Wiehen Hills

The Wiehen Hills[1] (German: Wiehengebirge, also locally, just Wiehen) are a hill range in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony in Germany. The hills run from west to east like a long finger away from the main upland area of the Lower Saxon Hills, beginning at the Weser River near Minden and terminating in the vicinity of Osnabrück. It is the northernmost of the German Central Upland ranges extending into the Northern Lowlands. Their highest hill is the Heidbrink near Lübbecke with an altitude of 320 metres (1,050 ft).

Wiehen Hills
The Wiehen Hills near Schnathorst, seen from the southeast
Highest point
Elevation320 m (1,050 ft)
Length70 km (43 mi)
Location in Germany
StateLower Saxony/North Rhine-Westphalia
Range coordinates52°17′42″N 8°38′12″E
Parent rangeLower Saxon Hills


The Wiehen Hills lie within the districts of Osnabrück, Minden-Lübbecke and Herford. Their northern section runs in an east-west direction roughly from the territory of Bramsche (northwest of Osnabrück) via Ostercappeln, Bad Essen, Preußisch Oldendorf and Rödinghausen, Lübbecke, Hüllhorst and Bad Oeynhausen as far as the towns of Minden and Porta Westfalica on the Porta Westfalica gorge and River Weser. They also graze Bohmte and Hille to the north. South of the Wiehen Hills lie Osnabrück, Bissendorf, Melle, Kirchlengern, Bünde, Löhne and Bad Oeynhausen. The Wiehen Hills form the northwestern boundary of the Lower Saxon Hills to which they belong geographically, together with the Westphalian part of the ridge. Whilst the eastern end of the hill chain is clearly defined by the Porta Westfalica gorge and the hill of Wittekindsberg, this is not so simple for its western extremity. To the west the Wiehen descends gradually, transitioning from a hilly ridge into a chain of hillocks and then descending almost imperceptibly into the plain. South of Bramsche the ridge rises again at the Penter Egge to a height of 99 metre, but 2.5 km further west it reaches the level of the surrounding countryside. The waterways of the Mittelland Canal and Osnabrück Canal running away to the south appear to mark the end of the hill range, but west of these canals is the 82-metre-high Larberger Egge which forms the westernmost cornerstone of the Wiehen Hills, rising just 2 km northeast of the boundary with the province of Münster. Contrary to popular assumption, Ibbenbüren is no longer considered to be situated by the Wiehen Hills and the Ibbenbüren Plateau (Ibbenbürener Bergplatte comprising the Schafberg, etc.) is no longer part of the Wiehen.[2] Geological reasons, according to current research, do not support such an assumption.[3]

To the north, the Wiehen descends to the North German Plain into a region known as the Lübbecke Loessland. On the banks of the Weser, opposite Porta Westfalica, lies the Wesergebirge, which is the eastern continuation of the Wiehen Hills. This ridge is of similar geological construction and runs as far as the area of Hessisch Oldendorf to the Süntel hills. Southeast of the Wiehen Hills are the Lippe Uplands, to the south the Ravensberg Hills, to the southwest in the area of the Tecklenburg Land are the northern foothills of the Teutoburg Forest, and to the northwest are the hills of the Gehn and the Ankum Heights, the Damme Hills and the Stemweder Berg. North of the northwestern tip of the Wiehen liest the great bog of the Großes Moor.


The hills of the Wiehen range from west to east are:

Height of the highest hill in bold; heights in metres (m) above Normalhöhennull (NHN)

DescriptionHeightCommuneRemarks/Description of the location
Larberger Egge82,0Bramschewesternmost spur of the Wiehen Hills[4]
Schleptruper Egge148,0BramscheTransmission site; southeast of Bramsche-Schleptrup
Kalkrieser Berg
also: Schmittenhöhe
157,0BramscheCastle of Alt Barenaue nearby; north of Bramsche-Engter
Venner Egge158,0OstercappelnNear Ostercappeln-Vehrte
Stenshöhe149,0BelmSüntelstein rock
Sonnenbrink177,0Bad EssenSonnenbrink Tower (communications tower with observation platform); southwest of Bad Essen
Linner Berg181,0Bad EssenDinosaur tracks; south-southwest of Bad Essen Linne
Kleiner Kellenberg161.4Bad EssenDinosaur tracks of Barkhausen; south-southeast of Bad Essen-Barkhausen
Großer Kellenberg211,0MelleLake of Grüner See nearby; northeast of Buer
Steinbrink135.6Bad EssenSouth of Bad Essen Lintorf
Schwarzer Brink211,0Bad EssenSouth of Bad Essen Dahlinghausen
Egge198,0Preußisch OldendorfWiehen Tower; southwest of the old town of Preußisch Oldendorf
Offelter Berg178,0Preußisch OldendorfSouth of Preußisch Oldendorf-Offelten
Limberg190,0Preußisch OldendorfRestored castle of Limberg; northeast Preußisch Oldendorf-Börninghausen
(formerly Rödinghauser Berg)
274,0Rödinghausen/Preußisch OldendorfObservation tower; northwest of Rödinghausen
Maschberg190,0Rödinghausen/Preußisch OldendorfNorth of Schwenningdorf
Donoer Berg243,0RödinghausenNorth of Bieren-Dono
Glösinghauser Berg289,0Preußisch OldendorfEast of Preußisch Oldendorf-Glösinghausen
Altes Verbrenn291.1Preußisch OldendorfEast of Preußisch Oldendorf-Glösinghausen
Babilonie255.0Lübbecke Wallburg cultural monument; south of Lübbecke-Obermehnen
Blasheimer Berg287.8LübbeckeSchiereck's Temple; south of Lübbecke-Obermehnen
Kahlewart240,0HüllhorstNorth of Hüllhorst-Oberbauerschaft; with Freilichtbühne Kahle Wart
Breitenbrink287,0HüllhorstNorth of Hüllhorst-Oberbauerschaft
Wurzelbrink318,0LübbeckeWartturm observation tower; south of Lübbecke
Kniebrink315,0LübbeckeSouth of Lübbecke
Meesenkopf225.8LübbeckeSouth of Lübbecke
Reineberg276,0LübbeckeRuins of Reineburg; south of the local hill of Lübbecke
Heidkopf272.6LübbeckeNorth of Hüllhorst/Ahlsen-Reineberg
Heidbrink319.6HüllhorstNorth of Hüllhorst-Ahlsen-Reineberg
Straußberg275.5LübbeckeSouth of Lübbecke
Gehlenbecker Berg275,0LübbeckeImpressive stand of oak near the summit; south of Lübbecke-Gehlenbeck
Eilhauser BergLübbeckeSoutheast of Lübbecke-Eilhausen
Nettelstedter Berg288,0LübbeckeSouthwest of Lübbecke-Nettelstedt
Schnathorster Berg
also Eickhorster Berg
246.6HüllhorstNorth of Schnathorst
Bröderhauser Berg
also Lübber Berg
251.2HilleNear Hille-Oberlübbe; in the vicinity of Oberlübber Bergsee
Elfter Kopf233,0Bad OeynhausenWest of Wallücke
Bergkirchener Kopf255.4Bad OeynhausenEast of Wallücke, northwest of Bergkirchen with subpeak of Buchenkopf to the north
Haddenhauser Berg261.3Bad OeynhausenNorth of Volmerdingsen
Lutternsche Egge256,0MindenSouth of Luttern
Eidinghauser Berg247,0Bad OeynhausenNorth of Bad Oeynhausen-Eidinghausen
Häverstädter Berg269.6MindenSouth of Häverstädt
Wittekindsberg294,2Porta WestfalicaEmperor William Monument, Moltke Tower and Wittekindsburg; west of the Porta Westfalica

Northernmost German uplands

According to folklore, regionally conscious residents around the hills usually admit grudgingly that the Wiehen Hills are not particularly high. In the same breath, they may assert, often with a raised index finger and an odd emphasis on the word gebirge ("hill/mountain range"), that they are the northernmost hill range in Germany and the one closest to the sea. Whether this assertion is true is in fact a matter of definition. It clearly ignores the morainic ridges further north and closer to the sea, as well as other true uplands such as the Stemweder Berg or the Rehburg Hills. Of course, these hills are much lower and do not reach the 200-metre contour line. Of the higher, say up to 300-metre-high (980 ft) uplands, the northern foothills of Deister and Bückeberge extend farther north than the eastern Wiehen range. However, it is also true that the highest part of the Wiehen Hills at Lübbecke has the most northerly hill over 300 metres in Germany. The Heidbrink, at almost 320 metres high, is also the northernmost "three-hundred" on the European continent between the central Ural Mountains and the Atlantic, i.e. excluding the British Isles and Fennoscandinavia.


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