Witow is a popular Polish holiday resort, especially appreciated by tourists in winter. Numerous slopes attract keen skiers and the cyclical events organized here offer a lot of attractions and allow visitors to get to know the Podhale region’s culture.
Witow is a paradise for the snow frenzy enthusiasts. Skiers and snowboarders will find many well-prepared ski centres here. The most popular one is Witow-Ski, where the prominent Polish snowboarder Jagna Marczułajtis runs her ski and snowboard school. The Winter School for Celebrities (Polish: Zimowa Szkoła Gwiazd) – the event organised by Dzien Dobry TVN TV programme – used to be held here. The most popular Polish celebrities learned how to ski and snowboard. They were: Mateusz Kusznierewicz (a sailor), Borys Szyc (an actor), Piotr Rubik (an orchestra leader), Reni Jusis (a singer), Halina Młynkowa (a singer), Joanna Koroniewska (an actress), Maciej Dowbor (a TV presenter) and the Mroczek brothers (actors), among others.
Witow, however, is not only a famous ski resort, but also a cultural centre. There are two regional music groups, Witowianie and Mali Witowianie and numerous cyclical events are held here. The most popular are Witowiansko Watra and the Feast of the Forest (Polish: Święto Lasu).
The first one has been organised in Witow since 2001 and takes place every last Sunday of June. The most important part of Witowiansko Watra is building a fire, i.e. watra. During the event regional music bands from Poland and Slovakia perform.
The Feast of the Forest, on the other hand, takes place on 15 August. Similarly to Witowiansko Watra, during the event visitors may listen to folk music; they may also try regional dishes in numerous food outlets.
Witow is a small village in the Podhale region, located in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, in the Tatra County, in Koscielisko Commune. It is the largest village in the commune. A great part of its area lies in the territory of Western Tatras and as a part of the Tatra National Park it is protected.
Witow is situated approximately 30 km from Nowy Targ and 13 km from Zakopane. The highest peak of the village is Starorobociański Wierch (2,176 metres above sea level), which is simultaneously the highest peak of Polish Western Tatras.
The Czarny Dunajec River has its beginning in Witow.
The first records about Witow are from 1606. The name of the village derives from Stanislaw Witkowski, a prominent starosta of the Podhale region. From the very beginning of the village’s existence, its inhabitants were mostly farmers, shepherds and miners, as there was a road leading to mines in Koscieliska Valley and in the area of the present cadastral community (the so called Stara Robota) that ran through Witow.
In 1770 Witow was joined to Austria and remained in captivity as long as 148 years.
Witow inhabitants have always been seeking for other jobs than farming. Many of them did not find any occupation in the region; hence, already in the late 19th century they emigrated to the US and Canada.