The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe. They have become a popular tourist and holiday destination.
The Alps stretch approximately 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) across eight Alpine countries: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland. The Alpine region has a strong cultural identity. The traditional culture of farming, cheese-making and woodworking still exists in Alpine villages. The Alps are one of the more popular tourist destinations in the world with many resorts such Oberstdorf, in Bavaria, Saalbach in Austria, Davos in Switzerland, Chamonix in France and Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy recording more than a million annual visitors. With over 120 million visitors a year, tourism is integral to the Alpine economy, with much of it coming from winter sports, although summer visitors are also an important component. This is a collection of DW's content on the Alps.
The end of Merkel's era in Germany – Are NATO's military exercises out of touch with the times? - Moscow wants to roll out face recognition technology - Brexit and the British rush to buy real estate in France - Marriage equality in the Czech Republic – Saving the Alps from the rigors of tourism – Courting Europe's pink vote – Ireland and citizenship – The Third Man draws tourists to Vienna
The recent summer heat reminded us of the fragility of the Alpine environment. Scientists warn that due to a series of hot summers and mild winters the Alpine permafrost is evaporating, making rocks unstable and prone to collapse. As we flock there for winter thrills or summer fun, we are having an impact. Could there be a way to enjoy the Alps without further harm? Christian Cummins reports.