Monday, June 29, 2009

Dolomites Declared Natural World Heritage Site

The World Heritage Committee holding its 33rd session chaired by María Jesús San Segundo, the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Spain to UNESCO, has inscribed Dolomites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
"The Dolomites now officially belong to the most beautiful mountains in the world", said a statement from the Dolomiti Superski organisation which operates nearly 500 ski lifts in the mountains in winter, covering one of the world’s largest ski pass areas with up to 1,200klm (750 miles) of runs open on one ticket.
The Dolomites (Italy) comprise a mountain range in the northern Italian Alps, numbering 18 peaks which rise to above 3,000 metres and cover 141,903 ha. It features some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes anywhere, with vertical walls, sheer cliffs and a high density of narrow, deep and long valleys. A serial property of nine areas that present a diversity of spectacular landscapes of international significance for geomorphology marked by steeples, pinnacles and rock walls, the site also contains glacial landforms and karst systems. It is characterized by dynamic processes with frequent landslides, floods and avalanches. The property also features one of the best examples of the preservation of Mesozoic carbonate platform systems, with fossil records.
The best known peaks, such as Marmolada (3,342 m), Tofana di Rozes (3,225 m), Sassolungo (3,181 m), Three Peaks of Lavaredo (2,999 m), Mount Pelmo (3,169 m) and the Pale di San Martino (3,192 m) are the centre pieces of one of the most charming mountain landscapes on the planet.
UNESCO was enchanted by the beauty of the Dolomites, as were the great poet Goethe, the writer Mario Rigoni Stern and the architect Le Corbusier – pointed spires, jagged summits and glorious colors that change throughout the day. At sunset the Dolomites turn a fiery red, then change to violet before disappearing into the night. This is the "Enrosadira”"– a phenomenon caused by the unusual chemical composition of dolomite – a natural spectacle that is beyond compare.