Laaser Marmor - Marmor für New York

Der Laaser Marmor ist der weißeste Marmor der Welt. Dem groß angelegten Abbau unter Tage, hoch über dem Dorf Laas mitten in den Südtiroler Bergen, folgt ein aufwändiger und in seiner Art einmaliger Abtransport ins Tal. Mit einem Kabelkran werden die Marmorblöcke vom Weißwasserbruch auf die gegenüberliegende Talseite abgeseilt. Eine Schmalspur - Lokomotive bringt daraufhin die weißen Blöcke zur Plattform einer Standseilbahn, mit welcher sie ins Tal transportiert werden. Im Tal fährt eine weitere Lokomotive den Marmor zur industriellen Verarbeitung ins Laaser Marmorwerk. Der größte Auftrag ging in den letzten Jahren nach New York, wo die spektakuläre U-Bahnstation am Ground Zero (Oculus Station) mit dem Laaser Marmor gestaltet wurde.

40.000 square meters of whitest marble can be admired at the recently inaugurated most expensive railway station of the world. 40.000 square meters, which, according to star architect Santiago Calavatra, give the special touch of brilliance to the Oculus station in the heart of New York City. As pompous and luxurious this $4 billion building may seem, as unimpressive seems the home of the white stone, often called the whitest marble of the world: Lasa, a small village in the South Tyrolean alps. But there, high above the village, the quarry is almost as spectacular as the station in New York. Deep in the mountains, tunnels, high as cathedrals, are the temple of the white gold. Once, the precious stone was carved free by hand by over 300 workers in several months of heavy work, nowadays meter-long diamond saws do the job within hours, operated by only 20 men. As spectacular as the underground mining is the over 100-year-old transportation method, the marble road, a four stage-railway unique in the world. First, the marble blocks are transported to the opposite side of the valley by an aerial cableway. An old electric locomotive brings the blocks to a platform of a cable railway. This old but ecofriendly structure takes the marble 500 meters down to the valley, where the blocks are loaded onto another locomotive, which brings them to the site where the stone is industrially processed by Lasa Marmo.