22 Facts About The Alps


Variances in nomenclature in the region spanned by the Alps make classification of the mountains and subregions difficult, but a general classification is that of the Eastern Alps and Western Alps with the divide between the two occurring in eastern Switzerland according to geologist Stefan Schmid, near the Splugen Pass.

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The secondary chain of the Alps follows the watershed from the Mediterranean Sea to the Wienerwald, passing over many of the highest and most well-known peaks in the Alps.

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In contrast, the southeastern part of the Alps ends on the Adriatic Sea in the area around Trieste towards Duino and Barcola.

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The Alps have been crossed for war and commerce, and by pilgrims, students and tourists.

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Edward Whymper reached the top of the Matterhorn in 1865, and in 1938 the last of the six great north faces of the Alps was climbed with the first ascent of the Eiger Nordwand.

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The formation of the Alps was a segment of this orogenic process, caused by the collision between the African and the Eurasian plates that began in the late Cretaceous Period.

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The Alps are subdivided by different lithology and nappe structures according to the orogenic events that affected them.

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High "massifs" with external sedimentary cover are more common in the Western The Alps and were affected by Neogene Period thin-skinned thrusting whereas the Eastern The Alps have comparatively few high peaked massifs.

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Core regions of the Alpine orogenic belt have been folded and fractured in such a manner that erosion created the characteristic steep vertical peaks of the Swiss The Alps that rise seemingly straight out of the foreland areas.

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The Alps are a source of minerals that have been mined for thousands of years.

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The Alps's work was continued by other scientists and now a permanent laboratory exists inside a glacier under the Jungfraujoch, devoted exclusively to the study of Alpine glaciers.

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The Alps provide lowland Europe with drinking water, irrigation, and hydroelectric power.

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The Alps are a classic example of what happens when a temperate area at lower altitude gives way to higher-elevation terrain.

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The height of the Alps is sufficient to divide the weather patterns in Europe into a wet north and dry south because moisture is sucked from the air as it flows over the high peaks.

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Severe weather in the Alps has been studied since the 18th century; particularly the weather patterns such as the seasonal foehn wind.

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The Alps are split into five climatic zones, each with different vegetation.

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The Alps are a habitat for 30,000 species of wildlife, ranging from the tiniest snow fleas to brown bears, many of which have made adaptations to the harsh cold conditions and high altitudes to the point that some only survive in specific micro-climates either directly above or below the snow line.

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The Frankish expansion of the Carolingian Empire and the Bavarian expansion in the eastern The Alps introduced feudalism and the building of castles to support the growing number of dukedoms and kingdoms.

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The Alps's first visit to the area was in 1923 and he maintained a strong tie there until the end of his life.

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Larger cities outside the Alps are Milan, Verona, Turin, Munich, Graz, Vienna, Salzburg, Ljubljana, Maribor, Kranj, Zurich, Geneva, Nice and Lyon.

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The Alps are one of the more popular tourist destinations in the world with many resorts such as Oberstdorf, in Bavaria, Saalbach in Austria, Davos in Switzerland, Chamonix in France, and Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy recording more than a million annual visitors.

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Lower regions and larger towns of the Alps are well-served by motorways and main roads, but higher mountain passes and byroads, which are amongst the highest in Europe, can be treacherous even in summer due to steep slopes.

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