UNESCO Tectonic Arena Sardona


The 300 sq. kilometer area around the Piz Sardona shows the geological phenomenon of overlay - older rock strata are to be found above younger ones. They bear witness to the formation of mountains and to plate tectonics.

Due to its geologic peculiarities, the Glarus Overthrust in the GeoPark Sarganserland-Walensee-Glarnerland between Elm, Schwanden, Kerenzerberg, Flums, Bad Ragaz and Flims is included in the list of Unesco World Heritage sites. The conspicuous rock overlay, clearly visible in the terrain, as well as the importance of historical research for understanding the development of mountains were decisive for the inclusion of the Swiss Tectonic Arena Sardona in the World Heritage List.

The razor sharp notch in the rock face, which weathers slightly to yellow, is clearly visible from a great distance. The "Glarus Overthrust" rises from the Vorderrhein Valley to 3000 meters and north of the culmination in the Hausstock-Sardona-Ringelspitz region it descends and becomes increasingly steeper towards the north. Here, 250-million-year-old greenish to reddish Verrucano rocks were thrust over the 35 to 50 million years "young" brownish-grey, mostly slate-like flysh rock. Ancient stone formations overlie rocks that are younger by 200 million years!

Other natural phenomena are: an unusually high density of geotopes, witnesses to the earth's history worthy of protection such as the Lochsite, the Tschingelhoren mountains with Martinsloch, the copper quarry on the Mürtschenalp and the landscapes defined by ice-age glaciers in the remote part of the Murgtal Valley.


Location and Map