Pirineos-Monte Perdido

Paisaje: naturaleza y cultura


Pirineos-Monte Perdido

  • Fecha:1997-1999
  • Reference:773bis
  • Criteriom:III, IV, V, VII, VIII.
  • Area:31.189 ha
  • whc.unesco.org/en/list/773


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«Pirineos-Monte Perdido»


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Pirineos-Monte Perdido


Exceptional Universal Value

This outstanding mountain landscape, which spans the contemporary national borders of France and Spain, is centred around the peak of Mount Perdu, a calcareous massif that rises to 3,352 m. The site, with a total area of 30,639 ha, includes two of Europe's largest and deepest canyons on the Spanish side and three major cirque walls on the more abrupt northern slopes with France, classic presentations of these geological landforms. The site is also a pastoral landscape reflecting an agricultural way of life that was once widespread in the upland regions of Europe but now survives only in this part of the Pyrénées. Thus it provides exceptional insights into past European society through its landscape of villages, farms, fields, upland pastures and mountain roads.


In 1997 UNESCO added a stretch of the Pyrenees centring on Monte Perdido (Mont Perdu in French) to the World Heritage list due to its natural and cultural importance. This section includes the cross-border territory of the Gèdre-Gavarnie valleys and Aragnouet (in France) and the district of Sobrarbe.

The Pyrenees-Monte Perdido site covers a territory that straddles France and Spain and includes two national parks, the Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido (Sobrarbe, Spain) and the eastern area of the Parc National des Pyrénées (France).

It is an outstanding cultural landscape that combines the beauty of a matchless natural setting with a socio-economic structure that dates far back into the past and illustrates ways of life typical of mountainous areas that are disappearing in Europe.

Monte Perdido, at 3,352 m the highest limestone massif in western Europe, contains a wide variety of geological forms, including deep ravines and cirques with spectacular walls. Meadows, lakes, caves and forests add colour and texture to the mountain relief.

The remarkable orography features contrasts between the karstic landscapes, glaciers and glacial valleys, the almost horizontal mountain tops and the arrays of galleries, chasms and grottos formed by water as it filters down and through the peaks.

This single site thus harbours outstanding cultural and natural aspects: its geological and biological characteristics make it an area of the utmost importance for science and conservation, with numerous endemic species of flora and fauna. In addition, there is a considerable cultural tradition captured in the forms of the landscape marked by humankind, in local legends, festivities and rituals, traditions and language.

It was precisely because of the cultural factor that the World Heritage Committee promoted the inclusion of the town of Bestué, with its spectacular terraced landscape. The committee also attached importance to the cross-border nature of the site and the relationship founded on a spirit of co-operation and consensus between France and Spain.


Torla, Fanlo, Tella-Sin, Puértolas, Bielsa y Broto (Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park-Comarca de Sobrarbe- España) y Gèdre, Gavarnie and Aragnouet, territorio del Parc National des Pyrénées (Francia)

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.

Valle de Ordesa

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.

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.



Ficha de la UNESCO

Parque Nacional de Ordesa - Red Natual de Aragón

Parques Nacionales -Instituto Geográfico Español

Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente

Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Perdido- Turismo Sobrarbe

Parc National des Pyrénées

Turismo de Gavarnie