The Eye of the Sea – – Morskie Oko

Morskie OkoA trip to Zakopane Poland would not be complete without a visit to Morskie Oko.  This breathtaking natural wonder is located high in the Tatras Mountains.

It is the largest mountain-lake in the High Tatras at an altitude of 1,395 meters.  It is on the Polish side of the Tatras right under the Rysy peak, which is the highest peak in the Polish Tatras.  The peaks surrounding the lake rise over 1,000 meters above the lake and, from the lake, you have excellent views of the Nizny, Vysny Zabi and the Mengusovky peaks.  The lake was also known as Rybie Jezioro or “fish lake” because of its natural population of fish.  The name Morskie Oko or “Eye of the Sea” comes from a legend that states the lake was connected to the sea by an underground passage.

The lake is mentioned as far back as 1575 in some documents and in 1637 Polish King Władysław IV allowed Wladyslaw Nowobilski to use the pastures that adjoin the lake.  However, in 1824, the lake was transferred over to private property during the Partitions of Poland when the land was purchased from the Austrian authorities.  The ownership of the lake was once again in dispute toward the end of the 19th century.  The dispute was settled by the Court of Conciliation in Graz when it ruled in favor of the Polish side.  The first shelter was built near the lake in 1836 but was destroyed by fire 30 years later.  A second shelter was construed but it also was destroyed.  Finally, a road from Zakopane to the lake was completed in 1902, named the Oswald Balzer Road, which helped facilitate traffic to the lake.  After the return of sovereignty to Poland, the lake has been owned by the Polish state and is an extremely popular tourist destination because of its exquisite beauty and breathtaking views of the Polish Tatras.  Today, more than 50,000 tourists visit the lake each season to enjoy the majesty of this natural wonder.

If you are planning a vacation to Poland to see the Polish Tatras and the Morskie Oko, let us help you.  For assistance booking your Zakopane accommodation, visit our Zakopane Hotels page for a listing of the best hotels in Zakopane.  Browse through the listing to find great vacation deals and travel discounts.  Stay close to the exciting Zakopane nightlife venues and your favorite Zakopane attractions.

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