The Alps - Europe's impressive Mountain range

The Alps - Europe's impressive Mountain range

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range that lies entirely in Europe. The mountains are stretching approximately 1.200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries (from west to east): France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia.

The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years. Extreme shortening opf tectonic plates resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and the Zugsptze. The Mont Blanc at 4.810 m (15,781 ft) is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

The Alpine region has a strong cultural identity. The traditional culture of farming, cheesemaking, and woodworking still exists in many Alpine villages.