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Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park.

Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park.

Originally, the Ordesa National Park was created by a Royal Decree passed on 16th August 1918, as a consequence of a variety of circumstances, but especially due to the preserving and spreading task developed by Lucien Briet and Pedro Pidal, who brought about the establishment of one of the first National Parks in the world.

It was enlarged on 13th July 1982, its official name being changed to Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park. At the beginning, it stretched around 21 square kilometres of extension, and currently it spans an area of more than 150.00 km2., enlarging its protection to the Añisclo Canyon, Monte Perdido Massif and Escuaín Gorges.

Discover Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park from the air, with the team of Aragon Virtual

This National Park constitutes a geographic unity of first range, being the highest limestone massif in Europe. Shaped during the Tertiary period on limestone of sea origin, it is dominated by the presence of three summits, a group known as Treserols: Monte Perdido (3355 m.), Cilindro de Marboré and Pico de Añisclo, also called Soum de Ramond, giving birth to the Ordesa, Pineta, Añisclo and Escuaín Valleys.

The shape of these valleys is the result of two powerful forces of the nature: ice, from big Quaternary glaciers, and water, an element linked to karsts (dissolution of a layer of limestone bedrocks) and to flowing water, on the surface, in the form of rivers and streams, or subterranean, as in wells and galleries. Therefore, we find a landscape of great contrasts, from extreme aridity in the highest areas, where thaw and rain water filter between cracks and drains to the green valleys, with park-like forests and meadows, where water flows down in waterfalls and crosses canyons and gorges.

Its natural features are enhanced by its wide forests of dappled trees, pines, beeches and firs, home to a rich variety of mountain wildlife. Some native species are specially remarkable, such as a small plant known as Ramonda pyrenaica, or the Pyrenees frog, recently discovered by scientists.

Currently, it belongs to the Spanish National Parks Network, and also to the "Ordesa-Vignemale" Biosphere Reserve and, together with the French Pyrenees Glacial Cirques, it has been declared . Unesco World Heritage Site..