The Dolomites – UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site
The Pale Giants
Majestic and bizarre, the unique rock formations of the Dolomites rise proudly into the skies. Probably the loveliest “structure” in the world.
You could also put it this way: Nature really ran artistic riot when it came to the design, colour and shape of the Dolomite summits and didn’t skimp either on the size of the mountain massif. Even Le Corbusier, the famous architect, tipped his hat in awe, stating that “The Dolomites in South Tyrol are the finest natural architecture in the world.” He wasn’t wrong! And yes, the pale giants of the Southern Alps were actually “built”. They consist of fossilised algae and coral reefs that grew over millions of years in the warm Tethys Ocean, finally presenting their unique face to the world when the water receded. The Dolomites are completely different from all the other mountains around. Almost magical. No wonder then, that countless legends and myths are entwined around their craggy spires and summits. The adventurer Déodat de Dolomieu soon discovered what it was – at least from a scientific point of view – that gave the massif its particular charm: it consists of limestone that is particularly rich in magnesium. Dolomieu gave his name to the Dolomites, which have been drawing fans – and especially mountaineers, adventurers and scientists – from all over the world ever since. There is hardly a South Tyrolean postcard design that doesn’t feature these pale superstars. Hardly a holiday memory without a selfie against an imposing rocky backdrop. A natural landscape that is unique and impressive enough to be given the special status of Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage. Rightly so, in our opinion!