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

Gavarnie Cirque

Victor Hugo described this glacial amphitheatre as "nature's Coliseum. The most mysterious building by the most mysterious of architects."

The place is astounding due its size, 10 km of ridges with peaks over 3,000 metres high crowning a stepped wall that climbs over 1,600 m. Yet the aspect that strikes one most is the architectural feel of the mountain.

In Gavarnie, where "the hand of giants seems to have operated the rope and plumb line", a majestic order governs a monumental landscape that often establishes the limit of the horizon yet never quite manages to conceal it.


The mountains are dominated by an impressive symmetry. On both sides of the La Prade meadow, the forest follows a sweeping blue curve that supports the tiers of this vast amphitheatre. At the centre, the broad grassy esplanade guides the eye to the very heart of the edifice. Yet this expansive landscape with immense gravity manages to avoid excessive austerity.