Apr 24, 2018

Posted by in Travel

Looking at the stars – Polish and Slovak dark-sky parks

Looking at the stars – Polish and Slovak dark-sky parks

Fresh air, light wind moving the leaves and brushing the lush grass, the sounds of the forest and the murmuring brook in the distance, and above us cloudless sky shimmering with stars. An incredible vibe and a possibility to be “closer to the stars”…

In the agglomerations, where the city lights pollute the sky, an image like this would be impossible to observe. That is why in the places where the sky is dark and the population density is low, the dark-sky parks are created – the places with the astronomical observatories where the lectures and meetings are held. The possibility to be closer to the nature, searching for the solace and breaking away from the everyday struggles harmonizes with the ideas represented by the Carpathia brand, which is trying to reinstate the awareness of the nature’s greatness.

In the distant corner of the country

The idea of creating the dark-sky parks was initiated relatively recently, when the increasing “pollution” of the sky, caused by the expansion of the broadly defined civilization was observed. Similarly to the parks protecting nature (national parks, landscape parks, sanctuaries) the dark-sky parks protect what is the most valuable – not only on Earth, but also above our heads. The highest number of the dark-sky parks is located in Canada and in the United States, while in Europe the initiative is just developing. It is worth to mention that two of the European parks are located in Poland: in the Jizera Mountains and in the Bieszczady Mountains. Our southern neighbors, the Slovaks also have such protection on their territory: in the Poloniny National Park. These territories are characterized by the exceptionally low population density, so the human impact on the environment is minimal. In terms of the light pollution, the territory of the Poloniny National Park is the darkest area in Slovakia.

“Bieszczady Starry-Sky Park” and “Poloniny Dark-Sky Park” were created a few years ago, in 2013 and 2010. The Bieszczady Dark-Sky Park is the second biggest park of such kind in Europe, together with the Slovak territory it comprises the area of 162 365,42 hectares. In the territory of Poloniny National Park the astronomical observatory with planetarium and the accommodation was created. The slightly over one kilometer didactic path “Dark Sky” is also located in the park.

Searching for the Milky Way

The possibility to use the facilities and to benefit from the knowledge of the astronomy enthusiasts are available for everyone, who, even for a moment, wants to travel to a different world – still untouched by the civilization. The “Star Guides” provide the incredible stories and the extraordinary atmosphere of the encounter with the dark sky. The most spectacular element for the most people visiting the parks is the Milky Way – visible with the naked eye, stretched across the sky and illuminating it so brightly, that the objects on the ground cast the shadows. The technologically advanced telescopes enable to observe the surface of the Moon covered with craters, the rings of Saturn, the moons of Jupiter and the shooting stars –particularly beautiful in August, during the “meteor shower”

The starry-sky parks also have a different, extremely important mission: they want to bring back the meaning of the true, primeval darkness.  The natural darkness is so important, because it determines the quality and purity of the environment we live in. If only we have a chance, let’s go to the Dark-Sky Park, where lying on the lounger, covered with the blanket and holding a hot tea in the thermos, we can listen to the stories and look at the sky, searching for the shooting stars making our wishes come true…

CARPATHIA is something more than a territorial brand – it is a way of thinking about the Carpathians. Join us to contribute to the economic quality mark of the Carpathians, which accumulates the best products, attractions and services unique for the Carpathians.

More information about the CARPATHIA brand:

The Association of the Carpathian Euroregion Poland:




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