The Dolomites Feature
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Enrosadira and the Dwarf King
The French nobleman and geologist Déodat Guy Silvain Tancrède Gratet de Dolomieu (1750–1801) got his name applied to the Dolomite range after demonstrating that the peaks have a particular composition of stratified calcium magnesium carbonate that generates a rosy evening glow, a spectacle known as "enrosadira." For those unconvinced that such a phenomenon can be explained by geology alone, Ladin legend offers a compelling alternative.
Laurin, King of the Dwarfs, became infatuated with the daughter of a neighboring (human) king, and captured her with the aid of a magic hood that made him invisible. As he spirited her back to the mountains, the dwarf king was pursued by many knights, who were able to track the kidnapper after spotting his beloved rose garden. Laurin was captured and imprisoned, and when he finally managed to escape and return home, he cast a spell turning the betraying roses into rocks—so they could be seen neither by day nor by night. But Laurin forgot to include dusk in his spell, which is why the Dolomites take on a rosy glow just before nightfall. (This story is the subject of frescoes in the bar of Bolzano's Parkhotel Laurin.)Updated: 07-2013
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