The Nockbergs world of rock

The Nockbergs, or "Nocken", are roundly smoothed rises to a maximum height of about 2,400 metres. The largest stands of spruce and stone pine in the eastern Alps encompass these Nockbergs, which have been under National Park protection since 1987.

"Nocken" - gently rounded forms in a multifaceted world of rock

The Nockbergs are among the most interesting minor mountain ranges in Europe, and due to their gently rounded forms and geological diversity are rarities in the region of the Alps. They contain crystalline rock varieties, such as mica slate, paragneiss and quartz phyllite.

The geological uniqueness, however, lies in the existence of an about 3km-wide limestone and dolomite range crushed into crystalline layers, which crosses the National Park area in a north-south direction and reveals numerous karst formations. All of these rocks, of the most differing types, came into being over hundreds of millions of years through the countless change of land and sea, desert and primeval forest!

The appearance of the rounded "Nocken" was marked in a only few areas by the Ice Age glaciers, which left behind the rugged cirques with embedded, clear cirque lakes and sharp ridges. This fascinating landscape was smoothly rounded by numerous clear streams and a great number of small, cold mountain lakes and ponds greatly lacking in nutrition, which together with the green cloak of the forests of spruce, larch and stone pine, brings about an impression of silent melancholy.