The Protected Area
The Hohe Tauern National Park is not only the largest national park in the Alps, but also a diverse natural spectacle that deserves special protection. The Hohe Tauern National Park in its entirety (1,856 km2) represents the largest protected, contiguous and transnational natural and cultural area in the Alps. In the interaction between the core zone and the surrounding outer zone, the extraordinary connection of the unique natural space with a landscape-aesthetically outstanding cultural landscape takes place.
The protected area is an outstanding testimony of the Alpine mountain formation, marked by ice ages, traces of important geological and geomorphological processes with a diverse wealth of forms. The geological peculiarities of the Tauern Window, the different rocks and soils as well as the broad climatic spectrum, from oceanic to continental, create a biological and ecological diversity.
The Hohe Tauern National Park is representative of all alpine ecosystems (from montane mountain forests to alpine grasslands) with their plant and animal communities. The diverse landscape is characterized by 266 mountain peaks over 3,000 meters (highest mountain: Großglockner 3,798 m), 551 lakes with a size between 27.03 ha and 35 m² (largest lake: Kratzenbergsee in Hollersbachtal) and about 250 glaciers (longest glacier: Pasterze in the Großglockner group). Another scenic, but also land cultural enrichment is the traditional sustainable alpine farming in the outer zone, which probably dates back to the Bronze Age.
The harsh winters with sometimes enormous avalanche danger make the Hohe Tauern accessible only for a few, very experienced mountaineers. In summer, however, the national park opens up to visitors - with all its diversity and beauty. For several hundred years, poets and painters have been inspired to great works, scientists have been motivated to explore the natural area, and mountaineers have been challenged to special summit achievements. More info about the protected area: National Park Law