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Tatras

THIS POSTCARD from 1938 shows a cottage called Zverovka in the Západné Tatry (Western Tatras), which is one of several mountain ranges in the country that bears the name 'Tatras'.

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THIS POSTCARD from 1938 shows a cottage called Zverovka in the Západné Tatry (Western Tatras), which is one of several mountain ranges in the country that bears the name 'Tatras'.

Although the word "Tatry" is commonly used in Slovakia, its origin, or even meaning, remains unclear.

The latest theory on the word, developed by professor Rudolf Krajčovič, suggests it dates back to the period when Barbarian tribes roamed what is now Slovakia and Roman armies were trying to conquer them. For the Romans, the land spreading above the Danube was unknown and so they sent cartographers and geographers along with their armies to mark the roads with milestones. According to this theory, Romans used the name "Triter" for the Slovak alpine region, which, in Latin, meant something like 'the road scuffed in rocks.' Later, the name "Tatry" derived from this word.


By Branislav Chovan

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