ⓘ Natural regions of Germany. This division of Germany into major natural regions takes account primarily of geomorphological, geological, hydrological, and pedol ..

                                     

ⓘ Natural regions of Germany

This division of Germany into major natural regions takes account primarily of geomorphological, geological, hydrological, and pedological criteria in order to divide the country into large, physical units with a common geographical basis. Political boundaries play no part in this, apart from defining the national border.

In addition to a division of Germany by natural regions, the federal authorities have also produced a division by so-called landscape areas Landschaftsraume that is based more on human utilisation of various regions and so has clearly different boundaries.

                                     

1. Groundwork by the Federal Institute of Regional Studies BfL

The natural region classification of Germany, as used today by the Federal Office for Nature Conservation Bundesamt fur Naturschutz or BfN and by most state institutions, is largely based on the work in producing the Handbook of Natural Region Divisions of Germany between the years 1953 to 1962. This divided the present federal territory then West and East Germany into 86 so-called major landscape unit groups Haupteinheitgruppen each with a two-digit number between 01 and 90. These, in turn, were subdivided into up to ten, in some cases more, major landscape units Haupteinheiten, each with a three-digit number. The handbook was accompanied by 1:100.000 scale mapping and, in the updated 1960 map, the major landscape unit groups were bundled together into major regions GroSregionen.

As a result, a regional classification of Germany emerged with five since 1976: six primary landscape regions naturraumliche GroSregionen 1. Ordnung, divided into 18 since 1964: 19 secondary landscape regions naturraumliche GroSregionen 2. Ordnung. The major unit groups form, in effect, the third or tertiary level, of landscape regions and the major units form the fourth level. Many secondary landscape regions only have one major unit group, others group well-known major regions together Rhenish Massif, South German Scarplands; others are entirely new groupings.

In the subsequent work at 1:200.000 scale that lasted until the 1990s, that further split the landscape regions into a fifth and lower levels using the three-digits numbers supplemented with further numbers placed after a decimal comma, it became apparent that the boundaries of major regions at the second and third levels had to be corrected in several places and, in individual cases, were no longer compatible with boundaries of the major unit groups. This has no impact on the numbering system of the lower levels, however.

                                     

2. New Classification by the Federal Office for Nature Conservation BfN

From 1992 to 1994, Axel Ssymank revised the major unit groups 01-90 under the direction of the BfN. Most groups retained their boundaries, however, in some cases two to four major units groups according to the handbook were combined, whilst in the North and Baltic Seas, one old group was divided into four new ones.

The numbering of the new units, D01 to D73, is entirely new and runs from north to south not, as in the handbook, from south to north. So it is not compatible with the numbers of the main and subordinate landscape units, which is why it has not been adopted by the state institutions. Even the BfN has largely followed the older system in the handbook in its landscape fact files Landschaftssteckbriefe.

Ssymank combined the natural regions into eight so-called great landscapes GroSlandschaften, which are rather less finely divided than the secondary main regions GroSregionen 2. Ordnung of the BfL. The only discrepancy between the two systems is the division of the North German Plain into western and eastern parts, which is based on their climatic division into Atlantic and Continental areas. The boundary runs randomly east of landscape units D22, D24, D28, D31, and D33. These great landscape definitions have yet to be used in the literature.

                                     

3. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3

Germany can be divided into three major geographical regions: the Northern Lowland or North German Plain, the Central Uplands, and the Alps running roughly west to east across the country.

The official major landscape groups, which more or less correspond to the tertiary level of major landscape regions, are grouped following the primary and secondary landscape region system. These subdivisions largely correspond to the publications of the Institute for Regional Studies BfL since 1960 which are:

  • In the map sheets from publication year 1964 this version was slightly changed
  • The first version by Heinrich Muller-Miny appeared in the updated handbook map, the overview maps of the individual map sheets from 1960 and in the ninth edition of the handbook 1962
  • The secondary landscape region of Lossborden was expanded, especially in the west.
  • The Upper Palatine-Upper Main Hills Oberpfalzisch-Obermainische Hugelland was raised from the third to the second level.
  • The primary landscape region, Central Uplands Mittelgebirge, was divided in two into Mittelgebirgsschwelle and Schichtstufenland
  • There was another change in the map sheets from 1979 Sheet 182 Burghausen until their last publication Sheet Munchen and Tegernsee 1994
  • The classification of the Natural regions in Saxony, published after that of the Institute for Regional Studies and continually revised, allocates the larger northern part of the major unit group of Upper Lusatia Oberlausitz to the Lossborden, so that only the Lusatian Mountains Lausitzer Bergland in the south remains within the Central Uplands.

For clarity the first and second levels of the major landscape regions are organised from north to south and from west to east. Within a secondary or tertiary landscape region the list follows the numerical order in the handbook; the BfNs numbers are given in brackets. Tertiary major landscape regions are shown in bold italics. Maps, all to the same scale, are shown to the right of the lists.

For clarity, the English names for the natural regions are given; German names may be found at the relevant article. The English names are primarily based on Dickinson 1964 and Elkins 1972 where their classification corresponds closely to the handbooks. In such cases the source of the English name is referenced.

The seven major regions are: the Northeast German Plain, the Northwest German Plain, the Western Central Uplands, the Eastern Central Uplands, the South German Scarplands, the Alpine Foreland, and the North and Baltic Seas.



                                     

3.1. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 North and Baltic Seas

This is a list, exceptionally, of the three-figure major landscape units of group 90, because this de facto corresponds to the tertiary major landscape regions.

                                     

3.2. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 North Sea

  • 900 German Bight less island of Heligoland D70
  • 901 Dogger Bank and adjacent Central North Sea D71
                                     

3.3. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Mecklenburg Coastal Lowland

  • 73 Szczecin Lagoon or Lower Oder Plain
  • 70 Schleswig-Holstein Uplands D23
  • 72 Mecklenburg Ground Moraine Lowland
  • Northeast Mecklenburg Plain and Szczecin Lagoon D02
  • 75 Mecklenburg Lake Plateau, Mecklenburg Lake Upland or Mecklenburg-Brandenburg Lake Plateau D04
  • to 80 Oder Valley D07)
  • 74 Hinterland of the Mecklenburg Lake Plateau D 03
  • major landscape units 800 and 801


                                     

3.4. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Central North German Plain

  • Ems-Weser Geest
  • 58 Dumme Geest Lowland
  • Dumme and Ems-Hunte Geest D30
  • 59 Ems-Hunte Geest
  • 60 East Frisian Geest D26
  • 62 Weser-Aller Plains and Geest D31
  • 64 Luneburg Heath D28
  • 63 Stade Geest D27
  • 69 Schleswig-Holstein Geest D22
  • North Elbe Geest
  • East German Lakeland and Heathland
  • 77 North Brandenburg Plateaux and Upland
  • Mecklenburg-Brandenburg Plateaux and Upland D05
  • 76 South-western foreland of the Mecklenburg Lake Plateau
  • 78 Luchland
  • to 80 Oder Valley D07)
  • 79 East Brandenburg Plateau D06
  • major landscape units 802 and 803
  • 81 Central Brandenburg Plateaux and Lowlands
  • Brandenburg Heath and Lake District D12
  • 82 East Brandenburg Heath and Lake District
  • Lusatian Basin and Spreewald D08
  • 83 Spreewald
  • 84 Lower Lusatian Heath
  • 86 Wendland and Altmark D29
  • 88 Middle Elbe Plains and Heath or Elbe-Mulde Plain D10
  • 85 Flaming Heath D11
  • 87 Middle Elbe Plain D09
  • 89 Upper Lusatian Plateau D13
  • 55 Cologne Lowland or Lower Rhine Bay
  • 57 Lower Rhine Plain
  • 54 Westphalian Lowland or Westphalian Basin D34
  • Lower Rhine Plain and Cologne Lowland D35


                                     

3.5. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Loess Belt

  • 440 NeiS region
  • to 44 Upper Lusatia D14)
  • 444 Upper Lusatian Gefilde
  • 442 East Lusatian Foothills
  • 443 West Lusatian Hills,
  • 46 Saxon Lowland incl. Leipzig Land
  • 45 Saxon Uplands, Saxon Hills or Ore Mountain Foreland
  • Saxon Lowland and Saxon Uplands D19
  • to 378 Calenberg Uplands
  • to 37 Weser-Leine Uplands
  • 52 Lower Saxony Borde D32
  • 50 Central German Black Earth Region also: Eastern Harz Foreland and Borde ; D20
  • 378.02 Kleinenbremener Basin
  • 51 North Harz Foreland D33
  • 533 Lubbecke Loessland
  • to 53 Lower Weser Uplands
                                     

3.6. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Rhenish Massif

Arranged from west to east and internally from north to south

  • 28 West Eifel
  • Eifel incl. Venn Foreland D45
  • 27 East Eifel
  • 56 Venn Foreland
  • 25 Moselle Valley D43
  • 24 Hunsruck D42
  • 30 Taunus D41
  • 31 Lahn Valley D40
  • 33 Sauerland Suder Uplands D38
  • 29 Middle Rhine Valley D44
  • 32 Westerwald D39
                                     

3.7. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Weser Uplands and Hesse Lowlands and Highlands

arranged from north to south and from west to east

  • 37 Weser-Leine Uplands
  • 53 Lower Weser Uplands
  • Lower Saxon Hills including the Weser and Leine Uplands D36
  • 36 Upper Weser Uplands
  • Hesse Highlands
  • 35 East Hesse Highlands D47
  • 34 West Hesse Highlands D46
                                     

3.8. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Eastern Central Uplands

  • 39 Thuringian-Franconian Highlands D48
  • 41 Vogtland D17
  • Thuringian-Franconian Highlands incl. the Vogtland
  • 42 Ore Mountains D16
  • major landscape unit 441 Lusatian Mountains
  • to 44 Upper Lusatia D14)
  • 43 Saxon-Bohemian Chalk Sandstone Region D15
  • Western Sudetes
  • 40 Upper Palatine-Bavarian Forest D63
                                     

3.9. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Palatine-Saarland Scarplands

Division from north to south and from west to east

  • Lorraine Trias-Lias Region
  • major landscape units 182 and 183
  • to 18 Palatine-Saarland Muschelkalk Region D50)
  • 26 Gutland Bitburg Land D49
  • 19 Saar-Nahe Hills or Uplands D52
  • 18 Palatine-Saarland Muschelkalk Region excl. Merzig Muschelkalk Plateau D50
  • 17 Palatine Forest the Haardt D51


                                     

3.10. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Upper Rhine Plain

Divided from north to south.

  • Upper Rhine Plain D53
  • 22 Northern Upper Rhine Plain
  • 21 Middle Upper Rhine Plain
  • 20 Southern Upper Rhine Plain
  • 23 Rhine-Main Basin
                                     

3.11. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 South German Scarplands

  • 15 Black Forest D54
  • Swabian-Franconian Gaue
  • 12 Neckar and Tauber Gau Plateaus D57
  • 13 Main Franconia Plateau D56
    • Swabian-Franconian Keuper-Lias Lands
    • 10 Swabian Keuper-Lias Lands D58
    • 11 Franconian Keuper-Lias Lands D59
    • Swabian-Franconian Jura
    • 08 Franconian Jura D61
    • 09 Swabian Jura D60
    • 16 Upper Rhine Region Dinkelberg and Upper Rhine Valley D69
                                         

    3.12. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Alpine Foreland

    arranged from north to south and from west to east)

                                         

    3.13. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Northern Alpine Foreland

    • 06 Lower Bavarian Upland
    • Lower Bavarian Upland and Isar-Inn Gravel Plateau D65
    • 05 Isar-Inn Gravel Plateau
    • 04 Iller-Lech Plateau D64
                                         

    3.14. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Southern Alpine Foreland

    • Pre-Alpine Hills and Moorland = Southern Alpine Foreland ; D66
    • 03 Subalpine New Moraine Land
    • 02* Nagelfluh Hills and Basins between Lake Constance and Wertach
                                         

    3.15. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Alps

    The following 3 groups were still counted as part of ex-group 02 in the Handbook; the German sections form D67 BfN.

                                         

    3.16. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Nagelfluh Mountains of the Appenzell Alps

    • Molasse Ridges of St. Gallen–Appenzell northeast of St. Peterzell 1170 m; CH
    • to 02 Nagelfluh Hills and Basins – Alpine Foreland
    • Gabris Ridges Speer 1.950 m; CH
    • to 96 Swiss and Allgau Nagelfluh Ridges
                                         

    3.17. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Lower Bregenz Forest

    • 021.0–5 with 021.2 Sulzberg 1.041 m; A
    • 020 Pfander Hirschberg 1.095 m; D and A
    • to 02 Nagelfluh Hills and Basins – Alpine Foreland
    • 960 Allgau Nagelfluh Ridge Rindalphorn 1.822 m
    • to 96 Swiss and Allgau Nagelfluh Ridges
                                         

    3.18. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Swabian-Bavarian Pre-alps

    • to 90 Basins and valleys between the main Alpine groups
    • to 902 Inn Valley
    • to 900 Basins and valleys in the western Vorarlberg-Allgau Alps
    • 902.4 Basins of Kiefer Fields and Inn Valley
    • 908 Inzell Basin
    • to93 Northern Limestone Eastern Alps
    • 935 Bavarian-Tyrolean Intermediate Limestone Alps less 935.7
    • 930 Basins and valleys between the main groups of the Northern Limestone Eastern Alps part)
    • 936 Border mountains of the Northern Limestone-Eastern Alps or Limestone Alp Border Mountains or Limestone Border Mountains
    • 941.2 Bayerstadter Kopf-Alpspitz-Edelsberg Group
    • to 941 East Allgau Flysch Alps
    • 941.1 Mountains around the Wertacher Hornle
    • to 94 Flysch Alps
    • 942 Trauchgau-Murnau Ammergau Flysch Alps
    • 944 Western Salzburg Flysch Alps
    • 943 Tolz-Tegernsee-Chiemgau Flysch Alps
    • 950.0 Grunten 1.738 m
    • to 95 Northern Limestone Western Alps
    • to 950 Vorarlberg-Allgau Quintner and Schrattenkalkgewolbe


                                         

    3.19. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Austrian Pre-Alps

    Only the western end of the group, which lies entirely in Austria, was studied.

    • to 93 Northern Limestone Eastern Alps
    • 937 unnamed
    • to 94 Flysch Alps
    • 945 Eastern Salzburg Flysch Alps
                                         

    3.20. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Northern Limestone Alps west

    The following group was counted as ex-group 01 in the Handbook; the German parts near Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen belong to D68 BfN.

    • Rhine Valley
    • 901 Oberstdorf Basin and side valleys Illertal and Basins and valleys in the eastern part of the Vorarlberg-Allgau Alps
    • to 90 Basins and valleys between the main Alpine groups
    • 902 Inn Valley less 902.4
    • Illtal
    • 900 Basins and valleys in the western part of the Vorarlberg-Allgau Alps
    • 931 Allgau Alps
    • to 93 Northern Limestone Eastern Alps
    • 932 Lechtal Alps
    • 933 Inn Valley Riffkalkketten less 333.7
    • 930 Basins and valleys between the main groups of the Northern Limestone Eastern Alps partly
    • to 941 East Allgau Flysch Alps
    • to 94 Flysch Alps
    • 941.0 Flysch Mountains around the Imberger Horn
    • 940 Vorarlberg and West Allgau Flysch Alps
    • 950 Vorarlberg-Allgau Quintner and Schrattenkalkgewolbe less 950.0
    • to 95 Northern Limestone Western Alps
    • Alpstein Group up to 2.502 m
    • Ratikon up to 2.964 m
                                         

    3.21. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Northern Limestone Alps east

    The following group was counted as part of ex-group 01 in the Handbook; the German parts near Berchtesgaden belong accordingly to D68 BfN.

    Most of the group lies in Austria.

    • to 90 Basins and valleys between the main groups of the Alps
    • 909 Salzach-Saalach Alpine Perimeter Bay
    • 930 Basins and valleys between the main groups of the Northern Limestone Eastern Alpsin places
    • 93 Northern Limestone Eastern Alps

    to 933 Inn Valley Riffkalkketten

    • to 935 Bavarian-Tyrolean Intermediate Limestone Alps
    • 935.7 Kirchdorf Dolomite Alps
    • 934 Salzburg Plateau Limestone Alps
    • 933.7 Kaisergebirge up to 2.344 m
                                         

    3.22. List of major landscape regions - levels 1 to 3 Central Alps

    The Central Alps lies completely outside of Germany and are only mapped at the fringes.

    • 91 Eastern Central Alps
    • 92 Slate Alps of the Northern Greywacke Zone
                                         
    • former German Federal Institute for Regional Studies Bundesanstalt fur Landeskunde to determine the division of Germany into natural regions It was
    • List of natural regions in Schleswig - Holstein covers the higher level natural regions that lie wholly or partially on the territory of the North German state
    • of acidic rock, or The Burren, in Ireland. Ecoregion Natural regions of Chile Natural regions of Colombia Natural regions of Germany Natural regions of
    • The classification of natural regions of Saxony shown here was produced between 1994 and 2001 by a working group called Ecosystem and Regional Character
    • Regions of Germany may refer to: Natural regions of Germany Government regions of Germany German Regierungsbezirke a second - level administrative division
    • Plateau German Donau - Iller - Lech - Platte also known as the Upper Swabian Plateau Oberschwabische Hochebene is one of the natural regions of Germany In
    • mixture of historical regions and geographical features. Many well - known names of regions such as Lusatia, comprise a mixture of natural habitats and geological
    • Loess Fields German Sachsisches Lossgefilde refer to a natural region that lies mainly within the state of Saxony in central Germany In addition
    • Central Uplands German die Mittelgebirge is one of the three major natural regions of Germany and covers most of the land area of the country. To the
    • North German Plain or Northern Lowland German Norddeutsches Tiefland is one of the major geographical regions of Germany It is the German part of the
    • Conservation s list of natural regions of Germany The region known as the Stade Geest belongs administratively to the districts of Osterholz, Verden