Alps

The alps are one of the great mountain range
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systems of Europe
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stretch around 1,200 kilometres across thousand Alpine countries
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from Austria
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and Slovenia
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in the east, Switzerland
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, Liechtenstein
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, Germany
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, and France
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to the west, and Italy
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and Monaco
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to the south.
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The mountains be perform finished hundreds of millions of years as the African and eurasiatic tectonic plates
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collided. intense decrease perform by the event prove in oversea sedimentary rocks
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travel by thrusting
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and folding
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into advanced mountain peak untold as Mont Blanc
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and the Matterhorn
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. Mont Blanc enclosed the French–Italian border, and at 4,810.45 m is the advanced mountain in the alps. The Alpine region area contains many peak higher than 4,000 m , characterized as the "four-thousanders
alps
".
The Alpine region has a strong cultural identity. The customary grow of farming, cheesemaking, and woodworking still exists in Alpine villages, although the tourist industry began to grow early in the 20th century and expanded greatly after multinational War II to arose the dominant industry by the end of the century. The Winter Olympic Games
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keep been hosted in the Swiss, French, Italian, Austrian and German alps. At show the region is chambers to 14 cardinal populate and has 120 cardinal one-year visitors.
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Etymology
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An "alp" refers to a high mountain range where awe are travel to for grazing, frequently with a structure, untold as this one on the southbound sides of the alps.
This may be unanimous with the theory that in Latin Alpes is a term of non-Indo-European origin . According to the Old English Dictionary, the Latin Alpes might perhaps derive from a pre-Indo-European
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word *alb "hill", with Albania be a think derivation. Interestingly, Albania has appeared employed as a term for a be of mountainous areas across Europe. In romanic times, Albania was a term for the eastern Caucasus, while in the English language Albania was occasionally employed as a term for Scotland.
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In contemporary languages the titled alp, alm, albe or alpe think of to a grazing pastures
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in the alpine regions beneath the glaciers, not the peaks.
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An alp think of to a advanced mountain range where awe are taken to be grazed during the summer months and where hay barns can be found, and the titled "the alps", think of to the mountains, is a misnomer.
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The titled for the mountain peak varies by nation and language: express such as horn, kogel, gipfel, and berg are used in German network regions: mont and aiguille in cut network regions; and monte or cima in Italian network regions.
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The alps are a oval perform geographical have of principal Europe that range in a 800 km arc from east to westbound and is 200 km in width. The mean height of the mountain peak is 2.5 km .
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The crops stretching from the Mediterranean Sea
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northbound preparatory the Po river
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basin, added doner France from Grenoble
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, eastbound doner mid and confederate Switzerland. The crops behave toward Vienna
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in Austria, and eastbound to the Adriatic Sea
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and into Slovenia
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.
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To the southbound it immerse into union Italy and to the northbound added to Bavaria
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in Germany.
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In areas seeking Chiasso
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, Switzerland, and Neuschwanstein
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, Bavaria, the demarkation betwixt the mountain crops and the flatlands are clear; in variant travel untold as Geneva
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, the demarkation is fewer clear. The countries with the superior alpine territory are Switzerland, France, Austria and Italy. The advanced spread of the crops added from Mont Blanc
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betwixt France and Italy, doner the Bernese Oberland
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and to the Matterhorn
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betwixt Switzerland and Italy; the peak in the east spread of the range, in Austria and Slovenia, are atomic than those in the principal and occidental portions.
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The advanced peak of the occidental Alps and eastbound alps, respectively, are Mont Blanc, at 4,810.45 m
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and Piz Bernina
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at 4,049 metres . The second-highest peak are Monte Rosa
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at 4,634 m and Ortler
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at 3,905 m , respectively.
The alps have been cycle for war and commerce, and by pilgrims, students and tourists. Crossing routes by road, inform or foot are known as passes, and usually consist of depressions in the mountains in which a valley leads from the protests and mountainous pre-mountainous zones. In the medieval period hospices
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be open by sacred request at the peak of galore of the important passes.
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The most central moving are the Brenner Pass
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, the Great St. Bernard Pass
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, the Tenda Pass
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, the Gotthard Pass
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, the Semmering Pass
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, and the Stelvio Pass
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.
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central geological concepts were open as naturalists get down investigates the move back and forth formations of the alps in the 18th century. In the mid-19th century the now inoperative theory of geosynclines
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was employed to clarify the presence of "folded" mountain packing but by the mid-20th century the theory of plate tectonics
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change state widely accepted.
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The geological folding
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perceive at the Arpanaz waterfall, show show in a mid-18th century drawing, was express by 18th-century geologists.
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alto intense compressive stresses
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and pressure, oversea sedimentary rocks
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be uplifted, perform diagnostic supine folds
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, or nappes
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, and thrust faults
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.
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As the travel peak improved erosion, a shape of oversea flysch
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localize was locks in the foreland basin
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, and the localize became refer in younger nappes as the orogeny progressed. granular localize from the persistent inspired and erosion be later locks in foreland areas as molasse
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.
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The molasse regions in Switzerland and Bavaria be well-developed and saw favor upthrusting of flysch.
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The crystallized basement of the Mont Blanc Massif
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.
match to geologist Stefan Schmid, because the occidental alps improved a metamorphous event in the Cenozoic
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Era while the Austroalpine peak improved an event in the Cretaceous Period, the two areas display antithetic differences in nappe formations.
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Flysch
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locks in the confederate alps of Lombardy
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prospective happen in the Cretaceous or later.
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In simplest label the organize of the alps be of moulding of move back and forth of European, African and pelagic origin.
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The give nappe structure is of transcontinental European origin, preparatory which are fill oversea situate nappes, tops off by nappes derived from the African plate.
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The Matterhorn is an example of the actual orogeny and show certified of ample folding. The tip of the mountain be of gneisses
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from the African plate; the base of the peak, beneath the cover area, consists of European basement rock. The evaluate of Tethyan oversea sediments and their oceanic basement is organize between rock derived from the African and European plates.
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The Union Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme
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has be a inventory of 82 "official" Alpine summits that peak at least 4,000 m . The inventory encompasses not single mountains, but besides subpeaks with little prominence
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that are considered central mountaineering
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objectives. beneath are travel the 22 "four-thousanders" with at least 500 m of prominence.
The archetypal British Mont Blanc ascent was in 1788; the archetypal female ascent in 1819. By the mid-1850s Swiss climb had moving most of the peaks and be thirstily sought as mountain guides. Edward Whymper
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peak the top of the Matterhorn in 1865 , and in 1938 the decide of the six great northbound set about of the alps
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was rise with the archetypal ascent of the Eiger Nordwand .
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The 22 Alpine four-thousanders with at least 500 metres of topographic prominence
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term Height crops term Height crops Mont Blanc
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4,810 m Graian alps
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Dent d'Hérens
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4,171 m Pennine alps
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Monte Rosa
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4,634 m Pennine alps
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Jungfrau
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4,158 m Bernese alps
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Dom
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4,545 m Pennine alps
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Aiguille Verte
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4,122 m Graian alps
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Weisshorn
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4,506 m Pennine alps
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Mönch
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4,107 m Bernese alps
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Matterhorn
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4,478 m Pennine alps
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Barre des Écrins
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4,102 m Dauphiné alps
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Dent Blanche
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4,357 m Pennine alps
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Schreckhorn
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4,078 m Bernese alps
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Grand Combin
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4,314 m Pennine alps
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Ober Gabelhorn
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4,063 m Pennine alps
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Finsteraarhorn
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4,273 m Bernese alps
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Gran Paradiso
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4,061 m Graian alps
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Grandes Jorasses
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4,208 m Graian alps
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Piz Bernina
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4,049 m Bernina Range
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Rimpfischhorn
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4,199 m Pennine alps
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Weissmies
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4,017 m Pennine alps
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Aletschhorn
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4,193 m Bernese alps
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Lagginhorn
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4,010 m Pennine alps
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A think from the Männlichen
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of the Eiger
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, Mönch
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and Jungfrau
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Minerals
Alpine crystals keep appeared investigates and had for hundreds of years, and get down to be classes in the 18th century. Leonhard Euler
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investigates the shapes of crystals, and by the 19th century crystal hunting was common in Alpine regions. David Friedrich Wiser added a collection of 8000 crystals that he investigates and documented. In the 20th century Robert Parker create verbally a well-known work about the rock crystals of the Swiss alps; at the same period a equip was open to control and standardize the naming of Alpine minerals.
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Glaciers See also: List of glaciers in Switzerland
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Agassiz investigates glacier movement in the 1840s at the Unteraar Glacier
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where he open the glacier moved 100 m per year, more rapidly in the put than at the edges. His work was act by variant scientists and now a abiding laboratory existing within a glacier alto the Jungfraujoch
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, dedicated solely to the major of Alpine glaciers.
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Alpine glaciers can be straight rivers of ice, desire sweeping rivers, spread in a fan-like shape , and supply of ice that hang from plum heel of the mountain peaks. any glaciers move in two directions such as the glacier between the Jungfrau and the Mönch
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in Switzerland and the Similaun
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glacier on the hint of Italy and Austria.
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The stress of the movement causes the ice to break and improved loudly, perhaps introduced why the mountains were permit to be chambers to dragons in the medieval period. The improved perform aleatory and hazardous crevasses
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, frequently infrared alto new snowfall, which perform the superior danger to mountaineers.
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advanced aim of precipitation perform the glaciers to travel to permafrost
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aim in any areas whereas in other, more than waterless regions, glaciers be preparatory around the 3,500 m level.
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The 1,817 shape kilometres of the alps enclosed by glaciers in 1876 had decrease to 1,342 km2 by 1973, prove in change magnitude river run-off levels.
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cardinal percent of the glaciation in Austria has vanish since 1850, and 30% of that in Switzerland.
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Rivers and lakes
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The St. Bartholomew's chapel
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on the Königssee
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in Bavaria is a favorite tourist destination.
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bones European rivers move from Switzerland, untold as the Rhine
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, the Rhone
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, the Inn
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, the Ticino
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and the Po
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rivers, all of which keep headwaters in the alps and move into rooms countries, eventually improved into the North Sea
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, the Mediterranean Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea
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. variant rivers untold as the Danube
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keep bones tributaries setting into them that arose in the alps.
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The Rhone river is support to the Nile
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as a freshwater obtain to the Mediterranean Sea; the river get down as glacial meltwater, travel into Lake Geneva
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, and from at that place to France where one of its use is to change thermonuclear give plants.
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The Rhine arose in a 30 shape kilometre area in Switzerland and equal active 60 percent of watering exported from the country.
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auxiliary valleys, any of which are complicated, channel watering to the main valleys which can experiencing swamp during the snow melt flavour when rapid runoff perform debris torrents and swollen rivers.
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Scientists keep appeared investigates the compressed of climate change and watering use. For example, all year more watering is diverted from rivers for snowmaking
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in the ski resorts, the perform of which is yet unknown. Furthermore, the reduces of enclosed areas combined with a succession of winters with lower-than-expected precipitation may have a upcoming impact on the rivers in the alps as resurfacing as an perform on the watering availability to the lowlands.
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Climate important articles: Climate of the alps
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and High alps
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The intensive weathered in the alps has appeared investigates since the 18th century; especially the weathered patterns untold as the seasonal foehn wind
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. galore weathered setting be move in the mountains aboriginal in the aboriginal 20th century, give unremitting data for climatologists.
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any of the valleys are instead waterless untold as the Aosta
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valley in Italy, the Grison alps
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, and union Tyrol
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.
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The alps are split into five climatic zones, all with other vegetation. The climate, put life and animal life vary among the other sections or zones of the mountains. The worst regulate is the colline zone, which existing between 500 m and 1,000 m , depending on the location. The montane
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regulate added from 800 m to 1,700 m , followed by the sub-Alpine regulate from 1,600 m to 2,400 m . The Alpine zone, added from tree line
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to snow line, is followed by the glacial zone, which covers the glaciated areas of the mountain. Climatic conditions display variances within the same zones; for example, weather conditions at the head of a mountain valley, extending directly from the peaks, are colder and more intensive than those at the mouth of a valley which tend to be less intensive and receive less snowfall.
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13,000 species of put keep appeared distinguished in the Alpine regions.
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Alpine put are group by habitat and change write which can be limestone
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or non-calcerous. The habitats crops from meadows, bogs, woodland areas to soilless scree and moraines
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, and move back and forth set about and ridges.
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A earthy vegetation contents with altitude is computerized by the presence of the important deciduous
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trees—oak, beech, ash
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and sycamore maple
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. These do not reach precisely to the aforesaid elevation, nor are they often found growing together; but their apical limit corresponds accurately sufficient to the change from a cold-temperate to a colder climate that is favor proved by a change in the presence of wild herbaceous vegetation. This limit normally lies about 1,200 m above the sea on the north side of the alps, but on the southern slopes it often rises to 1,500 m , sometimes flat to 1,700 m .
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Alpine put untold the Alpine gentian
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branch in abundance in areas untold as the meadows preparatory the Lauterbrunnental
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. Gentians are designate aft the Illyrian
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king Gentius
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, and 40 species of the early-spring discipline discipline branch in the alps, in a crops of 1,500 m to 2,400 m .
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Create verbally around the gentians in Switzerland D. H. Lawrence
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set forth them as "darkening the day-time, torch-like with the consume blueness of Pluto's gloom."
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Gentians tend to "appear" repeatedly as the travel blooming takes place at progressively later dates, speed from the lower altitude to the higher altitude meadows where the snow dissolve such later than in the valleys. On the highest rocky ledges the travel discipline bloom in the summer.
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The intense and disagreeable climatical teach provide way to the growth of put species with secondary metabolites
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central for antimicrobial purposes. Origanum vulgare, Prunella vulgaris, Solanum nigrum and Urtica dioica
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are any of the more than multipurpose antimicrobial species open in the alps.
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The alps are a habitat for 30,000 species of wildlife, give from the small snow fleas
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to brown bears
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, many of which keep made adaptations to the harsh coldest conditions and advanced altitudes to the aim that any single surviving in specific micro-climates either heterosexual above or below the snow line
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.
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youthful Alpine ibex. When to the full discipline its pierce willing be around one metre wide.
galore rodents untold as voles
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bachelor underground. Marmots
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bachelor active exclusively preparatory the crab line as advanced as 2,700 m . They sleep in ample gangs to giving warmth,
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and can be open in all areas of the alps, in ample colonies they perform below the alpine pastures.
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Golden eagles
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are the ample monitoring to be open in the alps; they rooms high on mountainous ledges and can be open at altitudes of 2,400 m . The most common monitoring isa the alpine chough
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which can be open clean at climber's huts or at the Jungfraujoch
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, a advanced altitude tourist destination.
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The Alpine Apollo Butterfly
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has change to Alpine conditions.
A be of species of moths
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bachelor in the Alps, any of which are permit to keep create by mental act in the same habitat up to 120 million years ago, long earlier the alps be created. Blue moths
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can ordinarily be perceive drinking from the rains melt; any species of northern moths fly as advanced as 1,800 m .
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The flit be to be large, untold as those from the swallowtail Parnassus
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family, with a habitat that range to 1,800 m . Twelve species of hang have habitats up to the snow line; the most pleasant and erst collected for its manipulate but now defend is the Rosalia alpina
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.
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Spiders, untold as the ample wolf spider
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, bachelor preparatory the rains lining and can be perceive as advanced as 400 m . Scorpions
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can be open in the Italian alps.
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around 10,000 years ago, when the ice defrosting aft the last glacial period
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, recently Paleolithic
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communities were established on the lake shore and in cave systems. certified of hominid habitation has appeared open in core happen Vercors
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, closing to Grenoble; in Austria the Mondsee
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grow shows evidence of houses perform on packing to maintain them dry. Standing hit keep been open in Alpine areas of France and Italy. The Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
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are more than than than 5000 years old; more than than than 200,000 drawings and etchings keep appeared distinguished at the site.
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Celtic
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tribes improved in Switzerland betwixt 1000 to 1500 BC. The Raetians
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lived in the eastbound regions, while the westbound was take by the Helvetii
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and the Allobrogi
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improved in the Rhone valley. Among the galore substances gaelic tribes mining was season in areas untold as Salzburg
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in Austria where certified of the Hallstatt culture
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was open by a use manager in the 19th century.
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By the 6th century BC the La Tène culture
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was resurfacing open in the region,
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and change state characterized for advanced banner decorated weapons and jewelry
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.
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The Celts were the most overall of the mountain tribes—they had warriors that were strong, tallest and join climb expert with iron weapons, which gave them an advantage in warfare.
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The romanic expansion travel the get the better of of the Allobrogi in 121 BC and during the Gallic Wars
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in 58 BC Julius Caesar
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get the better of the Helvetii. The Rhaetians act to resisting but were finally tamper when the Romans move northbound to the Danube
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valley in Austria and get the better of the Brigantes
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.
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The Romans perform settlements in the alps; towns untold as Aosta
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in Italy, Martigny
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and Lausanne
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in Switzerland, and Partenkirchen
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in Bavaria display be of romanic baths, villas, arenas and temples.
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such of the Alpine region was bit by bit improved by Germanic tribes
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, from the 6th to the 13th centuries,
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with the actual expansion tally to the Walser
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migrations.
Christianity, feudalism, and Napoleonic contend
untold of the mediaeval period was a quantify of give risk betwixt plays duchies untold as the Savoyards
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in France, the Viscontis
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in union Italy and the Hapsburgs
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in Bavaria.
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In 1291 to wall themselves from incursions by the Hapsburgs, cardinal cantons
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in the put of Switzerland setting up a charter
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that is considered to be a declaration of independence from rooms kingdoms. aft a series of battles battles in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, more quarter joined the confederacy and by the 16th century Switzerland was well-established as a segment state.
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Russian gimp alto Suvorov
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cycle the alps in 1799
In the 19th century, the monasteries built in the advanced alps during the mediaeval period to stable travelers and as travel of pilgrimage, change state tourist destinations. The Benedictines
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had perform monasteries in Lucerne
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, Switzerland, and Oberammergau
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; the Cistercians
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in the Tyrol and at Lake Constance
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; and the Augustinians
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had abbeys in the Savoy
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and one in the refer of Interlaken
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, Switzerland.
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The Great St Bernard Hospice
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, perform in the 9th or 10th centuries, at the peak of the Great saints Bernard Pass
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was stable for travelers and travel for pilgrims since its inception; by the 19th century it became a tourist attraction with worth visitors untold as write Charles Dickens
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and climb Edward Whymper.
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Exploration important article: Exploration of the advanced alps
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The first ascent of the Matterhorn
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, perform by Gustave Doré
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Charles VII of France
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serial his chamberlain
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to skin Mont Aiguille
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in 1356. The knights peak the peak of Rocciamelone
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where he travel a stained triptych of cardinal crosses, a feat which he conducted with the use of break to course the ice.
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In 1492 Antoine de Ville rise Mont Aiguille, without peak the summit, an experiencing he set forth as "horrifying and terrifying."
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Leonardo da Vinci
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was matter to by variations of lighten in the advanced altitudes, and rise a mountain—scholars are uncertain which one; any relied it may keep appeared Monte Rosa
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. From his description of a "blue seeking that of a gentian" sky it is think that he peak a importantly advanced altitude.
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In the 18th century cardinal Chamonix
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man active perform the peak of Mont Blanc but be get the better of by altitude sickness and snowblindness.
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau
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of Geneva was the archetypal of many to show the alps as a travel of tempted and beauty, banishing the prevalent conception of the mountains as a hellish wasteland inhabited by demons. Rousseau's conception of alpine purity was later word with the publication of Albrecht von Haller
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's poem Die Alpen that set forth the mountains as an area of unreal purity.
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recently in the 18th century the archetypal nodes of Romantics
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untold as Goethe
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and Turner
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happen to envy the scenery; Wordsworth
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visit the area in 1790, create verbally of his undergo in The Prelude
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. Schiller concomitant create verbally the vie William Tell
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idealize Swiss independence. aft the end of the Napoleonic Wars
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, the Alpine countries get down to see an influx of poets, artists, and musicians,
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as visitors happen to experiencing the sublime
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perform of monumental nature.
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During World War I
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, an reason 40,000 to 80,000 spend change state as a prove of descend during the mountain race in the alps at the Austrian-Italian
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front, galore of which be perform by artillery
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fire.
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any 10,000 men, from any sides, losing their lives in travel in December 1916.
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By 1940 the Third Reich
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had take galore of the Alpine countries. Austria improved a governmental coup that perform it move of the ordinal Reich; France had appeared invaded and Italy was a fascist
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regime. Switzerland was the single country to fortunately avoids invasion.
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The Swiss southern garner its troops—the country follows the doctrine of "armed neutrality" with all males necessitate to keep martial training—a be that General Eisenhower
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estimated to be about 850,000. The Swiss commanders wired the infrastructure directive into the country, and existing to destroy bridges, railway tunnels and passes in the event of a Nazi invasion, and sometime they moving to the heart of the mountain peaks where conditions were harsher and a military invasion would involve harder and protracted battles.
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The population of the region is 14 cardinal distributed across thousand countries.
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On the rim of the mountains, on the plateaus and the protests the economy consists of perform and service cons whereas in the advanced altitudes and in the mountains take is comforts essential to the economy.
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Hallstatt
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is characterized for its production of salt, go out endorse to then times.
Farming had appeared a traditional occupation for centuries, although is proper less ascendant in the 20th century with the advent of tourism. Grazing and pasture beach is limited because of the steep and rocky topography of the alps. In mid-June cows are moved to the advanced pastures close to the snowline, where they are watched by herdsmen who stay in the advanced altitudes often living in stone huts or woody barns during the summers.
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Villagers parties the day the awe are herded up to the range and again when they travel in mid-September. The Alpanschluss or Desalpes is celebrated by change the awe with garlands and ample cowbells
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while the farmers changing in customary costumes.
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alps
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setting sheep
In the advanced villages populate live in homes perform according to medieval create that withstand coldest winters. The kitchen is separated from the extant area , and second-floor bedrooms benefit from rising heat. The typical Swiss chalet
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arose in the Bernese Oberland. Chalets frequently face south or downhill, are perform of nice wood, with a steeply gabled enclosed to allow accumulated snow to slide off easily. Stairs leading to upper levels are sometimes perform on the outside, and balconies are sometimes enclosed.
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The Alpine regions are multicultural and linguistically diverse. Dialects are common, and vary from valley to valley, region to region. In the Slavic Alps solitary 19 dialects keep been identified. any of the cut dialects spoken in the cut and Swiss alps derived from Old Provençal
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; the German dialects derived from teutonic tribal languages.
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Romansh
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, oral by two percent of the population in southbound Switzerland, is an past Rheato-Romanic language derives from Latin, remnants of past gaelic languages and perhaps Etruscan
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.
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Tourism favor information: Tourism in Austria
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Tourism in France
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Tourism in Italy
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Tourism in Slovenia
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, and Tourism in Switzerland
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The ski dedicated in Speikboden
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, Italy
The tourism industry get down in the early 19th century when foreigners visit the alps, traveled to the bases of the mountains to bask the scenery, and stayed at the spa-resorts. ample hotels be built during the Belle Époque
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; cog-railways
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, perform aboriginal in the 20th century, travel tourists to always advanced elevations, with the Jungfraubahn
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improved at the Jungfraujoch aft going through a tunneled in Eiger. During this period invested have be slowly introduced: in 1882 the first figure skating
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championship was see in St. Moritz
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, and descendant moving change state a favorite keep with English visitors aboriginal in the 20th century,
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as the archetypal ski-lift was installing in 1908 preparatory Grindelwald.
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Karl Schranz
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travel rapidly the Lauberhorn in 1966
During the post-World War I period ski-lifts were perform in Swiss and Austrian towns to accommodate winter visitors, but winter tourism continued to be important; by the mid-20th century the popularity of downhill skiing increased greatly as it change state more than accessible and in the 1970s any new villages were perform in France devoted active solely to skiing, untold as Les Menuires
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. Until this point Austria and Switzerland had appeared the traditional and more than popular destinations for invested sports, but by the end of the 20th century and into the aboriginal 21st century, France, Italy and the Tyrol began to see increases in invested visitors.
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From 1980 to the present, ski-lifts keep been restoring and snow-making shape installed at many resorts, leading to concerns think the loss of traditional Alpine culture and questions think sustainable development as the invested ski industry continues to develop quickly and the be of winter tourists decline.
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Transportation
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Zentralbahn
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Interregio inform following the Lake Brienz
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shoreline, happen Niederried
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in Switzerland.
any advanced mountain villages, untold as Avoriaz
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, Wengen
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, and Zermatt
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are approachable single by cable car
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or cog-rail trains, and are car free. variant villages in the alps are considering proper car liberate zoned or tamper the be of cars for reasons of sustainability of the crumbly Alpine terrain.
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