In this group we treat the undisputed queen of the Dolomites, a World Heritage Site, with a height of 3.343 meters, the Marmolada.
The Marmolada, also called Queen of the Dolomites, is located on the border between the province of Belluno and Trento and is the highest mountain in the Veneto and the Dolomites. Punta Penia stands out above all, reaching 3,348 meters, conquered the first time in 1864 by the great pioneer Paul Grohmann, Angelo and Fulgenzio Dimai.
It is followed by Punta Rocca with its 3,309 meters conquered a few years earlier, in 1862, by Pellegrino Pellegrini and Paul Grohmann.Its homonymous glacier, the largest in the Dolomites, is located along the northern side and, thanks to its vertical and well-polished rock walls, the Marmolada is the cornerstone in the history of dolomitic alpinism.In particular, the Marmolada, is set between Val Pettorina and Val di Fassa and is composed of very compact gray limestone, derived from coral reefs and volcanic material.
The Gran Vernel are very peculiar and are located in the western area of the Marmolada, which with its sharp walls draw the famous regular pyramid, visible also from the furthest distance.The most imposing side is the northern one, where the colossal monolithic wall stands out.Its summit was conquered by the aginine climber Cesare Tomè in 1879, following a passage between the rocks of the Forcella del Vernel.During the First World War, the Marmolada marked a stretch of the Italian-Austrian front and was the scene of major clashes as confirmed by the still visible positions on the eastern and northern sides.
Tunnels were dug into the glacier by the Austrians to defend themselves from the advance of the Italians and to protect themselves from outside temperatures that could reach 30 degrees below zero.Also known as "The City of Ice", this gallery complex reached an extension of about 12 km, having inside it everything the troops needed, from the infirmary to the toilets, from the telephone exchange to a chapel.The natural movement of the cap towards the valley and the melting of the glacier over the years has canceled the galleries, bringing to light numerous war finds, now visible in the Museum of the Great War from 1915 to 1918.
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