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Beskidy Mountains are part of the Carpathians , ranging from the Czech Republic along the Polish border with Slovakia up to the Ukraine. The highest mountain in Beskidy is Babia Góra at 1 725 m with the National Park in its surroundings. The Beskids are the youngest mountains in Poland.

The inhabitants of the mountains have their own folklore. In the vast Beskidy Region they are quite different in various areas as well. Traditional dresses are unique to Cieszyn or Żywiec. In these places tourists can visit many folk centres focusing on art like the Istebna centre or embroidery in Koniaków.

The highest mountain of Beskidy Babia Góra lies in Beskid Żywiecki. Other mountain peaks of the chain are e.g. Mędralowa with 1 169 m or Mogielica with its 1 170 m.

Żywieckie Museum presents ethnographic exhibitions including folk dresses of the region. It is in operation since 1927. The folk dresses of Żywiec region are abundant in ornament embroidery with main colours of white and red.

In Żywiec there are also historical buildings to see, like the Gothic churches and the Komorowski family castle from 1500s with a park and pavillion.

In the Babiogórski National Park the climatic features are moderately warm and cold in the top parts. In the lower parts there are trees such as beech and fir, whereas upper parts have the Carpathian spruce forests. The area is covered with many different landscape forms and an abundance of nature.

The Babia Góra National Park was established in 1954. Most of the land was subject to strict legal protection. The Park features the model layout of plant layers, unique plant sites of cerastium alpinum and tozzia alpina. These are only some of the reasons for visiting the National Park.

By the main road goind from eastern parts of Beskidy to its western parts, visitors can admire the Dunajec river. In 1990s its flow was fixed with a dam in Niedzica , thus changing the area of the place. The main dam is 400 meter long and 50 meter high and stores electricity. The dams also created the Lake Czorsztyn (Jezioro Czorsztyńskie) . In its surroundings there are two castles, beautifully set amongst mountains and forests, in front of the lakes and Dunajec in the background. Czorsztyn is the place and castle name built on a rock, from which its etymology comes from. Above water level, the castle gives an amazing view for guests. Czorsztyn lies on the Dunajec River bank, making it a longlasting stronghold since medieval times. Once it used to be a border line between Poland and Hungary. The castle ruins are not the only attraction in the spot, a shepherd's hut is also available to sightsee.

Main purpose of the Jezioro Czorsztyńskie creation was to prevent floods in the Dunajec river valley. It is also a great attraction for a growing number of tourists in the area, as it helps to capture the amazing view of the two outstanding castles from afar. The lake is located close to such popular spots as Pieniny National Park and the tourist village of Kluszkowce.

Beskidy are an exquisite place worth visiting if you plan to be in the south of Poland. Tourists find here historic buildings to see and beautiful nature to admire. Babiogórski National Park itself is visited every year by ca. 100 000 tourists.

Author: Magdalena Gniot

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