City of Poprad
City of Poprad is situated in the centre of the Tatra Basin. Its area is 63 square kilometres. The city is the gateway to the High Tatras. Poprad is situated in the mild climatic area, but the local climate is influenced by the High and Low Tatra Mountains. Summer is usually short and cold here with the early snow at the end of September. The river Poprad with the small tributary - Velický potok - flows through the city. Poprad is classed as one of ten biggest Slovak cities and can be characterized as the important centre of the Spiš region. From the administration point of view the city of Poprad is formed by six parts - Poprad, Kvetnica, Matejovce, Spišská Sobota, Stráže pod Tatrami and Veľká. All together they have approximately 56,000 inhabitants. The majority of inhabitants are of the Slovak nationality. The dominant position among the ethnic minorities is held by the Romanies and the Czechs. Other minorities are represented by the Hungarian and the German minority. There are about twenty primary and high schools there. The Matej Bel University from Banská Bystrica has its subsidiary specialized on tourism here. The history of city of Poprad is the history of five small Spiš towns, independent in the past, that merged in the second half of the 20th century. The historical core of Poprad is formed by the classic Spiš square the centre of which is dominated by the Gothic Church of St. Egide dating back to the middle of the 13th century, containing the precious mural paintings and late-baroque main altar and by the Protestant Church built in the classicist style. The visitors can get acquainted with the history and the present of our city in Podtatranské Museum.The renovated building of the Old Paper Mill situated on the banks of the river Poprad represents the precious memory of the first paper mill in the Central Europe. The Tatra Gallery has its exhibition premises in the building of the Old Power Plant. Industry was damaged to a high degree during the war, but after 1945 it underwent a rapid development. Engineering industry was represented by two important enterprises - Vagónka producing railway carriages and Tatramat producing electric water tanks, electric ovens, zinc-coated dishes etc. In 1992 three enterprises were formed from it - Tatramat a.s. (production of electrical heating and boiling devices), Whirlpool Tatramat a.s. (production of home electrical appliances) and Quassar Tatramat a.s.
(production of automatic machines for warm and cold beverages). Food industry is represented by the Brewery Tatran producing beer and soft drinks. The company Baliarne obchodu Poprad is also an important enterprise producing coffee, tea, grated cocoa, nuts, rice etc. Poprad as the gateway to the High Tatras is also an important centre of tourism. Besides many guesthouses and lodgings there are also several hotels here (hotel Poprad, Satel, Gerlach). Since 1993 the International Festival of Mountain Films, popular mainly among young people, has been organized here. To its inhabitants and visitors the city offers a beautiful panorama of the High Tatras, the smallest high mountains all over the world which have good conditions for hiking and mountaineering. The Tatras take pride in their splendid peaks like Kriváň, Vysoká, Rysy, Lomnický štít. The highest one of them is Gerlachovský štít which is also accessible for tourists with a mountain guide.