On Friday, 26th June 2009, the Dolomites were placed on the prestigious list of Natural World Heritage Sites. The decision was made by UNESCO at its annual world congress.
UNESCO was enchanted by the beauty of the Dolomites: 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.
Rising from the depths of the primordial ocean 250 million years ago, the Dolomites were shaped by the relentless effects of water, wind and ice, which sculpted this natural masterpiece. Named for the geologist who first studied them, Déodat de Dolomieu, and protected by numerous parks, the Dolomites rise to an altitude of more than 3,000 m and are one of the most charming mountain landscapes on the world. And this is expressed in the concluding report of the IUCN’s international commission of experts, which judged the Dolomites, with their particular geological, botanical and scenic qualities, to be unique in the world.
This Dolomite massif forms a backdrop to Bolzano's townscape; it is the site of King Laurin's mythical Rose Garden and glows crimson in the sunset.
The chain is situated around 20 km to the east of Bolzano between the Tires/Tiers valley and the Val di Fassa (Trentino); it extends for around 8 km from the Sciliar/Schlern area to the Passo Costalunga/Karerpass.
Name: Rosengarten (German), Catinaccio (Italian), Ciadinac (Ladin)
The German name derives from the Dolomite saga about the dwarf king Laurin who was supposed to have had a rose garden here; as a result of a curse its beauty can only be admired at twilight. The chain of Dolomite peaks is west-facing and glows like embers as it reflects the sunset.
Main peaks: Catinaccio d'Antermoia/Kesselkogel (3004 m), Cima di Catinaccio/Rosengartenspitze (2981 m), Cima Vajolet/Vajolet-Spitze (2749 m), Torri del Vajolet/Vajolet-Türme (2813 m), Croda di Re Laurino/Laurinswand (2813 m), Roda di Vaèl/Rotwand (2806 m), Croda Davoi/Teufelswand (2727 m)
Vie ferrate/Klettersteige (secured climbing routes): Kesselkogel-Klettersteig, Laurenzi-Klettersteig, Santnerpass-Klettersteig, Masaré-Klettersteig.