One of the most famous people in South Tyrol: Reinhold Messner. He gained his fame as a rock climber, expedition mountaineer, polar and desert traverser and repeatedly broke taboos. For four decades, he gathered experience at the extreme edges of the earth, which today enables him to create a museum chain on the subject of mountains. Messner himself calls this project his “15th eight-thousander”.
The Messner Mountain Museum, initiated by Reinhold Messner, comprises a six-part museum structure, whereby each house, like a satellite, is dedicated to a sub-theme. We will introduce you to all the museums here one by one. You can find information on the MMM Ortles, the MMM Ripa and the MMM Juval by clicking on them. Today we take you to the heart of the Dolomites, to the MMM Dolomites.
The museum in the clouds: permanent exhibition at the MMM Dolomites
The vertical world
In the heart of the Dolomites, between Pieve di Cadore and Cortina d’Ampezzo, rises Monte Rite (2181 m). From its summit plateau, a 360° panoramic view of the most spectacular Dolomite peaks opens up: Monte Schiara, Monte Agnèr, Monte Civetta, Marmolata, Monte Pelmo, Tofana di Rozes, Sorapis, Antelao, Marmarole. It is therefore not surprising that the MMM Dolomites deals with the theme of rock. The museum in the old fort is dedicated to the history of the development of the Dolomites, told through the explorers and climbers who made alpine history with their discoveries and first ascents.
The heart of the museum is a large gallery of unique Dolomite paintings from the Romantic period to the present day. Windows open between the paintings with a fantastic view of the peaks outside. 250-million-year-old Claraia shells and other fossils remind us that the Dolomites were once coral stacks in a tropical sea.
The history of Fort Monte Rite
Monte Rite in Cadore is a special mountain and for the strategists of the beginning of the 20th century it was the ideal position for the Italian defence against the Austrian Emperor Franz Josef and his troops. In 1912-14, therefore, a fort was built on Monte Rite. The First World War came and the solid building withstood blasts from the respective occupying powers in its forts, provided shelter for the partisans and after the Second World War served as a magazine for the village population. In 1998, Reinhold Messner discovered Monte Rite. The fort thus acquired a new content: The MMM Dolomites opened in the “Year of the Mountains”, which the UN had declared the year 2002.
From fort to museum
The dilapidated complex was extensively renovated and supplemented with modern additions: for example, instead of the former guns on the rotating domes, glass roof attachments in irregular crystal shapes were installed – after all, crystal is the characteristic element of dolomite. Enzo Siviero and Paolo Faccio, the two architects from Padua commissioned with the planning, wanted to reuse and continue to use as much of the old components and materials as possible. In this way, the original structures were restored and the necessary additions were clearly and deliberately set off from them.
MMM Dolomites Opening Hours & Contact
The MMM Dolomites is open from 01 June to 30 September.
From 10 am to 5 pm in June and from mid-September. The last admission is at 4:30 pm.
From 10 am to 6 pm from July to mid-September. Then the last admission is at 5:30 pm.
c/o Località Monte Rite
I-32040 Cibiana di Cadore (BL)
Tel. +39 3881568007
We hope you enjoy exploring the Museum in the Clouds!