The Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Italian for “three peaks of Lavaredo”, also called the Drei Zinnen (German for “three merlons”), are three distinctive battlement-like peaks, in the Sexten Dolomites of northeastern Italy. They are probably one of the best-known mountain groups in the Alps.

Die Drei Zinnen.

The three peaks, from east to west, are:

  • Cima Piccola, Kleine Zinne, Little Peak, 2,857 metres, 9,373 ft.
  • Cima Grande, Große Zinne, Big Peak, 2,999 metres, 9,839 ft.
  • Cima Ovest, Westliche Zinne, Western Peak, 2,973 metres, 9,754 ft.

The peaks are composed of well-layered dolostones of the Dolomia Principale (Hauptdolomit) formation, Carnian to Rhaetian in age, as are many other groups in the Dolomites (e.g., the Tofane, the Pelmo or the Cinque Torri).

Until 1919 the peaks formed part of the border between Italy and Austria. Now they lie on the border between the Italian provinces of South Tyrol and Belluno and still are a part of the linguistic boundary between German-speaking and Italian-speaking majorities.

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