Museum of TANAP (Tatra National Park)

Vysoké Tatry

Category: Cultural and educational institutions

Architect: Pavol Merjavý
Works of art: Juraj Bartusz, Arpád Račko, Jozef Kornúcik
Location: Tatranská Lomnica 64, Vysoké Tatry
Competition: 1959
Design: 1963–1965
Built in years: 1965–1971

Súčasťou expozičnej haly je vložená galéria ponúkajúca zväčšenie výstavnej plochy

As one of the first modern museums built in Slovakia, the Museum of TANAP has the priority mission to provide a wide range of information on the High Tatra fauna and flora, present nature protection activities in the Tatra National Park, animate and inanimate nature, and the activities of man in this territory. The building is designed in late modern style, consisting of a dominating shape of mass with a triangle cross-section and two horizontally composed masses. The operational layout is simple and user-friendly. The entrance to the building is emphasised with entrance stairs, an oversailing portal with a travertine edge and a roof cornice with dominating expression. [1,3]


The triangle mass of the museum houses a multi-level, generously designed exposition hall with an integrated gallery. The horizontal parts of the building contain the entrance hall with a reception, the lecture hall offering a capacity of 120 visitors and the offices section. The museum exhibition is designed as one spatial unit with fixed and variable movable display cases separating the individual theme sections – natural sciences, nature protection, history, and ethnography. The interior of the exposition hall reflects the tectonic characteristics of the mass, whose typical features are saddle roof, triangular cross-section and massive, visible ferroconcrete beams. The structured stone facing of the front wall, continuous wooden ceiling panelling and omnipresent triangular motives symbolising the Tatra peaks create special visual and user-attractive interior sceneries. The selected morphology, applied principles of art abstraction, geometric stylization and use of natural materials in the form of river pebble stones, granite, travertine and solid wood clearly denote the relationship of architecture and the interiors of the building with the surrounding nature of the Tatras. 


Both the exterior and the interior of the building receive a finishing touch by several works of art, seen as a symbiotic part of the architecture. The most significant ones include the metal sculpture by Juraj Bartusz positioned on the facade of the exposition hall and the works of fine arts in the interior by Arpád Račko and Jozef Kornúcik. [3] 

In the last 30 years, the museum building has undergone a gradual refurbishing that was executed in stages. Martina Froncová commented on the process of the ongoing interior modifications as follows: “In its essence, the Museum of TANAP is preserved in the original sense of the design. The first signs of refurbishing date back to the end of the 20th century, in the lecture hall in 1991. The refurbishing took place due to necessary replacement of the technology equipment. The projecting and sound systems were replaced, and a digitally controlled curtain was added. The addition of the wooden ceiling has represented a significant change of the interior. Later, in 2003–2004, the lecture hall was again refurbished due to digitalisation. In these years, the floor and the seating were restored. In 2008, the hall received an upgrade in the form of new technology, but there were no more interventions in the interior. The entrance spaces have not been altered and restored until 1992. Information cells were installed in the entrance hall and later modified. Also, the original metal exhibition system was replaced with a wooden one. The exposition section was restored in 2003, with the most noticeable change being the all-full glazing of the showcases. However, the design of display cases and other elements of the exposition remained in the original form, as did the sitting banks. The original shapes of the lights in the entire interior have been preserved and fitted with LED light bulbs that are friendly to the mounts. In an attempt to refurbish the museum, both architectural and design elements, materials and the entire original design have been carefully considered. As can be seen in the pictures, refurbishing interventions are performed with great delicacy.” [5]

Used sources
  1. Múzeum TANAP-u. [The Museum of TANAP.] Website: Register of Modern Architecture – Department of Architecture, Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Available at:
  2. Múzeum TANAP-u v Tatranskej Lomnici. [The Museum of TANAP in Tatranská Lomnica.] Website of JAGA. Available at:
  3. Budovu Múzea TANAP-u v Tatranskej Lomnici otvorili pred 45 rokmi. [The Building of the Museum of TANAP in Tatranská Lomnica was opened 45 years ago.] Website: northeast of Slovakia. Available at:
  4. Andrášiová, Katarína: Neskorá moderna – reflexia vybraných diel: Múzeum TANAP-u. [The Late Modern Style – Reflection on Selected Works: The Museum of TANAP.] Website of Archinfo. Available at:
  5. Froncová, Martina: Múzeum TANAPu. [The Museum of TANAP.] Seminar paper for the Public Interior course, Faculty of Architecture and Design STU Bratislava, Summer Term 2021–22
Photo documentation

Martina Froncová