World Heritage Photos

Monte San Giorgio

Monte San Giorgio is a cross-border UNESCO World Heritage Site, shared by Switzerland and Italy. The wooded mountain of Monte San Giorgio lies in the southern part of the canton of Ticino in Switzerland, 50 km from Bellinzona. The pyramid-shaped mountain is overlooking Lake Lugano. Monte San Giorgio is a site of extreme historical, archaeological and scientific importance. The rocks of Monte San Giorgio contain a rich quantity of fossils that date back to the Triassic Period (245-230 million years ago). During the Triassic Period, Monte San Giorgio was not the mountain that we know today, but a subtropical lagoon, it was partially separated from the open sea by an offshore reef, the seabed created an environment favorable to the preservation of the remains of the animals that inhabited the lagoon. Because the lagoon was near land, the fossils include not only marine fossils, but also fossils from the nearby land, such as insects, reptiles and plants. The Fossil Museum at Meride in Switzerland and the Fossil Museum at Besano in Italy exhibits a selection of the fossilized animals and plants from the Monte San Giorgio and nearby mountains. The Monte San Giorgio gained the status as a UNESCO World Heritage in 2003. A section of the mountains Poncione d'Arzo (also Monte Pravello) and Monte Orsa, situated in Italy, were added in 2010. Another major fossil site in Europe is the Messel Pit in Germany.

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Monte San Giorgio - Monte San Giorgio: A fossil of the teeth of the Acrodus georgii, the fossiel was found in Besano in Italy. Thousands of fossils were...

Monte San Giorgio: A fossil of the teeth of the Acrodus georgii, the fossiel was found in Besano in Italy. Thousands of fossils were found on the Monte San Giorgio since the 19th century. The Monte San Giorgio gained the status as a UNESCO World Heritage in 2003. An extension of the site is a section of the nearby mountains Poncione d'Arzo (or Monte Pravello) and Monte Orsa in Italy were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.

  1. Monte San Giorgio - Monte San Giorgio: A fossil of the teeth of the Acrodus georgii, the fossiel was found in Besano in Italy. Thousands of fossils were...

    Monte San Giorgio: A fossil of the teeth of the Acrodus georgii, the fossiel was found in Besano in Italy. Thousands of fossils were found on the Monte San Giorgio since the 19th century. The Monte San Giorgio gained the status as a UNESCO World Heritage in 2003. An extension of the site is a section of the nearby mountains Poncione d'Arzo (or Monte Pravello) and Monte Orsa in Italy were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.

  2. Monte San Giorgio - Monte San Giorgio: The skull of a Nothosaurus giganteus was found in the Besano Formation, Italy. The Fossil Museum in the Swiss...

    Monte San Giorgio: The skull of a Nothosaurus giganteus was found in the Besano Formation, Italy. The Fossil Museum in the Swiss town of Meride and the Fossil Museum in the Italian town of Besano exhibits a selection of fossilized animals and plants found on the Monte San Giorgio and the nearby mountains Poncione d'Arzo (also known as the Monte Pravello) and Monte Orsa.

  3. Monte San Giorgio - Monte San Giorgio: A fossil of a Ptycholepsis, a primitive ray finned fish, was discovered in the Besano Formation...

    Monte San Giorgio: A fossil of a Ptycholepsis, a primitive ray finned fish, was discovered in the Besano Formation in Italy. The first fossils at the Monte San Giorgio were found during mining excavations of oil shale. The deposits of the Monte San Giorgio mainly contain marine organism such as algae, fishes and marine reptiles.

  4. Monte San Giorgio - Monte San Giorgio: A fossil of the Acrodus georgii, the fossil was found in the Besano Formation, Italy. The fossils found at the...

    Monte San Giorgio: A fossil of the Acrodus georgii, the fossil was found in the Besano Formation, Italy. The fossils found at the Monte San Giorgio, a former subtropical lagoon, include not only marine fossils, but also some fossils from the nearby land, such as insects, plants and terrestrial reptiles. 

  5. Monte San Giorgio - Monte San Giorgio: This mining cart was used to transport oil shale, the oil shale of the Monte San Giorgio was mined in order...

    Monte San Giorgio: This mining cart was used to transport oil shale, the oil shale of the Monte San Giorgio was mined in order to extract mineral oil and a bituminuous salve. The layers of the oil shale of the Monte San Giorgio were also rich in fossils, they were discovered during mining excavations of the oil shale. 

  6. Monte San Giorgio - Monte San Giorigo: The fossil of the Serpianosaurus mirigiolensis, an extinct species of a semi-aquatic reptile. These reptiles...

    Monte San Giorigo: The fossil of the Serpianosaurus mirigiolensis, an extinct species of a semi-aquatic reptile. These reptiles lived about 242 millions years ago. The fossil was found close to Besaono in 1954, on the border between Italy and Switzerland.

  7. Monte San Giorgio - Monte San Giorgio: Lake Lugano viewed from the Monte San Giorgio, the wooded mountain is a site of extreme archaeological, historical...

    Monte San Giorgio: Lake Lugano viewed from the Monte San Giorgio, the wooded mountain is a site of extreme archaeological, historical and scientific value. The mountain is located in the Alps in southern Switzerland nearby the Italian border. The rocks of Monte San Giorgio contain a rich quantity of fossils that date back as far as the Triassic Period (245-230 million years ago).