Adobe Stock erdpyramiden ritten
Adobe Stock erdpyramiden ritten

Earth Pyramids

Earth Pyramids are impressive natural monuments to be admired in several places of South Tyrol.

The Earth Pyramids of South Tyrol have taken shape in the course of many centuries and are attributable to erosion and particular circumstances, including subsequent periods of rain and aridity and a particularly wind-protected position. The erosion phenomenons rise above all in the places where Ice Age glaciers have deposited moraine slit in the valleys. In combination with water, this dry material that is hard as stone becomes a loamy mass, flowing towards the valley. A huge stone covering the mass protects the material below from rain. This is how Earth Pyramidss are formed, reaching an altitude of up to 30 metres.

Particularly worth noticing are the Earth Pyramids of the Renon, considered to be the highest and most beautifully shaped all over Europe. They were formed out of late Ice-age moraine slit, which was heaped up by the main glacier of the Valle Isarco valley as well as of minor local glaciers. The Earth Pyramids - “Erdpyramiden” in German, “Piramidi di Terra” in Italian - can be admired in three different places: in the Rio Rivellone gorge at Soprabolzano, in the Rio Fosco gorge between Longomoso and Monte di Mezzo as well as in the Rio Castro gorge at Auna di Sotto.

However, also in the Val Pusteria valley you can admire this impressive natural phenomenons, at Plata and Terento. The latter date back to 1834, when they were probably formed consequent to a historic thunder-storm. Huge masses were washed away by the local river, forming these earth pillars in the year to follow. A hiking trail starts at the village centre, taking you directly to the Earth Pyramids in a 40-minutes’ walk. Further places where to admire these pillars in South Tyrol are Meltina and San Genesio (near Bolzano), Tirolo (Merano and surroundings) and Collepietra (Catinaccio-Latemar area). By the way: life expectancy of an Earth Pyramid depends on the stone covering the pillar, protecting it from the weather.

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