Gladenbach Uplands

The Gladenbach Uplands (German: Gladenbacher Bergland), named after their central town of Gladenbach, is a range of hills up to 609 m high in the Rhine Massif in Germany, on the junction of the Rothaar Mountains (north and northwest), Westerwald (southwest), (Eastern) Hintertaunus (in the south) and West Hesse Highlands in the east. It lies in Central Hesse within the districts of Marburg-Biedenkopf, Lahn-Dill and Gießen within the so-called Lahn-Dill-(Dietzhölze-) loop. Small parts of the Upper Lahn Valley in the northwest belong, together with the town of Bad Laasphe, also to the district of Siegen-Wittgenstein, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Gladenbach Uplands
View from the Dreisberg to the south of the village of Gladenbach
Highest point
Elevation609.4 m above NN
Length80 km (50 mi)
Area780 km2 (300 sq mi)
StateMiddle Hesse (small elements also part of Wittgenstein Land, NRW)
Range coordinates50°47′18″N 8°25′43″E
Parent rangeWesterwald, Rhenish Massif
Orogenyhills of the German Central Uplands

The Gladenbach Uplands are geographical unit 320 which is part of the natural region 32, the Westerwald, in the Germany's system of natural regions. The Gladenbach Highlands is largely coextensive with the Lahn-Dill Uplands Nature Park which extends further west, however, but is somewhat less extensive in the southeast and whose boundaries tend to line up with those of the sponsoring municipalities. In addition, not insignificant areas belong to the historical Hessian Hinterland, which is why the two named articles refer to one another, as far as regional associations, culture and history are concerned. Geology and mining will be largely covered in the article on the Lahn-Dill Region


Location and boundaries

On the rivers Lahn and Dill the following towns - clockwise from the north - border the Gladenbach Uplands:

The northwest transitions to the Rothaar Mountains are comparatively fluid. Here the watershed between the Lahn tributaries of the Banfe and Perf define the boundary.

Rivers and streams

The natural regions mentioned above are generally divided between the catchment areas of the der Lahn and Dill tributaries and the landscapes separated by these rivers.

The most important watercourses, in addition to the boundary rivers of the Lahn, Dill and Dietzhölze – are the Aar, the Salzböde, the Perf and Allna.

The following rivers and streams are sorted in clockwise order i.e. down the Lahn and up the Dill, beginning with the upper reaches of the Lahn in the north and cover a catchment area of over 20 km²:[1]
(the natural regions are linked in the column of their most important river!)

to full list

[m above NN]
Natural regions
(heading downstream)
Diete Perf (l) 8,8 24,64 310 Breidenbach Bottom B 253 25814-6
Gansbach Perf (l) 11,1 23,17 349 Bottenhorn Plateaux,
Breidenbach Bottom
L 3042 25814-2
Perf Lahn (r) 20,0 113,13 1776 285 Bottenhorn Plateaux,
Breidenbach Bottom
L 3049,
B 253
Dautphe Lahn (r) 8,8 41,81 533 245 Bottenhorn Plateaux,
Upper Lahn Valley
B 453 258-16
Elnhauser Wasser Ohe (l) 5,9 24,25 171 195 Elnhausen-Michelbach Basin 258326-6
Ohe Allna (l) 11,5 44,28 337 195 Damshäuser Kuppen,
Elnhausen-Michelbach Basin
L 3387 25832-6
Allna Lahn (r) 19,1 92,02 665 172 Damshäuser Kuppen,
Elnhausen-Michelbach Basin
L 3387 258-32
Wenkbach Lahn (r) 7,2 20,77 107 168 Salzböde Valley,
Marburger Lahn Valley Basin
Salzböde Lahn (r) 27,6 137,85 1322 164 Zollbuche,
Salzböde Valley,
Krofdorf-Königsberg Forest,
Marburger Lahn Valley Basin
L 3050,
B 255,
L 3048
Vers Salzböde (r) 8,4 42,55 188 Salzböde Valley L 3061 25834-8
Bieber Lahn (r) 13,5 34,68 217 155 Krofdorf-Königsberg Forest,
Gießen Lahn Valley Basin
L 3474,
L 3286
Lemp Dill (l) 11,7 34,97 274 170 Krofdorf-Königsberg Forest,
L 3052 2584-92
Aar Dill (l) 20,6 148,76 1602 210 Niederweidbach Basin,
Hörre/Schelde Forest,
Lower Dill Valley
B 255 2584-6
Siegbach Aar (r) 12,2 28,67 260 Bottenhorn Plateaux,
- / L 3050,
- / L 3049
Schelde Dill (l) 12,0 35,03 426 221 Schelde Forest L 3042 2584-56
Dietzhölze Dill (l) 23,7 88,44 1431 233 Rothaar Mountains, Upper Dill Valley B 253 2584-4

The outer boundary of the Gladenbach Uplands is formed by the Lahn and Dill accompanied in the north (upper reaches of the Lahn) by the B 62, in the east by the B 3 Marburg-Gießen (mostly autobahn-like, clearly external in the Marburg area), in the east, south of the B 49 Gießen-Wetzlar (mostly autobahn-like) and in the southwest (lower reaches of the Dill) by the A 45. The Bundesstraße 253 Dillenburg-Biedenkopf (see above) roughly closes the remaining gap.


The most important reservoir in the Gladenbach Uplands is the Aartalsee (57 ha, 270 m above NN) in the Niederweidbach Basin, followed by the Perf Reservoir (18 ha, 301 m) in the Breidenbach Bottom (Breidenbach Bottom).


The hills of the Gladenbach Uplands, arranged by ridge or natural region, include the following:
(Location of the natural regions with the Gladenbach Uplands and location of the hills within the natural region)

  • Bottenhorn Plateaux - northwest of the centre
    • Angelburg (609 m) - west of the centre; occasionally counted as part of the Schelde Forest
      • Schmittgrund (590 m) - southern spur of the Angelburg, occasionally counted as part of the Schelde Forest
    • Mattenberg (578 m) - north west
    • Kurzbeul (566 m) - extreme west
    • Würgeloh (563,9 m) north Hartenrod / Bad Endbach
    • Madche (560 m) - northwest
    • Daubhaus (551,8 m) - extreme east, north of Rachelshausen
      • Allberg (528 m) - northeast of the Daubhaus
      • Hünstein (504 m) - north of the Allberg; not really an independent summit, but has an observation tower; gives its name to Holzhausen am Hünstein
    • Bolzeberg (520 m) - extreme northeast
    • Steffenberg (489 m) - extreme (west) north, gives its name to the municipality of Steffenberg
  • Schelde Forest (in the narrow sense) - west
    • Eschenburg (590 m NN) - north, above the Dietzhölze Valley (which lies to the northwest)
    • Hohe Koppe (540.2 m) - northeast
    • Stockseite (516 m) - east
  • Breidenbach Bottom - extreme north(west)
    • Hemmerichskopf (562 m) - western boundary with the Rothaar Mountains
    • Schwarzenberg (561 m) - northeast; centre eines großen zusammenhängendes Waldgebiet southwest of Biedenkopf and east of Breidenbach
      • Hachenberg (552 m) - northern subpeak
      • Nimerich (533 m) - southeastern subpeak; highest point in the municipality of Dautphetal
    • Schadenberg (545 m) - southwest of the centre
    • Galgenberg (541 m) - extreme southwest
    • Entenberg (535 m) - northwestern boundary zum Rothaar Mountains
  • Zollbuche - centre
    • Hirschhohl (503 m) - northwest boundary with the plateaux
    • Schönscheid (498 m) - west, northwest Günterod
    • Bad Endbacher Platte (up to 488 m) - centre
    • Hemmerich (475.7 m) - east; forms with Koppe and Dreisberg the eastern trio of hills of the Gladenbach Uplands
      • Koppe (454 m) - with observation tower; near Gladenbach-Erdhausen
      • Dreisberg (448 m)
  • Damshäuser Kuppen - northeast
    • Rimberg (498 m) - east north; with observation tower
    • Kappe (494 m) - west north
    • Schweinskopf (472 m) - north west, near Dautphetal-Herzhausen
    • Eichelhardt (465 m) - northwest
    • Dusenberg (457 m) - extreme west, near Dautphetal-Herzhausen
    • Hornberg (451 m) - extreme northwest
    • Hungert (412 m) - extreme northeast; pyramidal Kuppe on the boundary with the Marburg Ridge
    • Auersberg (385 m) - east, between Elnhausen, Nesselbrunn and Dilschhausen
    • Donnerberg (370 m) - southeast, northeast of Gladenbach
  • Krofdorf-Königsberg Forest - south and southeast
    • Dünsberg (498 m) - east centre; volcanic singularity with Celtic excavation sites, TV transmission tower and observation tower
    • Altenberg (442 m) - northwest centre, observation tower
    • Ramsberg (ca. 435 m) - north; Hohensolms Castle
    • Forst Krofdorf (up to 357 m) - east; large contiguous forest region that links the Dünsberg to the east with the Lahn Valley
    • Königsstuhl (348 m) - south; one of the southernmost hills of the Gladenbach Uplands
  • Hörre - southwest
    • Alteburg (445 m) - in the centre
    • Roßberg (392 m) - northeast, south of Bischoffen
    • Koppe (354 m) - south, west of Kölschhausen
  • Niederweidbach Basin - south of the centre
    • Bergwald (im east up to 392 m) - east of the centre
  • Salzböde Valley - northeast, east and southeast of the centre
    • Kirchberg (362 m) - north, east of Gladenbach
    • Lammerich (357 m) - north, southwest of Gladenbach
View from the Hasenkopf looking west to the Tannenberg (left), the Großer Feldberg and the hills of the Gladenbach Uplands including the Dünsberg, Hemmerich, Angelburg, Daubhaus and Rimberg



  • Meynen, Emil (ed.): Handbuch der naturräumlichen Gliederung Deutschlands. Selbstverlag der Bundesanstalt für Landeskunde, Remagen, 1953-1962 (Part 1, contains issues 1-5), ISBN B0000BJ19E
  • Meynen, Emil (ed.): Handbuch der naturräumlichen Gliederung Deutschlands. Selbstverlag der Bundesanstalt für Landeskunde, Remagen, 1959-1962 (Part 2, contains issues 6-9), ISBN B0000BJ19F
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