TATRA MOUNTAINS (Hungarian Tarczal) or the High Tatra, the highest group in the central Carpathians, and the central group of the whole Carpathian system. They extend between the rivers Waag, Arva, Dunajec and Poprad, and form a sharply defined and isolated group, rising ahruptly like a gigantic wall to an altitude of over 8400 ft. in the midst of a high plateau situated 2600 ft. above sea-level. The Tatra Mountains extend through the Hungarian counties of Lipt6 and Szepes, and with their northern extremities also through the Austrian crownland of Galicia, and have a length of 40 m. and a width varying between 9 and 15 m. The mean altitude is between 6000 and 7500 ft. The principal peaks are:—the Franz-Josef or Gerlsford (Hung. Gerlachfalvi-Csûcs, 8737 ft.), the highest in the Carpathian system; the Lomnitz (Lomniczi-Csûcs, 8642 ft.); the Eisthal (Jêgvolgyi-Csûks, 8630 ft.); the Tatraspitze or Hohe Visoka (8415 ft.); the Kesmark (8226 ft.); the Meerau-genspitze (Tengerszem-Csûcs, 8210 ft.); the Schlagendorf (Szalóki-Csûcs, 8050 ft.); and the Krivan (8190 ft.). The principal valleys, which lie at an altitude of 2600 to 3250 ft. above sea-level, and present some of the wildest scenery, are:—the Kohlbach Valley, the Felka Valley, the Valley of Mengsdorf, the Javorina Valley, the Kotlina Valley, in which is the stalactite cavern of Bela, and the Bielka Valley. One of the character- istics of the Tatra are the numerous mountain lakes (112 in number), called by the people " eyes of the sea." The largest of them are the Lake of Csorba, in the southern part of the group, which has an area of 50 acres; the Grosser Fischsee in the Bielka Valley; and the Wielki Staw, with an area of 85 acres, the largest of the Five Polish Lakes, which lie in the Roztoka Valley.
There are many summer resorts in the Tatra Mountains, the most frequented being Tatrafüred (German, Schmecks), three small villages situated at an altitude of 3250 ft., at the foot of the Schlagendorf peak; and the environs of the Lake of Csorba, which is called the "Pearl of the Tatra."