Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 24, Issue 13, pp 3269–3283 | Cite as

Mountain landscape archetypes of the Western Carpathians (Slovakia)

  • J. Hreško
  • F. Petrovič
  • R. Mišovičová
Original paper


The concept of landscape archetypes arises from the idea of complex spatial structures allocation in the hierarchical and logical sequence, from the higher level to the lowest one (Hreško et al. Ekológia (Bratislava) 29:158–173, 2010). The landscape units being allocated on the basis of horizontal references of the secondary landscape structure are considered to be the output of landscape archetypes regionalization. The Western Carpathians represent the highest part of the Carpathian arc with highland and alpine type of landscape, which is characterized by scenically arranged mountain ridges separated by the intermountain basins and fluvial-modeled valleys. Formation of mountain areas archetypes was primarily determined by properties of relief and geological structure. Landscape archetype reflects the country way of adaptation to the impacts and changes caused by human activity, in our conditions from the Upper Palaeolithic to the present. Gradual settlement of the mountain arc of the Carpathians in the area of Slovakia was significantly influenced by the German and the Wallachian colonization. During the research of the development of the secondary landscape structure of mountain areas of Slovakia, we identified specific textures with various patterns of landscape mosaic with a certain degree of orderliness or regularity of landscape elements at different hierarchical levels. We consider such physiognomically distinguishable parts of the landscape to be “landscape archetypes”. In this paper we want to clarify and interpret the development of some representative archetypes of the mountain area of the Western Carpathians via selected examples, and to point out one of the new ways of the landscape research.


Landscape archetype Landscape diversity Historical landscape structure Mountain regions 



This contribution was created with the support of APVV-0669-11 project “Atlas of Landscape Archetypes in Slovakia” and KEGA 025UKF-4/2015.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Natural ScienceConstantine the Philosopher University in NitraNitraSlovakia

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