The Marmolada, standing at a height of 3342 metres, is the highest peak in the Dolomites, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site. Its summit is a sought-after destination for climbers and hikers from near and far, it can be reached by less experienced people thanks to the cable car and in the winter, it becomes a popular destination for skiers. But the queen of the Dolomites not only contains natural treasures: it also represents a First World War site, to be explored with emotion and awareness, and is home to the highest museum in Europe.
Marmolada and the First World War
Throughout the Marmolada region there are still signs of the tragic conflict and its terrible consequences. For the first time during the First World War, the soldiers found themselves having to fight from the mountain tops to monitor the enemy’s advance in the valleys below. The soldiers who were stationed at high altitude needed supplies to survive, but often this need proved difficult to fulfil.
In the absence of passable roads, civilians carried supplies on their shoulders or assigned mules to help carry loads; in some cases, they installed cableways.
The remains of these structures, along with survival items and some personal effects belonging to the soldiers, are still visible in the Marmolada glacier which, when melting, continues to reveal new fragments of memories.
The highest museum in Europe is on the Marmolada
At an altitude of 3000m, between the rocks and ice, is the Marmolada First World War Museum. This has recently been renovated to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War and is open in both summer and winter.
Visiting the Marmolada First World War museum means that you will undergo a thrilling and multisensory experience: in fact, the museum offers an interactive tour that guides the visitor through the narrative of the First World War in Marmolada, through the accounts and testimonies of the soldiers who fought in it.
Did you know that the ice city was built on this mountain? 12km were excavated from the Marmolada glacier by soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Alpine troops. Dormitories, kitchens, infirmaries and even chapels were found here. Inside the museum you can get an idea of exceptional and unique work carried out: however, the ice city no longer exists because the glacier has changed shape over the years.
Punta Serauta and itineraries for discovering the Marmolada First World War sites
A little lower than the First World War Museum is the monumental area of Punta Serauta, inside which reads the symbolic sentence: “The war divided them, the memory unites them” in both Italian and German.
Punta Serauta is a rocky ridge that was occupied and fortified by Italian troops in April 1916. It appears as an actual fort in which command posts, observation posts, soldiers’ shelters and trenches made by men who fought in the First World War are visible.
How to reach the Museum and Punta Serauta at 3000m
The First World War museum and the monumental area of Punta Serauta can be visited by ascending from Malga Ciapela by cable car.
Here at Baita Dovich we will be happy to provide all the information you need. Alternatively, at the cable car departure station in Malga Ciapela, you can contact the cash desk to buy tickets for the ascent by cable car (and ski passes during the winter season) and to ask questions about the Marmolada First World War Museum.
loc. Malga Ciapèla 58, 32023 Rocca Pietore (BL)
+39 0437-522984 / +39 0437-722972