD (precursor of KGB) and German Gestapo met for one week in Zakopane's Villa Tadeusz, to coordinate the pacification of resistance in Poland.

Zakopane hosted the Nordic World Ski Championships in 1929, 1939, and 1962; the winter Universiades in 1956, 1993, and 2001; the biathlon World Championship; several ski jumping world cups; and several Nordic combined, Nordic and Alpine European Cups. It hosted the Alpine World Ski Championships in 1939, the first outside the Alps and the last official world championships prior to World War II.
Zakopane recently made unsuccessful bids to host the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2011 and 2013 Alpine World Ski Championships.

The present Arms of Zakopane were adopted in 1997 just before the visit of Pope John Paul II to the town.
It features an image of the cross on the summit of Mount Giewont (silver on gray) and two crossed gold keys of Saint Peter taken from the Coat of Arms of the Vatican.
The flag of Zakopane was adopted on June 30, 2004 (resolution # XXI/198/2004).
It is in white and blue colors stylized in the shape of Mount Giewont with the Arms placed on the summit of the mountain.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 Jun 2009


Arms

[Zakopane coat of arms] image by Chrystian Kretowicz, 19 Jun 2009
adopted 1997