The Central German Uplands
The German “Mittelgebirge” or Central German Uplands with its extensive forests, rifts and valleys form part of the Central European Uplands that reach from the Massif Central in France to the mountain ranges in eastern Europe.
The German Federal States of Hesse, Saarland, Thuringia, parts of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony as well as parts of northern Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg are
located in the German Uplands which are generally moderate in height and seldom reach elevations of more than a thousand metres above sea level. The higher elevations are usually forested, lower-lying areas are used for dairy farming and pruduction of grain, fruit, vegetables or potatoes.
The northernmost fringes of the Central German Uplands are the Teutoburg Forest and the Wiehengebirge in North Rhine-Westphalia with elevations of under 300 metres. At the “Porta Westfalica” near Minden the Weser River breaks through the uplands to reach the North German Lowland.
In the west, the Rhine river cuts through the Rheinish Uplands with the mountain ranges of the Taunus,Westerwald, Siebengebirge, Siegerland, Bergisches Land, Sauerland and Rothaargebirge. Elevations range from 400 to 900 metres.
In the far southeastern corner of the Central German Uplands lies the – densely forrested -Bavarian Forest(Bayerischer Wald) which is part of the Bohemian Massif that reaches into the Czech Republic and Austria. Highest elevation of the Bavarian Forest, a favoured wintersports region, is the “Grosser Arber” mountain with a height of 1456 metres above sea level. Part of the Bavarian Forest was declared a National Park.
The famousBlack Forest with its peak “Feldberg” (1,493 metres) in southwestern Germany is an extension of the Jura Mountains of France and Switzerland. It continues north, to the Odenwald and Spessart hills. Another Jura range forms the Swabian Alb and the Franconian Alb.