Carpathians -One of the Wonders of Europe
Carpathian mountains is one of those wonders of Europe, even of the whole world, that at the same time arouses amazement, delight, anxiety and furthermore sorrow for our present and future destiny. In the XXI century the Carpathians acquired new features not only as the geographical part of Europe, but as an important factor, that in great degree influences living conditions and inner feelings of the whole European continent residents.
What on the characteristic peculiarities of the Carpathian mountains, that arouse delight and amazement lie?
First of all, they are the mountains themselves and people, who live there.
Huge arc, 1500 km long, 100-350 km begins in the North of Romania, passing the territory of Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, stretches straight to Austria. The area occupies 209256 sq. km (it’s almost five times larger than the territory of Switzerland).
Romanian part of the Carpathians is the largest -55% of the area, Slovak part – 17%, Ukrainian -11%, Polish — 10%, Hungarian – 4%, Czech – 3%. This greatest mountain region of Europe is from times immemorial the native home for about 20 million people of different nationalities, religion, social status and position. However, the uniqueness of the Carpathians is that during the whole history there was not a single sanguinary war or conflict caused by the national or religion reason.
Mentality of native inhabitants of the Carpathians is peaceful and freedom-loving to the concrete point. People, living there, respect their traditions, customs, original culture, folk art and creative work. Being separated by different languages, dialects, social-political circumstances, though joined by severe conditions of mountain life, from times immemorial they addicted to unwritten laws and rules of neighborlines.
Unspeakable beauty and wealth of the Carpathians nature is the next, that arouses astonishment and delight. Every country of the Carpathian region has its pearls, that attract tourists from all over Europe. Where else, if not in the Carpathians in any season one can have a nice and interesting rest and see primordial beauty of virgin forests, waterfalls, blooming valleys and mountain meadows. Thanks to favorable climate conditions and geographical position, nowadays in the Carpathians unique fauna and flora are preserved, that is very important for the preservation of biological diversity and maintanance of ecological balance in the whole central part of the European continent.
If to add innumerable quantity of mineral springs, with there healing effect, warm climate, clear air, one can appreciate attractive power of the Carpathians. Constant interest to them was forced by the desire of totalitarian regimes of previous times to receive here as much as possible, organizing productions with technologies harmful to ecology, ruthless filling of forests, ill-considered building of pipe-lines and so forth.
Despite this fact, for the present it is possible to preserve the high title of the Carpathians – the Heart and the Lungs of Europe – by unbelievable difficulties and efforts of the Carpathian region’s countries. However, it becomes more difficult to breathe in the Carpathian mountains. And we must understand, that time of pure admiration of the Carpathians nature beauty only ran out long ago, they need more dynamic actions, help and protection.
It was time to throw stones, to take from the Carpathians everything, we wanted. But nowadays it is time to gather stones – catastrophic spring floods, polluted water, air, territories, littered with harmful manufactures simply don’t give us the right to choose. Pluses, gifted by God, and minuses, acquired by society in the ecology of the Carpathians, are obviously and convincingly observed by example of Zakarpatska oblast. Unfortunately, the problems and difficulties the inhabitants of this region are facing, are typical for majority of administratively-territorial units of the Carpathian region’s countries.
Source: Kichkovskiy M., Gamor F., Kushnir B. Land Close to the Sky. Uzhhorod : Karpaty, 2008