Middle Rhine Basin

The Middle Rhine Basin (German: Mittelrheinische Becken) is the central landscape region of the Middle Rhine in Germany and, along with the Limburg Basin, forms one of the biggest intra-montane lowland regions within the Rhenish Massif. The basin is divided into the valley bottom of the Neuwied Basin, the Neuwied Basin Perimeter east of the Rhine and the Lower Moselle Valley west of the Rhine in the south, and the Maifeld-Pellenz Hills in the north.

The basin is bounded on the east of the Rhine in the northeast and east by the slopes of the Westerwald and, on the west of the Rhine, from north to southwest by the Eifel mountains, and in the southeast by the valley of the Moselle above Moselkern. Its mild winters and dry climate enable intensive agriculture, which is why the landscape has few woods.

Natural regions

The Handbook of Natural Region Divisions of Germany groups the Middle Rhine Basin within major unit group 29, the Middle Rhine Region, but classifies it as a major unit in its own right (no. 291) and subdivides it into the following sub-units:[1][2][3][4]

  • 291.0 Neuwied Rhine Valley Bottom (Rhine Valley)
  • 291.1 Neuwied Basin Perimeter (east of the Rhine)
    • 291.10 Hüllenberg Terrace
    • 291.11 Wollendorf-Gladbach Basin Slopes
    • 291.12 Ehrenbreitstein Terrace
  • 291.2 Maifeld-Pellenz Hills (west of the Rhine)
    • 291.20 Andernach-Koblenz Terrace Hills in wider sense (west of the Rhine)
      • 291.200 Andernach-Koblenz Terrace Hills in narrower sense (west of the Rhine and Moselle)[5]
      • 291.201 Koblenz Moselle Valley
      • 291.202 Karthause (right of the Moselle and west of the Rhine)
    • 291.21 Karmelenberg Heights (clearly west of the Rhine)
    • 291.22 Pellenz Lowlands and Uplands (clearly west of the Rhine)
      • 291.220 Pellenz Volcanoes
      • 291.221 Pellenz Basin
      • 291.222 Pellenz Heights
    • 291.23 Lower Maifeld (west of the Rhine)
      • 291.230 Lower Maifeld Basin
      • 291.231 Lower Maifeld Terrace
      • 291.232 Lower Maifeld Heights
    • 291.24 Upper Maifeld (west)
    • 291.25 Mayen Bowl (west)
  • 291.3 Lower Moselle Valley (west of the Rhine)
    • 291.30 Dieblicherberg Terrace (right of the Moselle)
    • 291.31 Lower Moselle Valley Basin[6] (Moselle from Moselkern to Lay)

Neuwied Basin

This lowland area, also called the Koblenz-Neuwied Basin, which lies between the towns of Koblenz and Neuwied runs for a distance of c. 22 river kilometres along the Rhine and separates the narrow valley of Upper Rhine from that of the Middle Rhine. Due to its fertile soils, the Neuwied Basin has been settled from the earliest times. The countryside is today characterised as much by intensive fruit growing as industrial sites. The urban area of the Neuwied Basin has a population of about 300,000.

Cities and towns


This southwestern part of the Middle Rhine Basin is particularly striking due to its gently rolling hills. It is bounded by the river valleys of the Moselle (southeast) and Elz (southwest), which cut deeply into the hill country; its northwest border is partly formed by theNette. This regions is mainly utilised for agriculture. The soils are considered particularly fertile. Towns in the Maifeld are Polch (seat of the Verbandsgemeinde of Maifeld in the county of Mayen-Koblenz, but strictly speaking in the Pellenz) andMünstermaifeld.


This hill country forms the northwestern part of the basin between Mayen and Andernach. It is characterized by agriculture and open-cast mining (pumice and lava sand) and the associated building materials industry. The river Nette flows through the hilly landscape which slopes gently from west to east towards the Rhine and separates it from the Maifeld.


  1. Heinz Fischer, Richard Graafen: Geographische Landesaufnahme: Die naturräumlichen Einheiten auf Blatt 136/137 Cochem. Bundesanstalt für Landeskunde, Bad Godesberg 1974. → Online-Karte (PDF; 5,6 MB)
  2. Heinrich Müller-Miny, Martin Bürgener: Geographische Landesaufnahme: Die naturräumlichen Einheiten auf Blatt 138 Koblenz. Bundesanstalt für Landeskunde, Bad Godesberg 1971. → Online-Karte (PDF; 5,7 MB)
  3. Map service of the Landscape Information System of the Rhineland-Palatinate Nature Conservation Office (Naturschutzverwaltung Rheinland-Pfalz)
  4. Landscape fact file (major landscape) of the Landscape Information System of the Rhineland-Palatinate Nature Conservation Office (Naturschutzverwaltung Rheinland-Pfalz)
  5. Sheet 138 Koblenz mentions in the test only 291.201 and 291.202 and annotates with the number 291.20 the unit less 291.201 and 291.202
  6. Sheet 138 Koblenz uses on the map the number 291.3 for the Lower Moselle Valley omitting the subunit 291.30.

General sources


  • Frauke Gränitz et al. (eds.), Das Mittelrheinische Becken. Eine landeskundliche Bestandsaufnahme im Raum Andernach, Bendorf, Koblenz, Mayen, Mendig, Münstermaifeld und Neuwied (Vol. 65 of the series "Landschaften in Deutschland"), Cologne/Weimar/Vienna: Böhlau, 2003, ISBN 3412101028 (grundlegende geographische Bestandsaufnahme)

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