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The Great Dolomite Road

The provincial law that came into force in 1897 approved the construction of the Great Dolomite Road, which would depart from Bolzano to arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo via the Pordoi Pass.

Work began in May 1901 following the designs of architect Theodor Christomannos. On 13th November 1914, the Moena-Arabba stretch was opened at the Pordoi Pass and the remaining stretch in 1909. This was a huge event, both in economic and symbolic terms, as it marked the definitive opening of the Dolomites to international tourism, promoted too by important literary works such as those by Karl Felix Wolff (Die Dolomitenstraße, 1907) and by Christomannos himself (1909).

Lodgings and hotels that were built along the road were then requisitioned during the Great War of 1914-1918; the Pordoi Pass used to lie on the border between the Austria-Hungary and Italy.

After the two wars, in 1962 Maria Piaz and son Francesco opened the first pioneering cable car at the Pordoi Pass which led to the Terrazza delle Dolomiti (2950 m), a very popular tourist destination.

At the Pordoi Pass (2239 m), a commemorative obelisk erected in 1905 still stands today, displaying the details of the road which has today become an important tourist route.

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