morskie oko poland

Panoramic view of Morskie Oko -amerlan - Own work
Morskie Oko Pond in Tatra Mountains, Poland 
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Public Domain
Panoramic view of Morskie Oko -amerlan – Own work
Morskie Oko Pond in Tatra Mountains, Poland
Permission details
WikipediaView more
Public Domain

Morskie Oko, or Eye of the Sea in English, is the largest and fourth-deepest lake in the Tatra Mountains, in southern Poland. It is located deep within the Tatra National Park in the Rybi Potok (the Fish Brook) Valley, of the High Tatras mountain range at the base of the Mięguszowiecki Summits, in Lesser Poland Voivodeship.

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Lake description

The peaks that surround the lake rise about 1,000 meters above its surface; one of them is Rysy (2,499 meters), the highest peak in the Polish Tatras. Besides Mięguszowiecki Summits (including Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki, 2,438 meters), farther away and slightly to the left, is the distinctive, slender Mnich (“Monk,” 2,068 meters). Many Swiss Pines also grow around the lake.

In the past, Morskie Oko was called “Rybie Jezioro” (“Fish Lake”) due to its natural stock of fish, which are uncommon in Tatra lakes and ponds. In the clear depths of the water, one can easily notice trout – so-called “famine” trout – that live in the lake. The name “Morskie Oko” (“Sea Eye”, “Eye of the Sea”) is derived from an old legend, according to which the lake was connected to the sea via an underground passage.

The hut of the Polish Tourism and Local Lore Society (PTTK) stands on the moraine (In the 19th century the Argentine explorer Francisco Perito Moreno suggested that many Patagonian lakes draining to the Pacific were in fact part of the Atlantic basin but had been moraine dammed during the quaternary glaciations changing their outlets to the west. He argued that as originally belonging to the Atlantic basin these lakes should be awarded to Argentina. Most of the lakes situated in the Himalaya of Nepal and Bhutan are also of the moraine dammed type. That is why the areas below such lakes have high risk of flooding.) that closes the lake from the north. The hut is situated 1,405 meters above sea level and belongs to the oldest Tatra chalets. The hut is named after Stanisław Staszic, who explored the lake in 1805. Both buildings have been granted historical status.

Morskie Oko is one of the most popular destinations in the Tatras, often receiving over 50,000 visitors during the vacation season. In the advent of its popularity, visitors have been forbidden from swimming in the lake or feeding the trout.


The earliest documents in which Morskie Oko is mentioned date back to 1575. In 1824, during Partitions of Poland, Morskie Oko became private property, for the time being, when Zakopane estate, including the Dolina Rybiego Potoku, were purchased from the Austrian authorities by Emanuel Homolacs. At the end of the nineteenth century, a boundary dispute arose between Galicia and Hungary over property rights to the lake and adjoining area (the so-called “Morskie Oko dispute”). A powerful backer of the Polish cause was Count Wladyslaw Zamoyski. The decision is credited to Oswald Balzer, who represented the Galician government.

Morskie Oko was “rediscovered” for tourism by Dr. Tytus Chałubiński in the mid-nineteenth century; Since 1933 following the return of sovereignty, the lake has been owned by the Polish state.

The charm of Morskie Oko has provided inspiration to many artists, including painters (Walery Eljasz-Radzikowski, Leon Wyczółkowski, Stanisław Gałek), poets (Wincenty Pol, Adam Asnyk, Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer, Franciszek Nowicki, Jan Kasprowicz), and composers (Zygmunt Noskowski). The lake was one of the filming locations for ‘The Formula’, a short film directed by Emmanuel Adjei, starring musician Sevdaliza in 2015. Summary of (Morskie Oko – Wikipedia)

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