Thuringian Highland

Last updated
Slate houses like these in Gehren characterise many of the villages in the Thuringian Highland Schieferhaus Gehren.JPG
Slate houses like these in Gehren characterise many of the villages in the Thuringian Highland

The Thuringian Highland, [1] Thuringian Highlands or Thuringian-Vogtlandian Slate Mountains [2] (German : Thüringer Schiefergebirge or Thüringisches Schiefergebirge, literally "Thuringian Slate Hills") is a low range of mountains in the German state of Thuringia.



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 500 m above NN 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.


The Steinerne Rose, a diabase rock formation near Saalburg-Ebersdorf Steinerne Rose.jpg
The Steinerne Rose, a diabase rock formation near Saalburg-Ebersdorf

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.

Rivers and hydro-electric power

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.

Mountains and hills

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.

  1. Großer Farmdenkopf (869 m), Sonneberg district
  2. Kieferle (867 m), Sonneberg district
  3. Bleßberg (865 m), Hildburghausen district
  4. Dürre Fichte (861 m), Sonneberg district
  5. Breitenberg (Thuringian Forest) (844 m), Sonneberg district
  6. Fellberg (842 m), Steinach, Sonneberg district
  7. Eselsberg (842 m), Hildburghausen district, Thuringian Forest/Thuringian Highland border
  8. Pechleite (839 m), Hildburghausen district
  9. Fehrenberg (835 m), Hildburghausen district, Thuringian Forest/Thuringian Highland border
  10. Hoher Schuß (827 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  11. Wurzelberg (820 m), Sonneberg district
  12. Jagdschirm (813 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  13. Hintere Haube (811 m), Ilm district
  14. Langer Berg (809 m), Ilm district
  15. Hettstädt (808 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  16. Rauhhügel (802 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  17. Roter Berg (799 m), Sonneberg district
  18. Wetzstein (791 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  19. Meuselbacher Kuppe (786 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  20. Fröbelturm (784 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  21. Grendel (784 m), Hildburghausen district
  22. Spitzer Berg (781 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  23. Simmersberg (781 m), Landkr. Hildburghausen, Thuringian Forest/Thuringian Highland border
  24. Himmelsleiter (Berg) (774 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  25. Töpfersbühl (762 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  26. Sieglitzberg (733 m), Saale-Orla district
  27. Kirchberg (Thuringia) (725,3 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  28. Rosenberg (Thuringian Highland) (716 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  29. Großer Mühlberg (714 m), Sonneberg district
  30. Quittelsberg (709 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  31. Bocksberg (696 m), Sonneberg district
  32. Auf der Heide (668 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  33. Beerberg (667 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  34. Barigauer Höhe (665 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  35. Zipptanskuppe (657 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  36. Rosenbühl (653 m), Saale-Orla district
  37. Keilsburg (648 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  38. Eisenberg (636 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  39. Talberg (602 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  40. Batzenberg (588 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  41. Schwarzer Berg (Thuringia) (582 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  42. Elmischer Berg (529 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  43. Geiersberg (520 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  44. Rabenhügel (506 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  45. Roderberg (502 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  46. Sommerberg (493 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district
  47. Ziegenberg (460 m), Saalfeld-Rudolstadt district

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thuringian Forest</span> Mountain range in the German state of Thuringia

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saale</span> River in Germany

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saalfeld</span> Town in Thuringia, Germany

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lauscha</span> Town in Thuringia, Germany

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Schwarza (Saale)</span> River in Thuringia, Germany

The Schwarza is a left tributary of the Saale in Thuringia, Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lichte</span> Ortsteil of Neuhaus am Rennweg 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rennsteig</span> Long-distance trail in Germany

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Großer Farmdenkopf</span>

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kulm (Saalfeld)</span>

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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Saalfeld-Rudolstadt – Saale-Holzland-Kreis – Saale-Orla-Kreis</span> Federal electoral district of Germany

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.


  1. Dickinson, Robert E. (1964). Germany: A regional and economic geography (2nd ed.). London: Methuen. p. 629.
  2. Kohl, Horst; Marcinek, Joachim and Nitz, Bernhard (1986). Geography of the German Democratic Republic, VEB Hermann Haack, Gotha, p. 7 ff. ISBN   978-3-7301-0522-1.


50°30′N11°10′E / 50.500°N 11.167°E / 50.500; 11.167