The Thuringian Highland, : Thüringer Schiefergebirge or Thüringisches Schiefergebirge, literally "Thuringian Slate Hills") is a low range of mountains in the German state of Thuringia.Thuringian Highlands or Thuringian-Vogtlandian Slate Mountains (German
The Thuringian Highland borders on the Thuringian Forest to the southwest. It is a plateau about 20 km wide that slopes southeast towards the Saale valley in the area of the Saale Dam and includes parts of the Thuringian Forest and Thuringian Highland and Upper Saale Nature Park.
The largest towns in the Thuringian Highland are Saalfeld and Bad Blankenburg which lie on its northern perimeter, Neuhaus am Rennweg in the highest region and Bad Lobenstein on the eastern edge (where it transitions into Franconian Forest).
The area includes a total of 4 smaller regions:
The slate mountains of the Vogtland and Thuringian Highland stretch from the Thuringian Forest to the Ore Mountains. They are between about 300 m to high, and comprise gently rolling hills which are part of the backbone of the Central Uplands. They extend for about 75 km from east to west and 50 km from north to south. Typical features of the landscape are the dolerite peaks or Kuppen (like the Pöhlde or the Hübel) with their wooded crests. These are made from a volcanic rock, dolerite, which is harder than the surrounding rocks and so weathers more slowly, giving rise to the characteristic Kuppen.
As its German name suggests, the Thuringian Highland is mainly made of slate rock. Although this region was formed in a similar way to the Harz, it lacks the sharp divisions caused by fault lines. Almost all the way round the region transitions gradually into the surrounding land. The rocks found here are from the Palaeozoic era, i.e. the Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian and Lower Carboniferous periods. The most important ones are:
Karst-forming, and hence cave-forming, limestone only occurs in a few, small, isolated areas. As a result the number of caves is very low.
In the Saale Valley there are two of the largest dams in Germany, which form the Hohenwarte and Bleiloch Reservoirs. In the Schwarza Valley there is the Goldisthal Pumped Storage Station, opened in 2003, which is one of the largest pumped-storage hydro-electric power stations in Europe.
Around the steep-sided valleys of the Schwarza and Saale the height difference between hilltops and valley bottoms is often as much as 300 m or more, which is large for hills of this size.
The Thuringian Forest, is a mountain range in the southern parts of the German state of Thuringia, running northwest to southeast. Skirting from its southerly source in foothills to a gorge on its north-west side is the Werra valley. On the other side of the Forest is an upper outcrop of the North German Plain, the Thuringian Basin, which includes the city Erfurt. The south and south-east continuation of the range is the highland often called the Thuringian-Vogtlandian Slate Mountains.
The Saale, also known as the Saxon Saale and Thuringian Saale, is a river in Germany and a left-bank tributary of the Elbe. It is not to be confused with the smaller Franconian Saale, a right-bank tributary of the Main, or the Saale in Lower Saxony, a tributary of the Leine.
Hildburghausen is a district in Thuringia, Germany. It is bounded by the district of Schmalkalden-Meiningen, the city of Suhl, the districts of Ilm-Kreis, Saalfeld-Rudolstadt and Sonneberg, and the state of Bavaria. Located roughly halfway between the mountain chains of the Rhön and the Thuringian Forest, the district is densely forested and covered by hilly countryside. Its territory is similar to that of the former Ernestine duchy, Saxe-Hildburghausen.
Ilm-Kreis is a district in Thuringia, Germany. It is bounded by the city of Erfurt, the districts of Weimarer Land, Saalfeld-Rudolstadt and Hildburghausen, the city of Suhl, and the districts of Schmalkalden-Meiningen and Gotha. It is named after the river Ilm, flowing through the district.
Kronach is a Landkreis (district) in Bavaria, Germany. It is bounded by the districts of Hof, Kulmbach, Lichtenfels and Coburg, and the state of Thuringia.
Saalfeld-Rudolstadt is a Kreis (district) in the south of Thuringia, Germany. Neighboring districts are the districts Weimarer Land, Saale-Holzland, Saale-Orla, the district Kronach in Bavaria, and the districts Sonneberg, Hildburghausen and Ilm-Kreis.
Sonneberg is a Kreis (district) in the south of Thuringia, Germany. Neighboring districts are the districts Hildburghausen, Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, and the Bavarian districts Kronach and Coburg.
Weimarer Land is a Landkreis (district) in the east of Thuringia, Germany. Neighboring districts are the district Burgenlandkreis in Saxony-Anhalt, the district Saale-Holzland and the district-free city Jena, the district Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, Ilm-Kreis, and the district-free city Erfurt. The district-free city Weimar is completely enclosed by the district.
Saalfeld is a town in Germany, capital of the Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district of Thuringia. It is best known internationally as the ancestral seat of the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha branch of the Saxon House of Wettin.
Lauscha is a town in the district of Sonneberg, in Thuringia, Germany. It is situated 13 km north of Sonneberg, and 24 km southwest of Saalfeld. Lauscha is known for its glassblowing, especially for Christmas tree decorations like baubles.
The Schwarza is a left tributary of the Saale in Thuringia, Germany.
Lichte is a village and a former municipality in the district of Sonneberg in Thuringia, Germany, close to the Thuringian Rennsteig. Formerly in the district Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, it is part of the town Neuhaus am Rennweg since January 2019.
The Rennsteig is a ridge walk as well as an historical boundary path in the Thuringian Forest, Thuringian Highland and Franconian Forest in Central Germany. The long-distance trail runs for about 170 km from Eisenach and the Werra valley in the northwest to Blankenstein and the Selbitz river in the southeast.
In the Free state of Thuringia there is the possibility to establish municipal associations (de:Verwaltungsgemeinschaften) according to § 46 of the Thuringian Communal- and District Order . In addition, the transference of administration procedures to a particular fulfilling municipality might be possible as well.
At 869 m above sea level (NN), the Großer Farmdenkopf is the highest peak in the Thuringian Highland. It is situated in the county of Sonneberg in the German state of Thuringia.
The Kieferle, near Steinheid in the county of Sonneberg, is a mountain, 867.2 m above sea level (NHN), in the Thuringian Highland and the second highest mountain of this range, which forms the eastern part of the Thuringian Forest.
The Kulm is a hill, 481.9 m above sea level (NHN), near Saalfeld in the German state of Thuringia. It lies east of the Saale valley at the western tip of the Saale 'Knee' and is the local hill of the towns of Saalfeld and Rudolstadt. From the Kulm there is a panoramic view over the valleys of the Saale and Rinne, the Orla Basin, the Thuringian Highland and the Ilm-Saale Plateau. Near the Kulm are the villages of Schloßkulm and Dorfkulm, which belong to the municipalities of Uhlstädt-Kirchhasel and Unterwellenborn respectively.
Saalfeld-Rudolstadt – Saale-Holzland-Kreis – Saale-Orla-Kreis is an electoral constituency represented in the Bundestag. It elects one member via first-past-the-post voting. Under the current constituency numbering system, it is designated as constituency 195. It is located in eastern Thuringia, comprising the districts of Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, Saale-Holzland-Kreis, and Saale-Orla-Kreis.