The first floor of the main building is occupied by the ‘Tatra Natural History’ show. The room covering the history of geological research conducted in the Tatra Mountains since the late 18th century and the formation of Poland’s highest mountain massif brings profiles of scholars of merit. To begin with, there is Belsazar Hacquet, the author of the first Tatra map with elements of geology. Also on show are two relief maps of the Tatra Mountains and the Pieniny Mountains. Taking multifarious geological research into account, the boards entitled ‘Geological map of the Tatra area’, ‘Development of the Tatra Mountains as against the history of the Earth’ and ‘Tatra mountain-building processes’ introduce the visitor into the origin of the range. The typical Tatra rocks and fossils are shown in stratigraphic order related to the periods of Earth’s history. The finest specimens of the museum’s rich collection document processes occurring locally in the crust and on the surface of the earth during the different geological periods. Part of the show is allotted to relics of Tatra mining and metallurgy.
A section devoted to animated nature presents Tatra plants and animals, inhabitants of the steep afforested mountain sections, the subalpine thicket of the mountain pine, the mountain pastures and the topmost crag. Modern display methods have been used to highlight the fine preparations of botanical and zoological specimens. Botanical showcases contain vascular plants, fungi and lichen comprising the most important Tatra plant communities. The dioramas illustrating the characteristic landscape sections of vegetation strata feature representatives of Tatra animals with the chamois and the marmot, species symbolic of this mountain range. A multimedia presentation of the Tatra climatic phenomena, landscape, flora and fauna complements the exhibition.
Finally, it is worth remembering that the main building of the Tatra Museum is a valuable monument of architecture in the Zakopane Style. It was built between 1913 and 1922 to a design worked out jointly by Stanisław Witkiewicz (façade) and Franciszek Mączyński (technical design).