LUMEN: Museum of Mountain Photography

A newly opened museum celebrates man’s fascination with mountains. LUMEN, overlooking the iconic Dolomites range, offers an in-depth exploration of mountain photography.

Spanning four floors the museum showcases the art of mountain photographers from around the world.

LUMEN shows historic pictures and digital innovations alongside special exhibitions and spectacular productions.

What makes the curated program unique is its interdisciplinary character. Alpinism, tourism, politics, spirituality and history all find a home here.

We take a look at just some of the highlights.

Rewriting the rules of mountain photography

LUMEN’s objective is to combine entertainment with a photographic approach.

It aims to rewrite the rules for the presentation of mountain photography.

Permanent exhibition, Messner meets Messner by Durst, celebrates mountain pioneer and Alps ambassador Reinhold Messner.

The Adrenaline Room highlights innovative approaches and state-of-the-art technology for alpine sport in cooperation with Red Bull Illume.

An artistic-poetic consideration of mountain atmosphere is on offer in The Mirror Room. This unusual space invites visitors to ask: ‘Where does reality end and illusion begin?’.

Interaction is again key to Dia Horama which presents photo sequences and offers the chance for viewers to immerse themselves in the oeuvre of famous international photographers.

The Room of Miracles gives visitors the opportunity to admire rare artefacts from the world of mountain photography.

Meanwhile a physics collection explores the role of physics and chemistry in photography. It asks how the unique physical conditions of mountain photography contribute to the laws which have to be followed.

LUMEN Spiegelsaal – The Mirror Room

What is behind the image?

However, LUMEN is about more than just the final photographs.

It also aims to explore the impact of man on those mountains – whether through commercial interests or politics.

A dedicated marketing and tourism section explores the often contentious issue of commercialism and mountains. It examines how mountains are branded before being ‘used and abused’ as logos for countless products.

The politics section explores mountains’ roles in national identity.

“With the formation of the nation states in the second half of the 19th century there occurred an ideologisation of the alpine area,” said a LUMEN spokesman.

“Suddenly, mountains and summit regions are used as political borders.

“Mountains became symbols of nationality that create identity.

“The exhibition shines light on the mountain as a symbol of power and symbol of born winners.”

A tribute to pioneers

In its beginnings mountain photography was exclusively part of scientific research.

Photography as a proof or memory of adventures did not matter. It was considered too expensive, too risky and too difficult.

The pioneers of mountain photography allowed its touristic use to be gradually discovered.

The Wall of Fame celebrates those pioneers.

It is dedicated to the Bisson brothers, Joseph Tairraz, Bernhard Johannes, Jules Beck and Vittorio Sella as the first photo-alpinist.


A taste of the mountains

Away from the exhibits themselves, LUMEN offers meeting space for 200 people and a ground-breaking restaurant.

It is in the ApliNN restaurant that the culinary concept Cook the Mountain by Norbert Niederkofler has found its home.

Its location on the summit of Plan de Corones with its views of the Dolomites panorama, combines mountain culture and tradition with culinary and gastronomy.

From local raw materials and simple natural ingredients resident chef Marco Perez, under the direction of Niederkofler, serves dishes bringing a genuine taste of the local mountain cuisine on the plate.

Partners and support

Prior to opening, LUMEN had already received notable regional and international support.

“Doing justice to the variety of mountain photography would have never been possible without the support of our national and international partners,” said a LUMEN spokesman.

“We are thankful not only for their trust but also for their constructive and tight-knight teamwork in terms of content.”

The innovative Tyrolean Archive of photographic documentation and art (TAP) is not just a regional partner. It was also the first partner to have its own exhibition.

DURST, a world-leading producer of trendsetting production technologies, made digital reproduction of the exhibited pictures possible.

National Geographic and Red Bull Illume, a leading photography contest dedicated to adventure and action sports, are LUMEN’s international partners.

A shutter at LUMEN can be closed to used as a projection screen


LUMEN Museum opened in December 2018.

Its unique location on the Plans de Corones, Italy, reflects the subject matter within.

Offering a trinity of exhibition, event space and alpine cuisine, this museum aims to be a monument to mountain photography.

For more information visit

Main image: Lumen Rendering Outside © Studio GioForma Milano

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