A ROCKY MASTERPIECE WITH STUNNING VIEWS
A MAGICAL PLACE TO TREASURE AND PROTECT
These peaks have a history spanning over 200 million years. Once a huge coral reef in the primordial ocean, the Dolomites now stretch 3,000 metres into the sky. How these Italian mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009, were created isn’t the only impressive thing about them. The way this valuable landscape became the internationally-renowned Dolomiti Superski region is also unique.
All of us have a responsibility to protect the environment here.
The most beautiful natural architecture in the world
Arch. Le Corbusier, 1887-1965
WHAT IS A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE?
The UNESCO World Heritage scheme has been in place since 1978. The criteria for recognition as a World Heritage site are uniqueness, authenticity and integrity. Countries put forward areas on their territory for consideration as World Heritage sites. From an initial dozen World Heritage Sites, the numbers have exploded and in 2018 there were 2,000 such sites in more than 150 countries. The Dolomites are a small but significant part of that growing network.
The mountains and stone were both named after the French geologist Déodat de Dolomieu (1750–1801), who was the first to describe the stones.
Landscapes worth protecting
Soaring peaks, deep gorges: pale mountains jutting into the blue sky. Pinnacles, peaks and steep walls contrast with horizontal rocky outcrops, platforms and plateaus, making the varied mountain landscape of the Dolomites unmistakable. The mountain group is surrounded by unspoiled nature, blanketed in fresh white snow in the winter or gentle green forests and meadows in the summer.
This unique panorama is what makes the Dolomites beautiful, fascinating travellers, artists, and scientists alike.
The nine sections of the World Heritage Site are spread across nine Italian provinces. The UNESCO Dolomites Foundation was created to efficiently cooperate across provinces to protect the World Heritage Site
More than mountains...
The international scientific significance of the Dolomites
The Dolomites in the Italian provinces of South Tyrol, Trentino, and Belluno aren’t just beautiful – they’re also scientifically valuable. By designating the Dolomites a World Heritage Site, the UNESCO also underlined their international geological and geomorphological significance, because of the variety of lime rock formations and important finds and traces from the Mesozoic and Triassic periods. Little wonder then that since the 18th century scientists have been coming to the Dolomites to study the landscape and history of how it was created.
A century of skiing
What started over a century ago with a few adventurers on some planks of wood has now become one of Italy’s most important skiing regions. Tourism and sport began developing in the Dolomites in the early 1900s. The first step towards this was the founding of the Cortina d’Ampezzo Ski Club in 1903 and the first ski races on the Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi two years later.