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 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:

  • upper Saale valley
  • Plothen Lake District
  • High slate mountains
  • Sormitz-Schwarza region

The slate mountains of the Vogtland and Thuringian Highland stretch from the Thuringian Forest to the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge). 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.


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


  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.


  • Ernst Kaiser: Thüringerwald und Schiefergebirge, 2. verb. und erg. Aufl., Gotha 1955.
  • Adolf Hanle (Hrsg.): Thüringerwald und Schiefergebirge, Mannheim u.a. 1992. ISBN 3-411-07191-5

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