The view of the universe has fascinated people since long. However, with the growing population and the spread of city agglomerations, it is becoming more and more difficult to find a place from where you can see a clear night sky free of the increasingly prevalent light pollution.
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If you have never seen a clear night sky from such place then this is what you are missing: meteors, the zodiacal light, airglow, the Milky Way, nebulas, the overhang and occasionally auroras and comets, so all objects and phenomena typical of the natural sky.
And here is our tip for where you can find such place!
In the Eastern part Slovakia, there lies the National Park of Poloniny and within its territory, there is an area called the Poloniny Dark-Sky Park which is the darkest place in Slovakia and it is known as one of the darkest places in all of Europe, characterized by a very low light pollution.
Imagine that you can see more than 2 000 stars with your naked eye! And this is an impressive number compared to a maximum of 200 stars you can see in a city.
The park is the first dark sky park in Slovakia and it became the 20th dark sky park in the world. It is listed among UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The UNESCO listing was a step towards the planned creation of a large dark skies park in the Eastern Carpathians which should be spread over three countries - Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine. The aim of the park is to keep the night sky clear and work in the field of education about lights’ smog.
Apart from the sky itself, the National Park of Poloniny offers much more.
The name of the Park derives from the Slovak term for a unique type of alpine meadows - poloniny - which spread here above the upper timberline.
The Park is the least visited park in Slovakia so it better preserves its charm of the original and minimally disturbed nature. The national park owns a few primacies: it is the largest forest complex in Slovakia; it is the easternmost point of Slovakia; its area includes the largest number of national cultural monuments among the national parks of Slovakia and it has the largest drinking water reservoir in Slovakia – Starin.
Its area is characterized by the occurrence of game, brown bear, wolf, lynx “ostrovid”, catamount as well as wisent that only lives here, in the National Park of Poloniny.
The Park immediately neighbours with other two national parks: the Polish Bieszczadski Park Narodowy and the Ukrainian Užansky nacionaľny pryrodny park.
So if eastern Slovakia isn’t on your bucket list for exploring the purest natural places in Europe and for stargazing just yet, we recommend you certainly consider that.
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