Bieszczady Mountains

Last updated
Bieszczady, Бещади
Bieszczady Mountains
Pislia grozi.jpg
Mount Pikui, Ukraine. The highest mountain in Bieszczady Mountains
Highest point
Peak Pikui
Elevation 1,405 m (4,610 ft)
Vnejsi Vychodni Karpaty, c1.svg
Location of Bieszczady Mountains, marked in red color and labeled as C1
Countries Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine
Regions/Voivodeships Prešov and Subcarpathian
Range coordinates 49°16′59″N22°28′59″E / 49.283°N 22.483°E / 49.283; 22.483 Coordinates: 49°16′59″N22°28′59″E / 49.283°N 22.483°E / 49.283; 22.483
Parent range Eastern Beskids
Borders on Lower Beskids and Pogórze Bukowskie

Bieszczady Mountains [bʲɛˈʂt͡ʂadɨ] (Polish : Bieszczady; Slovak : Beščady; Ukrainian : Бещади; Hungarian : Besszádok) is a mountain range that runs from the extreme south-east of Poland and north-east of Slovakia through to western Ukraine. It forms the western part of the Eastern Beskids (Polish : Beskidy Wschodnie; Ukrainian : Східні Бескиди), and is more generally part of the Outer Eastern Carpathians. The mountain range is situated between the Łupków Pass (640 m) and the Vyshkovskyi Pass (933 m). The highest peak of Bieszczady is Mt Pikui (1405 m) in Ukraine. The highest peak of the Polish part is Tarnica (1346 m).[ citation needed ]



The term Bieszczady was introduced into English from Polish. In Poland, the term usually refers (in narrower sense) to the Polish part of the Bieszczady region, while in wider sense it can also refer to the entire region. In Slovakia, the Bieszczady region is known as Beščady (Slovak : Beščady), while Slovak part of the region is called Bukovec Mountains (Slovak : Bukovské vrchy). In Ukraine, the Bieszczady region is also known as Beščady (Ukrainian : Бещади), while various parts of the region often have two or more name variants (unstable terminology), usually containing the word Beščady in combination with some other terms. Historically, the terms Bieszczady or Beščady (Бещади) have been used for hundreds of years to describe the mountains separating from the old Kingdom of Hungary into Poland. In 1269, they were known by the Latin name "Beschad Alpes Poloniae" (translated as: Bieszczady Mountains of Poland). [1]

The term Bieszczady is thought to have stemmed from the terms Bies and Czad (possibly from Chort ) along with the Polish plural y stem giving Bies + czady + y. Some folk stories connect the origin of the mountains to the demonic activity of the Biesy and Czady, while other folk stories tell of the mountains being populated with hordes of Biesy and Czady, hence the name. [2] Another less probable possibility is the term being related to Middle Low German beshêt, beskēt, meaning watershed. [3]


Since there exist many variants of divisions of the mountain ranges and names for the Eastern Beskids (and Ukrainian Carpathians in general), several divisions are given in the following:

Division 1:

Bieszczady. A panoramic view from Połonina Wetlińska in the direction of Połonina Caryńska and Tarnica peaks, and Ustrzyki Górne (town).

Division 2:

Division 3: In an old Ukrainian division, what is defined here as the Bieszczady in a wider sense corresponds to the western part of the Mid-Carpathian Depression and to the westernmost part of the Polonynian Beskids.[ citation needed ]


Settled in prehistoric times, the south-eastern Poland region that is now Bieszczady was overrun in pre-Roman times by various tribes, including the Celts, Goths and Vandals (Przeworsk culture and Puchov culture). After the fall of the Roman Empire, of which most of south-eastern Poland was part (all parts below the San),[ citation needed ] Hungarians and West Slavs invaded the area.

The region subsequently became part of the Great Moravian state. Upon the invasion of the Hungarian tribes into the heart of the Great Moravian Empire around 899, the Lendians of the area declared their allegiance to the Hungarians. The region then became a site of contention between Poland, Kievan Rus and Hungary starting in at least the 9th century. This area was mentioned for the first time in 981, when Volodymyr the Great of Kievan Rus took the area over on the way into Poland. In 1018 it returned to Poland, 1031 back to Rus, in 1340 Casimir III of Poland recovered it.

Bieszczady was one of the strategically important areas of the Carpathian mountains bitterly contested in battles on the Eastern Front of World War I during the winter of 1914/1915. [4]

Up until 1947, 84% of the population of the Polish part of the Bieszczadzkie Mountains was Boyko. The killing of the Polish General Karol Świerczewski in Jabłonki by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in 1947 was the direct cause of the replacement of the Boykos, the so-called Operation Vistula. The area was mostly uninhabited afterward. In 2002, then president Aleksander Kwaśniewski expressed regret for this operation.

In 1991, the UNESCO East Carpathian Biosphere Reserve was created that encapsulates a large part of the area and continues into Slovakia and Ukraine. It comprises the Bieszczady National Park (Poland), Poloniny National Park (Slovakia) and the Uzhansky National Nature Park (Ukraine). Animals living in this reserve include, among others, black storks, brown bears, wolves and bison.

Hiking trails


The mountain was used as a round in the 2014 International Hill Climb Cup.



  1. Kazimierz Zarzycki, Zbigniew Głowaciński (1986): Bieszczady (p. 7)
  2. Andrzej Potocki. Księga legend i opowieści bieszczadzkich. Libra. 2008 p. 17-20.
  3. Zbigniew Gołąb. The Origins of the Slavs: A Linguist's View. Slavica Publishers, Inc., 1992 p. 342. "The Germanic etymology of Bieszczad // Beskid was proposed by prof. Jan Michał Rozwadowski (1914:162, etc). He derives the variant beščad from Germc. biskaid, wchich is represented by MLG besche (beskêt) Trennung and by Scandinavian bêsked, borrowed from [...]"
  4. "The Pursuit and Battles at Sanok and Rzeszów (May 6).—After his severe defeat, Radko Dimitriev's plan was to hold the Łupków Pass with his left wing, and, supported upon this, to bring the pursuit to a stand on the line Nowotaniec Besko-right bank of the Wisłok, where there were positions favoured by the lay of the ground, and then, between the Vistula and the Wisłok, on the line Wielopole-Rzeszów Mielec. Here he proposed to reconstitute his units, which had fallen into great disorder, and to strengthen them by bringing up reserves. Troops were sent to him from other fronts, and by the 8th he could again dispose of 18 inf. divs., 5 cav. divs. and 5 Reichswehr bdes. The orders were that the offensive was to be continued with all possible vigour. Mackensen's army was to push forward over the stretch of the Wisłok between Besko and Frysztak on Mrzygłód and Tyczyn, and the Archduke Joseph Ferdinand on Rzeszów, while Boroevic was to roll up Brusilov's VIII. Russian Army in the direction of Sanok. Bohm's II. Austrian Army was to join up corps by corps from the left wing in proportion to the progress of the attack."Joly, Ernst (1922). "Dunajec-San, Battles of the"  . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . 30 (12th ed.). London & New York: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company. p. 864.


Related Research Articles

Sanok Place in Subcarpathian Voivodeship, Poland

Sanok is a town in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship of south-eastern Poland with 38,397 inhabitants, as of June 2016. Located on the San River and around 52 km south of Przemyśl, Sanok lies directly by the Carpathian Mountains.


Wisłok is a river in south-eastern Poland, a tributary of the San River, with a length of 220 kilometres and a basin area of 3,538 km2. The root of the name Vis-lok is Indo-European or pre-Indo-European.


The Beskids or Beskid Mountains are a series of mountain ranges in the Carpathians, stretching from the Czech Republic in the west along the border of Poland with Slovakia up to Ukraine in the east.

Divisions of the Carpathians

Divisions of the Carpathians are a categorization of the Carpathian mountains system.


Lemkivshchyna or Lemkovyna is a region in Europe that is traditionally inhabited by the Lemko people. While the Lemko are a distinct ethnic group, they consider themselves to be part of the broader Rusyn and/or Ukrainian communities. Lemkovyna mostly stretches along the border between Poland and Slovakia covering some western territories of Ukraine.

Łupków Pass

Łupków Pass or Lupkov Pass is a significant mountain pass in the Carpathian Mountains on the border between Poland and Slovakia, and close to the western border of Ukraine. Its highest point rises 640 m above sea level. It is located just south of the village Łupków in Poland and east of Medzilaborce in Slovakia. Underneath the pass runs a railway tunnel 642 m long, straddling the border between Poland and Slovakia.

Eastern section of the Western Beskids

Eastern section of the Western Beskids are a set of mountain ranges spanning the southern Polish and northern Slovak border. They constitute an eastern section of the Western Beskids, within the Outer Western Carpathians.

Poloniny National Park

Poloniny National Park is a national park in northeastern Slovakia at the Polish and Ukrainian borders, in the Bukovské vrchy mountain range, which belongs to the Eastern Carpathians. It was created on 1 October 1997 with a protected area of 298.05 km2 (115.08 sq mi) and a buffer zone of 109.73 km2 (42.37 sq mi). Selected areas of the park are included into Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bukovec Mountains

The Bukovec Mountains is a flysch mountain range in north-eastern Slovakia, part of the Eastern Beskids of the Outer Eastern Carpathians.

Pogórze Bukowskie

The Pogórze Bukowskie is one of the Beskids mountain ranges of the Outer Eastern Carpathians in southeastern Poland, part of the Central Beskidian Piedmont. Is a hilly region in Poland, between Beskid Niski and Bieszczady near the river Osława and San. Its name comes from the west Slavic dialect word buk, meaning "beech".


The Pielnica is a river in South-Eastern Poland. Its name comes from the ancient German dialect word piella, the river, a tributary of the Wislok on the right bank. It begins in the Bieszczady mountains and flows through western Pogórze Bukowskie. The Pielnica arises in the Carpathian Mountains near the peak Skibce, at an elevation of 776 metres, near on the Polish-Slovakian border. The river ultimately flows into the Wisłok at Besko, north of Sanok. Several streams flow into the Pielnica there from nearby hills, namely, on the west from Wysoka Góra, and on the east from Bukowica.

Bukowica Range

Bukowica Range part of the Pogórze Bukowskie and Low Beskids in southern Poland. The Bukowica created by the long mountain massif, situated in the eastern part of the Beskid Niski between the valleys of the Wisłok and Osławica rivers. The Bukowica Range separating the west Low Beskids from the east Pogórze Bukowskie.

Low Beskids

The Low Beskids or Central Beskids are a mountain range in southeastern Poland and northeastern Slovakia. They constitute a middle (central) section of the Beskids, within the Outer Eastern Carpathians.

Ukrainian Carpathians

The Ukrainian Carpathians are a section of the Eastern Carpathians, within the borders of modern Ukraine. They are located in the southwestern corner of Western Ukraine, within administrative territories of four Ukrainian regions (oblasts), covering northeastern part of Zakarpattia Oblast, southwestern part of Lviv Oblast, southern half of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast and western half of Chernivtsi Oblast.

Skole Beskids

The Skole Beskids is a mountain range in western Ukraine, belonging to the set of ranges called the Eastern Beskids, within the Outer Eastern Carpathians.

Sanok-Turka Mountains

The Sanok-Turka Mountains are a mountain range in the Eastern Beskids, within the Outer Eastern Carpathians. They are located in southern border section between Poland and Ukraine.

Polonyna (montane meadow)

Polonyna is a specific, regionally-focused geographic term, that is used as a designation for areas of montane meadows in the upper subalpine or alpine zones of the Carpathian Mountains. The term polonyna was introduced to English from Slavic languages, in order to designate various mountainous regions, mainly in the Eastern Carpathians, and also in the Western Carpathians. The polonyna type areas of montane meadows are very frequent in the Outer Eastern Carpathians, particularly in the Eastern Beskids. Throughout history, they were used for pasture, and in modern times they have become a popular destination for various forms of recreational tourism.

Eastern Beskids

The Eastern Beskids or Eastern Beskyds are a geological group of mountain ranges of the Beskids, within the Outer Eastern Carpathians. As a continuation of the Central Beskids, this mountain range includes the far southeastern corer of Poland, the far eastern corner of Slovakia, and stretches southward through western parts of Ukraine, up to the border of Romania.

Wooded Carpathians

The term Wooded Carpathians refers to a group of mountain ranges that constitute the central section of Eastern Carpathians, covering both inner and outer regions of that section. Geographical scope of the term varies, since it is often used in broader or narrower sense, according to different classifications and terminological conventions. It is traditionally and most commonly applied to a wider group of mountain ranges that encompasses all mountains within central section of Outer Eastern Carpathians, including Eastern Beskids with Polonynian Beskids, and also all mountains within northern section of Inner Eastern Carpathians, including Vihorlat-Gutin Area and Maramureș-Rodna Area. In that sense, Wooded Carpathians are stretching from the southeastern corner of Poland and far eastern corner of Slovakia, through western parts of Ukraine, encompassing all of the Ukrainian Carpathians, and continuing into the northern region of Romania.

Polonynian Beskids

Polonynian Beskids or Polonyne Beskids is a geological group of mountain ranges of the Eastern Beskids, within the Outer Eastern Carpathians. It is one of two parallel mountain ridges of the Eastern Beskids, situated in western parts of modern Ukraine. They are stretching parallel to the Wooded Beskids on the northeast, and Vihorlat-Gutin Area to the southwest.