Paisaje: naturaleza y cultura

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«Pirineos-Monte Perdido»

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This will cross-reference all available documents in our data base related to the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Escuaín Gorge

Escuaín is the second of the most important canyons in the Pyrenees-Monte Perdido World Heritage Site after Añisclo Canyon.

The area recognised as a World Heritage Site includes the upper half of the gorge from its head, at the foot of the Tres Marías, to the environs of the villages of Escuaín and Revilla.

The mountainous barrier of the Tres Marías (2,780 m), Angonés (2,657 m) and Puntas Verdes (2,621 m) hems in the canyon to the north-east, while the Tozal de San Vicenda (2,092 m), Basones (2,130 m) and Castillo Mayor (2014 m) borders it to the south

The main agents that have shaped this landscape are the rivers. Karstic processes, in which limestone dissolves when it comes into contact with water, have also proved decisive. Even so, the glaciers of the Quaternary Period also left their mark, as demonstrated by the half-spherical morphology of cirques that can clearly be seen at the head of the tributary gullies of Gurrundué and La Sarra.

The Yaga River, fed by countless torrents, springs and seeps, runs through Tella or Puértolas Valley, shaping a convoluted gully full of rocks and plants, a natural paradise where lammergeyers live, making this a good place to spot them easily.

The upper reaches of the river are hidden away in the bottom of the gorge, which constitutes a deeply-cut gap, a magnificent fracture in the limestone rock.

The head of the valley consists of a series of hanging cirques full of karren and chasms where plants give way to a world of stone in which water pours down gullies that seem to have been sculpted by the hand of an artist, or instead percolates down into the subsoil, creating a subterranean world of shafts, galleries, dolines and springs before eventually joining the Yaga River.

This is a karstic paradise about which it is said that there are as many marvels below ground as there are above it. For potholers, Escuaín is a veritable place of pilgrimage, with its cave systems that are among the most important in the world. And those who love open spaces will find here a singular valley touched by the hand of humans that will provide constant surprises.