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Pyrénées - Mont Perdu
Site number:
Type of site: Mixed
Date of Inscription: 1997, 1999
Location: Europe, France and Spain, Midi-Pyrénées Region, Hautes-Pyrénées Déparetment
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Description: Spanning the current borders of France and Spain are the Pyrénées - a great mountain landscape concentrated around the peak of Mount Perdu, a 3,352 m calcareous massif. The site stretches 30,639 ha and incorporates two of Europe's largest and deepest canyons (on the Spanish side) and three major cirque walls (on the northern slopes with France) that are classic examples of these geological landforms. The site’s pastoral landscape testifies to a once widespread agricultural way of life, though it was popular around Europe’s upland regions to this day it has only survived in this part of the Pyrénées. Thus through its landscape of villages, farms, fields, upland pastures and mountain roads, the site provides excellent insights into the past societies of Europe. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Monte Perdido (Mont Perdu in French, both meaning lost mountain) is the third highest mountain in the Pyrenees. The summit of Monte Perdido (3355m), located in Spain, lies hidden from France by the seemingly impenetrable peaks of the Cirques of Gavarnie and Estaube. To get to the mountain from Spain is easier. Explorers first had to hike from the Aragonese village of Torla along the huge Ordesa Valley and then up through the Circo de Soaso before attempting the stiff climb to the summit. Monte Perdido is the centrepiece of the Spanish Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park which was established in 1918 with just 21 square kilometres of land. Today the park has grown significantly to 156 square kilometres and incorporates the whole of the Añisclo Canyon. There are more than 1500 species of flower, 171 birds, 32 different mammals and 8 types of reptile in the Ordesa. Most magnificent of all is the Lammergeier (Bearded Vulture) with a 3 metre wingspan. The Pyrenees is one of the rare places to see these birds in Europe. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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