30. Croda da Lago

30 Croda da LagoDolomites028

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I have often gazed down at this view from the mountains to the north of the Great Dolomite Road as it winds down to Cortina from the Passo Falzarego, but the view is prefaced by a huge carpet of pine forest. I was therefore pessimistic that the spot along the Road from which Zardini took the photograph shown would still give a clear view.

I was quite wrong, however. About 100 metres west from the little wooden memorial chapel to the Italian Alpini troops, mid-way between Cortina and the Falzarego Pass summit, there is a clear break in the trees, which has helped perpetuate the very same panorama of the 2,700 metre summit of the Croda da Lago and its shapely subsidiary bastions.

A view unchanged, and unchanging.

This photo does not appear at all in the Zardini guide to the Road from Cortina towards Bolzano, although it is easily seen travelling in either direction.

Very close to where this shot was taken stands the remembrance chapel to the Italian Alpini Regiment soldiers killed in the WW1 fighting on the Col di Lana and Falzarego mountains. Until the large concrete ossuary at Pocol was constructed, there was also an extensive graveyard in the woods beside the chapel. These three photographs date from 1919, only two years after the fighting in this area had ceased:

398_001843_001Pocol Cemetery 1919

This card of the cemetery is hand-dated for 1922:

Pocol Cemetery 1922 Front

The Ghedina company of Cortina also photographed the cemetery for a postcards on sale in the 1930s:

385_001Pocol Cemetery 1930s

Nowadays, there is a new chapel, and the original stands in a ruinous state not far away. Of the old graveyard there is not the remotest trace any more.

This is one of my 2011 photographs:


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