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Area information
Surface:
271 hectares

Provinces:
Bolzano

Main peak:
Corno Bianco (2,317 m)

Natural monument:
Bletterbach

Nature reserves:
Bletterbach Geopark
				
Selection criteria

Reasons why the Bletterbach Gorge was included in the Dolomites World Heritage serial property

Aesthetic and scenic criterion:

The area shows all the main morphological components of the landscape structure: extensive bases, imposing mantles of detritus, horizontal structural elements interrupting the rock faces, and perfectly vertical rock masses.

Geological and geomorphological criterion:

well-preserved stratigraphic succession and abundance of fossils.

Visit the Dolomites

Bletterbach Gorge

A geological treasure

Quartz porphyry wall at the end of the Bletterbach Gorge | Courtesy of: Geoparc Bletterbach The Bletterbach Gorge is the eighth of the nine systems forming the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area extends south of Bolzano, in South Tyrol, and was included on the World Heritage List because it provides a detailed and immediate visual representation of the geological history of the Dolomites.


View of the Butterloch falls from the Jägersteig trail | Courtesy of: Geoparc Bletterbach The Bletterbach Gorge is the smallest of the nine systems and is bounded by Monte Pausabella, the Oclini Pass, and the villages of Aldino and Redagno. It is a deep canyon carved out by the stream bearing the same name, about 8 km long and up to 400 meters deep. Here the peaks are not very high, except for the Corno Bianco, and the area is included in the nature reserve Bletterbach Geopark.

Geomorphology and geology

From a geomorphological point of view, the Bletterbach Gorge is a clear example of the effects of water erosion on different types of rocks.

From a geological point of view, the Bletterbach Gorge is a unique site. In this canyon 250 million years of the history of our planet are described in great detail, and the cross-section of rocks ranges from the Upper Permian to the Middle Triassic: from the dark, volcanic rocks at the base to the reddish sandstones that were deposited in an arid tropical environment by transgression and regression phases of the Permian Sea.
The extraordinary number of fossils of reptiles, ammonites, amphibians and plants makes the Bletterbach Gorge one of the most important Permian fossil deposits in the world.

Did you know that…

You can visit the Bletterbach Gorge through the Geo Path, along which you find 16 display boards with interesting scientific, historical and folkloristic information on the canyon.

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