Carpathian Mountains

Kenzie Grunst

Physical Characteristics

Location- The mountains form an arc that stretches across Central & Eastern Europe. The long chain goes through 3% of the Czech Republic, 17% of Slovakia, 10% of Poland, 4% of Hungary, 11% of Ukraine, 53% of Romania, & finally 2% of Serbia. It goes by the Danube river, and is very close distance from the Alps.

Size- This chain of mountains is roughly 1,500m (932mi) long and is 2,655m in elevation (8,711ft) making it the second largest mountain range in Europe.

Animals- (60% of the brown bears of Europe), wolves, lynxes, deer, boar are some you can find, but there are over 400 species of unique mammals that live there.

Tatras (highest part of the mountains)- this part of the mountains exceeds 2,600m, (8,530ft) in height and borders Slovakia & Poland. Chamois & marmots are the main animals that can be found here.

Vegetation-The Carpathians are home to over 1/3 of all European plant species. About 16% of the plants are under some kind of protection. Also, you can find gorges, caves, glacier lakes, waterfalls, and much more beautiful scenery.

Climate- In the winter, temperatures may get down to -10 or -15° C (5 to 14° F), but not much colder than that. They instead get approximately between 31-58 inches of precipitation (rain or snow) throughout the year.

Human Characteristics

In the 19th and 20th centuries, intensive logging was done by some people, causing there to be mostly just spruce monocultures instead of the native forests that used to be there. Also, in the 20th century, industrial expansion caused significant severe air and water pollution, damaging forests significantly.

Culture- Mountain shepherding has always been one of the most important elements of the Carpathian culture. The "mountain people" often live a traditional lifestyle. Depending on where you are from the Carpathian ridge, you are most likely Ukrainian or Polish or Romanian. Finally, there is a group called the Hustuls that have a culture of it's own and are known for arts and crafts and musical traditions, and the towns are very tidy and neat.

Language- Ukranian is the most popular language spoken in the mountains, with several dialects specific to a certain region. Where tourism is most popular, Russian can be heard when interacting with tourists, and Hungarian, where the people are dominate, could also be spoken.

Economic Activities- some activities in the mountains include hiking (pretty much anywhere- no restricted areas), ice climbing, skiing, river rafting, horseback riding, and many more. To get to the Carpathians, you can either drive, or there is an extensive rail system that can reach almost any point in the mountains you want to go.

Religion- Depending on what region, the religions range from just Christianity to Roman (or other forms) of Catholic to Orthodox Churches.

Human-made Features- The people, in order to reach the mountains, developed the railway that can reach almost anywhere in the mountains. There's also an extensive river system. People have mad ice sculptures, have blocked off areas to watch some of the animals, hiking paths, national parks, cultivated land for crops, and little resorts to stay in.

Political System- Representative Democracy or Parliamentary

Population Distribution- The southeastern Carpathians are less densely populated than the Western Carpathians. In valleys, between mountains, population can be very dense, where up higher, massive amounts of uninhabited land can be found. But, in all, about 18 million people call the Carpathians and surrounding areas home.

Natural Resources- In the Carpathians, there are springs all over, making the water supplies plentiful for hikers and such. Agriculture is very big and the land is the most plentiful natural resource. The soil is generally quite fertile and the growing season is very long due to all the precipitation they get. They also have the Danube delta for a water source. Forests are very valuable, but like almost anywhere else in the world, they are being cut down scarcely. Some fossil fuels that you can find include oil, natural gas, anthracite, brown coal, bituminous shale, and peat. Natural gas is a really big one for them. Some other minerals that can be found are iron, manganese, chrome, nickel, molybdenum, aluminum, zinc, copper, tin, titanium, vanadium, lead, gold, and silver.

Analysis

Depending on the elevation of the mountain at a certain point, the population varies, generally speaking the higher up, the less people. The people, especially from the past times have worked pretty hard to develop what it is today and all the contributions it has to the economy. It helps the surrounding towns and cities by bringing in more tourists for them, overall boosting their economy. Brasov City, Romania is located in the middle of the country, and is a good example of a tourist based city, bringing in lots of them. It is surrounded (3 sides) by the mountains and therefore making it an ideal place for a medieval town.