UNESCO Dolomites

The main attraction of the province of Belluno, in particular  considering its northernmost area, is undoubtedly the Dolomites landscape.

The Dolomites, always universally recognised as the most beautiful mountains in the world, since June 26, 2009 have been included by UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation - in the Natural Heritage of Humanity.

The Dolomite region has gained entry in the UNESCO Heritage list thanks to two different criteria that are intimately linked: the beauty of the landscape and the scientific importance of the geological and geomorphological characteristics that give life to these rock cathedrals.

Being a World Heritage Site today entails a dual function. On the one hand, the enhancement and promotion of the Dolomites from the tourist, cultural and scientific standpoint and on the other their protection and conservation for future generations.
No more the "ownership" of a single state, region, province or municipality, but a heritage of all humankind and therefore bequeathed to those who will come after us.
In all the areas of the Eastern Alps that are commonly referred to as the Dolomites, only 9 systems - groups of mountain peaks and mountain ranges that are homogeneous in their landscape, geological and geomorphological features - have been identified for  the list drawn up by UNESCO.

These systems extend from west to east, from the Brenta Dolomites in Trentino to the Friulian and Oltre Piave Dolomites on the border between Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia passing through some of the most famous and celebrated peaks of world alpinism and landscapes of extraordinary beauty shared by the provinces of Trento, Bolzano, Udine, Pordenone and of course Belluno.

In fact, the province of Belluno is the one that can boast the majority of the Dolomites in general and of the UNESCO systems, since it hosts five of them out of nine.
Pelmo and Croda da Lago, Marmolada, Pale di San Martino, Pale di San Lucano, Dolomiti Bellunesi and Vette Feltrine - a system that includes some of the most beautiful peaks of all the Dolomites like the Agner and the Civetta - Northern Dolomites - which include among others Lagazuoi, Cristallo, Tofane, Antelao, Tre Cime di Lavaredo - and a short portion of the Dolomites of Friuli and Oltre Piave constitute a scenic and scientific richness that the whole world envies.
Moreover, to crown the important role that the province of Belluno plays in this particular context, Cortina d'Ampezzo - not surprisingly called Queen of the Dolomites - has also been chosen as the operating seat of the Dolomites Dolomiten Dolomites Dolomitis UNESCO Foundation, which has its offices in the beautiful ancient building of Comun Vecio, overlooking Corso Italia in the heart of Cortina.

The "Declaration of exceptional universal value" written by UNESCO, reads: "The Dolomites are widely considered among the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world. Their intrinsic beauty derives from a variety of spectacular vertical conformations - such as pinnacles, spires and towers - which contrast with horizontal surfaces - such as ledges, cliffs and plateaus - and rise abruptly from extensive deposits of debris and gentle and undulating reliefs. [...] The characteristic scenery of the Dolomites has become the archetype of the "dolomitic landscape". Pioneer geologists were the first to be captured by the beauty of these mountains: their writings, and subsequent pictorial and photographic works, further highlight the extraordinary aesthetic appeal of all the entire asset."

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