The Messner Mountain Museum Dolomites
The Messner Mountain Museum Dolomites is located on Monte Rite (2181 m), in the heart of the Dolomites between Pieve di Cadore and Cortina d'Ampezzo. Set up in a fort from the Great War and dedicated to the "rock" element, the museum tells the story of exploration and mountaineering in the Dolomites. In the gallery of the central nave there are paintings and works from the collection of Reinhold Messner representing the Dolomites, from Romanticism to contemporary art. The artistic views magically alternate with the panoramic views of the museum windows on the surrounding peaks: Monte Schiara, Monte Agnèr, Cimon della Pala, Monte Civetta, Marmolada, Monte Pelmo, Tofana di Rozes, Sorapis, Antelao, Marmolada. "The museum in the clouds" also preserves some evidence of the origin of the Dolomite rock: fossils of claraia shells from 250 million years ago, palm fern fossils 240 million years ago and other extraordinary finds, in memory of what were once barriers coral in a tropical sea.
Monte Rite nel Cadore is a particular mountain. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the position made it a place of strategic importance for the Italian defense against the troops of the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph. From the fort built on the top of the Rite between 1912 and 1914, the panoramic view is unique. During the First World War the fortification was conquered by Austrian soldiers, who were forced to abandon it in 1918, not without having first blown up many parts of the fort. The partisans found refuge among its ruins, while after the war the structure was used as a warehouse. In the Year of the Mountains, established by the UN in 2002, the fort, after a four-year restoration, acquired a new content: Reinhold Messner's MMM Dolomites, who discovered this spectacular Dolomite outpost in 1998.
ph. credit: Gerhard Hagen - Jean-Charles Cuillandre - Paolo Zanzi - Magdalena Messner