Mont Blanc, Monte Bianco in Italian, is the tallest mountain in the Alps as well as the highest in Europe if you exclude the Caucasus peaks and everything east of them.
Why Is It Famous?
Mont Blanc is famous for its picturesque appearance as well as its status as the tallest mountain in the Alps. The mountain is also the 11th most topographically prominent mountain in the world with a prominence of 4,696 meters. The entire Mont Blanc massif is very popular among tourists, including for winter sports, hiking, and climbing.
What Is Nearby?
The mountain is in the Graian Alps, which are between Haute-Savoie and Savoie in France and Aosta Valley in Italy. The summit sits on the watershed line connecting the Montjoie and Arve valleys in France with the Ferret and Veny valleys in Italy. As such, the mountain is right in the middle of the commonly-agreed-upon border between Italy and France.
Mont Blanc’s summit is perennially covered in snow and ice, with varying thickness. Because of this, geologists cannot determine a permanent elevation of the summit. In 2002, expert surveyors and the IGN used GPS technology to measure it at 4,807 meters. Remeasuring after the 2003 heatwave showed the elevation at 4,808.45 meters with the peak 75 centimeters to the side of its previous location. Since this point, experts measure the mountain’s elevation every other year, using the results to provide some insight into climate change.
Events in Time
Ownership of the mountain has been a hot issue starting at the time of the French Revolution. Between 1416 and 1792, the Duchy of Savoy contained the entire mountain, but this became more complicated after that due to the French receiving Savoy. The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, repeatedly expressed claims on Mont Blanc in June 2015.
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and a popular vacation spot. It sits between Italy and France, with the two countries frequently disagreeing over its ownership.