The Col Margherita Geo Park is a free admission theme park, designed and created in collaboration with the MUSE Museum of Science in Trento, which is arranged as an easy route aimed at entertainingly conveying scientific information on the history and the geology of the Dolomites through three different installations that stimulate the curiosity of adults and children alike, amidst volcanoes, glaciers, islands, the seabed, geological eras and fossil evidence. Between 290 and 276 million years ago, the area was characterised by a long series of large explosive volcanic eruptions that gave rise to the rock of Col Margherita. It consists of a platform of reddish-brown rocks, known as “Ignimbrites” (from the Latin “ignis” = fire and “imber” = rain) or “Quartz porphyries“. These are rocks formed by the solidification of magma spreading from large volcanic fissures. The magma expanded rapidly over large distances, in the form of destructive, fiery, cloud-like flows, giving rise to the “Atesina Porphyry Platform“, a porphyry plateau more than 2 km thick, with a surface area of almost 4,000 square kilometres, extending as far as Bolzano and around Trento.
This installation will help you discover in an entertaining way the history of the Dolomites; the route is 30 metres long and each metre corresponds to 10 million years. Look out for the objects and the information you will encounter along the route: by moving through time you will discover the main maps of the birth of the Dolomites.
In the distant past, the Dolomites were islands of an archipelago in the middle of a sea – an archipelago that has been preserved almost intact to this day. Those ancient islands are now the mountains that, because of their unique beauty and geology have been declared a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Col Margherita is the prime location from which to virtually set sail into the Dolomite archipelago.
Discover some of the most beautiful peaks in the Dolomites. Choose one and find out its name or, conversely, try to find the peak whose name you remember. The Timone delle Dolomiti (Helm of the Dolomites) will help you on this adventurous journey.
Aim the tiller at the peak you have chosen and then turn the wheel so that the drawing on the plate overlays the profile of the mountain: you can then discover the name of the peaks and other curiosities about the mountains around you.