The Info List - Carpathian Mountains

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The Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
or Carpathians (/kɑːrˈpeɪθiənz/) are a mountain range system forming an arc roughly 1,500 km (932 mi) long across Central and Eastern Europe, making them the second-longest mountain range in Europe
(after the Scandinavian Mountains, 1,700 km (1,056 mi)). They provide the habitat for the largest European populations of brown bears, wolves, chamois, and lynxes, with the highest concentration in Romania,[1][2][3] as well as over one third of all European plant species.[4] The Carpathians and their foothills also have many thermal and mineral waters, with Romania
having one-third of the European total.[5][6] Romania
is likewise home to the second-largest surface of virgin forests in Europe
after Russia, totaling 250,000 hectares (65%), most of them in the Carpathians,[7] with the Southern Carpathians constituting Europe's largest unfragmented forested area.[8] The Carpathians consist of a chain of mountain ranges that stretch in an arc from the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(3%) in the northwest through Slovakia (17%), Poland
(10%), Hungary
(4%) and Ukraine
(10%) Serbia
(5%) and Romania
(50%) in the southeast.[9][10][11][12] The highest range within the Carpathians is the Tatras, on the border of Slovakia
and Poland, where the highest peaks exceed 2,600 m (8,530 ft). The second-highest range is the Southern Carpathians
Southern Carpathians
in Romania, where the highest peaks exceed 2,500 m (8,202 ft). The divisions of the Carpathians are usually in three major sections:[13]

Western Carpathians—Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia
and Hungary Eastern Carpathians—southeastern Poland, eastern Slovakia, Ukraine, and Romania Southern Carpathians— Serbia
and Romania[9][10][12]

The term Outer Carpathians
Outer Carpathians
is frequently used to describe the northern rim of the Western and Eastern Carpathians. The most important cities in or near the Carpathians are: Bratislava and Košice
in Slovakia, Kraków
in Poland, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, and Braşov
in Romania, and Uzhhorod
in Ukraine.


1 Name 2 Geography

2.1 Cities and towns 2.2 Highest peaks 2.3 Highest peaks by country 2.4 Mountain passes

3 Geology 4 Divisions of the Carpathians 5 Notable people 6 Gallery 7 See also 8 References 9 Sources 10 External links

Name[edit] Further information: Carpi (people)
Carpi (people)
§ Name etymology In modern times, the range is called Karpaty in Czech, Polish, and Slovak and Карпати (Karpaty) in Ukrainian, Carpați [karˈpat͡sʲ] ( listen) in Romanian, Karpaten in German, and Kárpátok in Hungarian.[14][15] Although the toponym was recorded already by Ptolemy
in the second century CE, [16] the modern form of the name is a neologism in most languages.[14] For instance, Havasok ("Snowy Mountains") was its medieval Hungarian name; Russian chronicles referred to it as "Hungarian Mountains". [15][14] Later sources, such as Dimitrie Cantemir
Dimitrie Cantemir
and the Italian chronicler Giovanandrea Gromo, referred to the range as "Transylvania's Mountains", while the 17th-century historian Constantin Cantacuzino translated the name of the mountains in an Italian-Romanian glossary to "Rumanian Mountains". [14]

Relief map of the Carpathian Mountains

The name "Carpates" is highly associated with the old Dacian tribes called "Carpes" or "Carpi" who lived in a large area from the east, north-east of the Black Sea
Black Sea
to Transylvanian plains on the present day Romania
and Moldova. The name Carpates may ultimately be from the Proto Indo-European root *sker-/*ker-, from which comes the Albanian word karpë (rock), and the Slavic word skála (rock, cliff), perhaps via a Dacian cognate[which?] which meant mountain, rock, or rugged (cf. Germanic root *skerp-, Old Norse harfr "harrow", Gothic skarpo, Middle Low German scharf "potsherd", and Modern High German Scherbe "shard", Old English scearp and English sharp, Lithuanian kar~pas "cut, hack, notch", Latvian cìrpt "to shear, clip"). The archaic Polish word karpa meant "rugged irregularities, underwater obstacles/rocks, rugged roots, or trunks". The more common word skarpa means a sharp cliff or other vertical terrain. The name may instead come from Indo-European *kwerp "to turn", akin to Old English hweorfan "to turn, change" (English warp) and Greek καρπός karpós "wrist", perhaps referring to the way the mountain range bends or veers in an L-shape.[17] In late Roman documents, the Eastern Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains
were referred to as Montes Sarmatici (meaning Sarmatian
Mountains).[18] The Western Carpathians
Western Carpathians
were called Carpates, a name that is first recorded in Ptolemy's Geographia
(second century AD).[citation needed] In the Scandinavian Hervarar saga, which relates ancient Germanic legends about battles between Goths
and Huns, the name Karpates appears in the predictable Germanic form as Harvaða fjöllum (see Grimm's law). "Inter Alpes Huniae et Oceanum est Polonia" by Gervase of Tilbury, has described in his Otia Imperialia ("Recreation for an Emperor") in 1211.[19] Thirteenth- to fifteenth-century Hungarian documents named the mountains Thorchal, Tarczal, or less frequently Montes Nivium.[19] Geography[edit]

Maramureș Mountains in north of Romania

View from Sanok
in Poland

The northwestern Carpathians begin in Slovakia
and southern Poland. They surround Transcarpathia and Transylvania
in a large semicircle, sweeping towards the southeast, and end on the Danube near Orşova
in Romania. The total length of the Carpathians is over 1,500 km (932 mi) and the mountain chain's width varies between 12 and 500 km (7 and 311 mi). The highest altitudes of the Carpathians occur where they are widest. The system attains its greatest breadth in the Transylvanian plateau and in the southern Tatra Mountains
Tatra Mountains
group – the highest range, in which Gerlachovský štít in Slovakia
is the highest peak at 2,655 m (8,711 ft) above sea level. The Carpathians cover an area of 190,000 km2 (73,359 sq mi), and after the Alps, form the next-most extensive mountain system in Europe.

in Slovakia

Tatra Mountains
Tatra Mountains
in Zakopane, Poland

Hutsul people, living in the Carpathian mountains, circa 1872

Although commonly referred to as a mountain chain, the Carpathians do not actually form an uninterrupted chain of mountains. Rather, they consist of several orographically and geologically distinctive groups, presenting as great a structural variety as the Alps. The Carpathians, which attain an altitude over 2,500 m (8,202 ft) in only a few places, lack the bold peaks, extensive snowfields, large glaciers, high waterfalls, and numerous large lakes that are common in the Alps. It was believed that no area of the Carpathian range was covered in snow all year round and there were no glaciers, but recent research by Polish scientists discovered one permafrost and glacial area in the Tatra Mountains.[20] The Carpathians at their highest altitude are only as high as the middle region of the Alps, with which they share a common appearance, climate, and flora. The Carpathians are separated from the Alps
by the Danube. The two ranges meet at only one point: the Leitha Mountains
Leitha Mountains
at Bratislava. The river also separates them from the Balkan Mountains
Balkan Mountains
at Orşova
in Romania. The valley of the March and Oder
separates the Carpathians from the Silesian and Moravian chains, which belong to the middle wing of the great Central Mountain System of Europe. Unlike the other wings of the system, the Carpathians, which form the watershed between the northern seas and the Black Sea, are surrounded on all sides by plains, namely the Pannonian plain
Pannonian plain
to the southwest, the plain of the Lower Danube (Romania) to the south, and the Galician plain to the northeast. Cities and towns[edit] Important cities and towns in or near the Carpathians are, in approximate descending order of population:

( Vienna
Woods, Austria) Kraków
(Poland) Bratislava
(Slovakia) Cluj-Napoca
(Romania) Chernivtsi
(Ukraine) Braşov
(Romania) Košice
(Slovakia) Ivano-Frankivsk
(Ukraine) Oradea
(Romania) Bielsko-Biała
(Poland) Miskolc
(Hungary) Sibiu
(Romania) Târgu Mureș
Târgu Mureș
(Romania) Baia Mare
Baia Mare
(Romania) Uzhhorod
(Ukraine) Tarnów
(Poland) Râmnicu Vâlcea
Râmnicu Vâlcea
(Romania) Mukachevo
(Ukraine) Drohobych
(Ukraine) Piatra Neamț
Piatra Neamț
(Romania) Nowy Sącz
Nowy Sącz
(Poland) Suceava
(Romania) Vršac
(Serbia) Târgu Jiu
Târgu Jiu
(Romania) Drobeta-Turnu Severin
Drobeta-Turnu Severin
(Romania) Reșița
(Romania) Žilina
(Slovakia) Bistrița
(Romania) Banská Bystrica
Banská Bystrica
(Slovakia) Zvolen
(Slovakia) Deva (Romania) Zlín
(Czech Republic) Hunedoara
(Romania) Martin (Slovakia) Zalău
(Romania) Przemyśl
(Poland) Krosno
(Poland) Sanok
(Poland) Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia
(Romania) Sfântu Gheorghe
Sfântu Gheorghe
(Romania) Turda
(Romania) Mediaș
(Romania) Poprad
(Slovakia) Petroșani
(Romania) Miercurea Ciuc
Miercurea Ciuc
(Romania) Făgăraș
(Romania) Odorheiu Secuiesc
Odorheiu Secuiesc
(Romania) Jasło
(Poland) Cieszyn
(Polska) Nowy Targ
Nowy Targ
(Poland) Żywiec
(Poland) Zakopane
(Poland) Petrila
(Romania) Târgu Neamț
Târgu Neamț
(Romania) Câmpulung Moldovenesc
Câmpulung Moldovenesc
(Romania) Gheorgheni
(Romania) Rakhiv
(Ukraine) Vatra Dornei
Vatra Dornei
(Romania) Rabka-Zdrój
(Poland) Bor (Serbia)

Highest peaks[edit] This is an (incomplete) list of the peaks of the Carpathians having summits over 2,500 metres (8,200 ft), with their heights, geologic divisions, and locations.

Peak Geologic divisions Nation (Nations) County (Counties) Height (m)

Gerlachovský štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,655

Gerlachovská veža High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,642

Lomnický štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,633

Ľadový štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,627

Pyšný štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,623

Zadný Gerlach High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,616

Lavínový štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,606

Malý Ľadový štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,602

Kotlový štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,601

Lavínová veža High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,600

Malý Pyšný štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,591

Veľká Litvorová veža High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,581

Strapatá veža High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,565

Kežmarský štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,556

Vysoká High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,547

Moldoveanu Făgăraş Mountains Romania Argeș 2,544

Negoiu Făgăraș
Mountains Romania Argeș 2,535

Viştea Mare Făgăraş Mountains Romania Brașov 2,527

Parângu Mare Parâng Mountains Romania Alba, Gorj, Hunedoara 2,519

Lespezi Făgăraș
Mountains Romania Sibiu 2,517

Peleaga Retezat Mountains Romania Hunedoara 2,509

Păpușa Retezat Mountains Romania Hunedoara 2,508

Vânătoarea lui Buteanu Făgăraș
Mountains Romania Argeș 2,507

Omu (mountain) Bucegi Mountains Romania Prahova, Brașov, Dâmbovița 2,505

Cornul Călțunului Făgăraș
Mountains Romania Sibiu 2,505

Ocolit (Bucura) Bucegi Mountains Romania Prahova, Brașov, Dâmbovița 2,503

Rysy High Tatras Poland, Slovakia Lesser Poland
Voivodeship, Prešov Region 2,503

Dara Făgăraș
Mountains Romania Sibiu 2,500

Highest peaks by country[edit] This is a list of the highest national peaks of the Carpathians, their heights, geologic divisions, and locations.

Peak Geologic divisions Nation (Nations) County (Counties) Height (m)

Gerlachovský štít High Tatras Slovakia Prešov Region 2,655

Moldoveanu Făgăraş Mountains Romania Argeş 2,544

Rysy Fatra-Tatra Area Poland Tatra County 2,499

Hoverla Beskides
(Chornohora) Ukraine Nadvirna Raion, Rakhiv
Raion 2,061

Beljanica Beljanica Serbia Despotovac 1,339

Lysá hora Moravian-Silesian Beskids Czech Republic Moravian-Silesian Region 1,323

Kékes North Hungarian Mountains Hungary Heves 1,014

Mountain passes[edit] In the Romanian part of the main chain of the Carpathians, the most important mountain passes are (starting from the Ukrainian border): the Prislop Pass, Rodna Pass, Tihuța Pass
Tihuța Pass
(also known as Borgo Pass), Tulgheș Pass, Bicaz Canyon, Ghimeș Pass, Uz Pass and Oituz Pass, Buzău Pass, Predeal Pass
Predeal Pass
(crossed by the railway from Braşov
to Bucharest), Turnu Roșu Pass
Turnu Roșu Pass
(1,115 ft., running through the narrow gorge of the Olt River
Olt River
and crossed by the railway from Sibiu
to Bucharest), Vulcan Pass, Teregova Pass and the Iron Gate (both crossed by the railway from Timișoara
to Craiova). Geology[edit]

Vrátna dolina, Slovakia

The area now occupied by the Carpathians was once occupied by smaller ocean basins. The Carpathian mountains were formed during the Alpine orogeny in the Mesozoic[21] and Tertiary by moving the ALCAPA, Tisza and Dacia plates over subducting oceanic crust.[22] The mountains take the form of a fold and thrust belt with generally north vergence in the western segment, northeast to east vergence in the eastern portion and southeast vergence in the southern portion. The external, generally northern, portion of the orogenic belt is a Tertiary accretionary prism of a so-called Flysch
belt (the Carpathian Flysch
Belt) created by rocks scraped off the sea bottom and thrust over the North-European plate. The Carpathian accretionary wedge is made of several thin skinned nappes composed of Cretaceous to Paleogene turbidites. Thrusting of the Flysch
nappes over the Carpathian foreland caused the formation of the Carpathian foreland basin.[23] The boundary between the Flysch
belt and internal zones of the orogenic belt in the western segment of the mountain range is marked by the Pieniny Klippen Belt, a narrow complicated zone of polyphase compressional deformation, later involved in a supposed strike-slip zone.[24] Internal zones in western and eastern segments contain older Variscan
igneous massifs reworked in Mesozoic
thick and thin-skinned nappes. During the Middle Miocene
this zone was affected by intensive calc-alkaline[25] arc volcanism that developed over the subduction zone of the flysch basins. At the same time, the internal zones of the orogenic belt were affected by large extensional structure[26] of the back-arc Pannonian Basin.[27] The last volcanic activity occurred at Ciomadul
about 30,000 years ago.[25] Iron, gold and silver were found in great quantities in the Western Carpathians. After the Roman emperor Trajan's conquest of Dacia, he brought back to Rome over 165 tons of gold and 330 tons of silver.[28] Divisions of the Carpathians[edit] Main article: Divisions of the Carpathians

Map of the main divisions of the Carpathians. 1. Outer Western Carpathians 2. Inner Western Carpathians 3. Outer Eastern Carpathians 4. Inner Eastern Carpathians 5. Southern Carpathians 6. Western Romanian Carpathians 7. Transylvanian Plateau 8. Serbian Carpathians

The largest range is the Tatras in Poland
and Slovakia. A major part of the western and northeastern Outer Carpathians
Outer Carpathians
in Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia
is traditionally called the Beskids. The geological border between the Western and Eastern Carpathians
Eastern Carpathians
runs approximately along the line (south to north) between the towns of Michalovce, Bardejov, Nowy Sącz
Nowy Sącz
and Tarnów. In older systems the border runs more in the east, along the line (north to south) along the rivers San and Osława
(Poland), the town of Snina
(Slovakia) and river Tur'ia (Ukraine). Biologists, however, shift the border even further to the east. The border between the eastern and southern Carpathians is formed by the Predeal
Pass, south of Braşov
and the Prahova Valley. Ukrainians sometimes denote as "Eastern Carpathians" only the Ukrainian Carpathians (or Wooded Carpathians), meaning the part situated largely on their territory (i.e., to the north of the Prislop Pass), while Romanians sometimes denote as "Eastern (Oriental) Carpathians" only the Romanian Carpathians
Romanian Carpathians
part which lies on their territory (i.e., from the Ukrainian border or from the Prislop Pass
Prislop Pass
to the south), which they subdivide into three simplified geographical groups (north, center, south), instead of Outer and Inner Eastern Carpathians. These are:

Carpathians of Maramureș and Bukovina (Romanian: Carpații Maramureșului și ai Bucovinei) Moldavian-Transylvanian Carpathians (Romanian: Carpații Moldo-Transilvani) Curvature Carpathians
Curvature Carpathians
(Romanian: Carpații Curburii, Carpații de Curbură)

Notable people[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2017)

Ludwig Greiner
Ludwig Greiner
— an influential 19th-century lumber industry management expert who identified Gerlachovský Peak as the highest mountain in the Carpathians.


Hoverla, Eastern Carpathians, Ukraine

Lake Bucura, Southern Carpathians, Romania

High Tatra
High Tatra
Mountains, Slovakia

The Sphinx in Bucegi Mountains, Romania

Nesamovyte Lake, Eastern Carpathians, Ukraine

Gąsienicowa Valley in Tatra Mountains, Poland

View of Spiš Castle
Spiš Castle
in Slovakia, from the Branisko Pass

Synevyr, Eastern Carpathians, Ukraine

Heroes' Cross on Caraiman Peak, Romania

Morskie Oko
Morskie Oko
in the High Tatra Mountains
Tatra Mountains

Iron Gates
Iron Gates
at the Romanian-Serbian border

See also[edit]

Carpathians topics Mountain ranges of the Carpathians Geology of the Carpathians Tourism in Poland Tourism in Serbia Tourism in Romania Tourism in Slovakia Tourism in Ukraine Sudetes


^ Peter Christoph Sürth. "Braunbären (Ursus arctos) in Europa". Archived from the original on 15 August 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2011.  ^ Peter Christoph Sürth. "Wolf (Canis lupus) in Europa". Archived from the original on 15 August 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2011.  ^ Peter Christoph Sürth. "Eurasischer Luchs ( Lynx
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Carpathian Mountains
in Serbia, Institute for Spatial Planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Belgrade (2008), Retrieved: 15 November 2016 ^ [3] Bulletin of the Natural History Museum, pg. 54, Valuing the geological heritage of Serbia
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Issues 53 Proceedings of XVII. Congress of Carpathian-Balkan Geological Association Bratislava, 1–4 September 2002 ^ Mantovani, E., Viti, M., Babbucci, D., Tamburelli, C., Albarello, D., 2006, Geodynamic connection between the indentation of Arabia and the Neogene tectonics of the central–eastern Mediterranean region. GSA Special
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Pieniny Klippen Belt
After the Pioneering Works of D. Andrusov. Geologica Carpathica, 48, 4, pp. 209-220 ^ a b Pácskay, Z., Lexa, J., Szákacs, A., 2006, Geochronology of Neogene magmatism in the Carpathian arc and intra-Carpathian area. Geologica Carpathica, 57, 6, pp. 511 - 530 ^ Dolton, G.L., 2006, Pannonian Basin
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Blazovich, László (1994). "Kárpátok [Carpathians]". In Kristó, Gyula; Engel, Pál; Makk, Ferenc. Korai magyar történeti lexikon (9-14. század) [Encyclopedia of the Early Hungarian History (9th-14th centuries)] (in Hungarian). Akadémiai Kiadó. p. 332. ISBN 963-05-6722-9.  Buza, Mircea (2011). "On the origins and historical evolution of toponymy on the territory of Romania" (PDF). Revue Roumaine de Géographie / Romanian Journal of Geography. Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy. 55 (1): 23–36. ISSN 1220-5311. Retrieved 27 June 2015.  Moldovanu, Dragoș (2010). "Toponimie de origine Romană în Transilvania și în sud-vestul Moldovei" (PDF). Anuar de Lingvistică şi Istorie Literară (in Romanian). Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy. XLIX-L: 17–95. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Carpathian Mountains.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carpathian Mountains.

has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Carpathian Mountains.

Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 — Carpathian Mountains, by Volodymyr Kubijovyč (1984). Carpathianconvention.org: The Framework Convention for the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians Orographic map highlighting Carpathian mountains Alpinet.org: Romanian mountain guide Carpati.org: Romanian mountain guide Pgi.gov.pl: Oil and Gas Fields in the Carpathians Video: Beautiful mountains Carpathians, Ukraine

v t e

Divisions, Groups, and Ranges of the Carpathian Mountains

Western Carpathians

Inner Western

Slovak Ore Mountains Fatra-Tatra Area Slovak Central Mountains Lučenec- Košice
Depression Mátra-Slanec Area
Mátra-Slanec Area
and North Hungarian Mountains

Outer Western

South-Moravian Carpathians Central Moravian Carpathians Slovak-Moravian Carpathians West-Beskidian Piedmont Western Beskids Central Beskids Eastern Beskids Podhale-Magura Area

Eastern Carpathians

Inner Eastern

Vihorlat-Gutin Area Bistrița
Mountains Căliman-Harghita Mountains Giurgeu-Brașov Depression

Outer Eastern

Central Beskidian Piedmont Low Beskids Eastern Beskids
and the Ukrainian Carpathians Moldavian-Muntenian Carpathians

Southern Carpathians

Bucegi Mountains Făgăraș
Mountains group Parâng Mountains
Parâng Mountains
group Retezat-Godeanu Mountains group

Western Romanian Carpathians

Apuseni Mountains Poiana Ruscă Mountains Banat Mountains

Serbian Carpathians

Homolje mountains Kučaj mountains Devica Rtanj Deli Jovan

Transylvanian Plateau
Transylvanian Plateau

Outer Carpathian depressions

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 234124003 GND: 4029760-3 BNF: