Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage
The Dolomites have always had an enormous impact on the imagination of all those who have seen them. No one has remained immune to their extraordinary fascination, to the extent so that they are universally considered “the most beautiful mountains on Earth”.
On June 26, 2009, Italy’s stunning Dolomite mountains have been declared a United Nations World Heritage Site.
The Dolomites are widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world.
Their intrinsic beauty derives from a variety of spectacular vertical forms such as pinnacles, spires, and towers, with contrasting horizontal surfaces including ledges, crags, and plateaus, all of which rise abruptly above extensive talus deposits and more gentle foothills.
The mountains rise as peaks with intervening ravines, in some places standing isolated but in others forming sweeping panoramas. Some of the rock cliffs here rise more than 1,600 m and are among the highest limestone walls found anywhere in the world.
Some of the rock cliffs here rise more than 1,600 m and are among the highest limestone walls found anywhere in the world.
A great diversity of colours is provided by the contrasts between the bare pale coloured rock surfaces and the forests and meadows below. The distinctive scenery of the Dolomites has become the archetype of a “dolomitic landscape”.
Geologist pioneers were the first to be captured by the beauty of the mountains, and their writing and subsequent painting and photography further underline the aesthetic appeal of the property.
The mountains rise as peaks with intervening ravines, in some places standing isolated but in others forming sweeping panoramas. The Dolomites have joined the world’s other cultural and natural wonders on the World Heritage List. The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee unanimously approved Italy’s bid at its meeting today in Seville, Spain. The nine groups include:
- The Pelmo and Croda da Lago mountains in the Veneto region are between the Cadore, Zoldano, and Ampezzo valleys.
- The Marmolada massif between the Trentino and Veneto regions boasts the highest peak in the Dolomites (3.343 meters) and the largest glacier.
- The Pale di San Martino, Pale di San Lucano, and the Belluno Dolomites, mostly in the Veneto region but partially in the Trentino region.
- The Friuli Dolomites and Oltre Piave mountains, are the furthest to the east and divided between the Friuli provinces of Pordenone and Udine.
- The Settentrionali (Northern) Dolomites between Alto Adige and the Veneto regions including the Cadini peaks, the pale mountains of the Sesto Dolomites, the austere Ampezzo Dolomites, the lunar Dolomites of Fanes, Senes, and Braies.
- The Puez-Odle mountains in the Alto Adige region and now a splendid natural park.
- The Sciliar, Catinaccio, and Latemar mountains between Alto Adige and Trentino.
- The Rio delle Foglie (Bletterbach), is a deep gorge with exposed layers of prehistoric rock strata revealing the secrets of their creation and what the climate and the environment were like 250 million years ago.
- The Brenta Dolomites, the furthest to the west, are still home to the brown bear and all in the Trentino.
The nine Dolomiti mountain groups, spanning 142.000 hectares and given 85 hectares of border areas for a total of 231.000 hectares, are spread over five provinces: Trento, Bolzano, Belluno, Pordenone, and Udine.