Dolomites - UNESCO World Heritage
The history of the Dolomites began 250 million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the land bordering the shallow waters of the Tethys Sea. Massive ridges were formed from coral deposits which rose increasingly higher above the sea. Around two million years ago the present-day Dolomite area lay beneath from around 12.000 years ago when the glaciers receded, laying bare the spectacular spires and towers of rock.
The Dolomites are part of the Alps mountain chain. Reaching 3343m at the highest summit, the Marmolada, they are considered to be one of the most spectacular mountain ranges in Europe due to the gigantic rock formations, bright colours and monumental architecture. The Dolomites have over 40 glaciers, and are known for their wonderful walking and trekking, climbing, paragliding, hang-gliding and skiing. They also have a fascinating wartime history, having formed the line between Italian and Austro-Hungarian forces during the First World War.
The Dolomites take their name from French geologist, Déodat Gratet de Dolomieu (1750-1801), who discovered and defined the unique composition of the carbonate rock, Dolomite, which gives the mountains their name. Formed 200 million years ago from an ancient ocean floor, they are now among the UNESCO natural heritage site.