drei-zinnen_b.jpg preview
Request offers
Find accommodations in South Tyrol
  1. Regions
  2. Dolomites
  3. Formation of the Dolomites

Formation of the Dolomites

The Dolomites are about 250 millions years old and are composed mainly of sedimentary rocks and limestone. Today, we can hardly imagine that once the mighty mountains were an enormous coral reef, formed in the primordial ocean called Tethys.

A characteristic of the Dolomites is the abrupt change between rugged rocks and hilly, green mountain pastures. Reasons for this are the rock formations, which are differently hard, the different composition of these formations and the alternate elevation or sinking due to earthquakes, volcanic explosions or flooding.

Déodat de Dolomieu

The name Dolomites derives from the French geologist Déodat de Dolomieu. He was the first to describe the fossilized coral reefs. Today, you can make the same geological discovery tours like De Dolomieu did in the 18th century.

A special tip for amateur geologists and scientists is for example the mountain crest Padon between Sella and Marmolada, completely consisting of lava rock; or the rugged Sexten Dolomites and the famous “Drei Zinnen” (Three Peaks of Lavaredo) with the same magnesian rock formations as Rosengarten. 

South Tyrol's best tips