Franconian Alb

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Franconian Alb
(Franconian Jura / Franconian Jura / Franconian Jura)
Franconian Alb

Franconian Alb

Highest peak Dürrenberg ( 656.4  m above sea  level )
location Bavaria
part of Southwest German layer level country
Classification according to Handbook of the natural structure of Germany / Federal Agency for Nature Conservation
Coordinates 49 ° 1 ′  N , 10 ° 46 ′  E Coordinates: 49 ° 1 ′  N , 10 ° 46 ′  E
Type Low mountain range , layer level
surface 7,053.8 km²

The Franconian Jura , also Frankenalb , Franconian Jura or Frankenjura called, is one to 656.4  m above sea level. NHN , in the outlying foothills ( Hesselberg ) even up to 689.4  m high low mountain range , which belongs to the south-west German layer level country in Bavaria and extends the even higher Swabian Alb beyond the Nördlinger Ries to the east-northeast and finally to the north-northwest. It is 7053.8 km² in size.

On the edge of the Franconian Alb are the places Ingolstadt (south), Regensburg (south-east), Nuremberg (west of the north-east), Bamberg (north-west) and Bayreuth (north-east).

Name origin

The name Alb was previously derived from the Latin expression montes albi (white mountains). More likely it is an old Celtic name and means mountain pasture .



The Franconian Jura stretches in north-south-west direction from Lichtenfels on Main past Bamberg and Nuremberg in the west and Bayreuth and Regensburg in the east and Ingolstadt on the Danube in the south to the eastern edge of the Wörnitz carrying meteorite crater Ries , through which they of the west adjoining Swabian Alb is separated. Its highest point is the 656  m high Dürrenberg on the Hahnenkamm in the extreme northwest of the southern part.

Natural structure

The main unit groups (two-digit) and large regions of the 3rd order (thicker dividing lines) of the south-west German level country

The Federal Institute for Regional Studies has since the 1950s in the Handbook of the Natural Region Divisions of Germany and in subsequent single sheets 1: 200,000 in Germany natural space divided part landscapes. The Franconian Alb, together with the Swabian Alb , which continues to the southwest , forms a third-order large region of the south-west German level region (second-order greater region). As with the Gäuen (Muschelkalk, 12-13) and Keuper-Lias countries (10-11), the Jura and Dogger-Malm landscapes were divided into a Swabian (09) and a Franconian (08) main unit group The dividing line is based more on physical than cultural considerations. Especially in the Swabian and Franconian Alb, the dividing line south of the Nördlinger Ries corresponds to the common division.

The Franconian Alb is further subdivided into the main units Northern (080), Middle (081) and Southern (082) Franconian Alb . The southern Franconian Alb extends the eaves of the Swabian Alb, which runs in an east-northeast direction, to the east, while the Middle and Northern Franconian Alb point towards the north-northwest.

For more detailed breakdowns see

Northern Franconian Alb

The 2007 km² Northern Franconian Alb is the northernmost part of the Franconian Alb. It is located in the Bavarian administrative districts of Upper Franconia , Middle Franconia (southwest) and Upper Palatinate (southeast), with the Upper Franconian districts taking up the majority.

Its north extends close to the Red Main or the Main between Bayreuth in the east, Lichtenfels in the north and Bamberg in the west, its southern west is flanked from Bamberg by the Regnitz , which, however, extends upstream to Nuremberg by up to 20 km from the Alb away.

The southern border to the Middle Franconian Alb roughly follows the federal highway 14 between Hersbruck and Sulzbach-Rosenberg , but deviates slightly to the north from this line in the east via Etzelwang and Neukirchen . It follows the river valleys of Pegnitz and Etzelbach , in the far east that of the Rosenbach .

To the east, the Northern Franconian Alb is flanked by the Vils about eight kilometers away .

Landscapes and Places

Franconian Switzerland, named after its typical rock formations, is located in the center of the Northern Franconian Jura . South of this is the Dolomite Kuppenalb , while the south-west belonging to Middle Franconia is referred to as Hersbrucker Schweiz and is part of the Hersbrucker Alb , which is not a natural unit and continues in the north-west of the Middle Franconian Alb . In the south-east of the landscape between Pegnitz (N), Auerbach (O) and the A 9 (W) is the 107 km² large Veldenstein Forest, which is free from communes and almost entirely covered with coniferous forest .

The north-west near Bamberg belonged to the tertiary volcanic field of the Heldburg gang , which, however, is not visible in surface forms.

The Northern Franconian Alb is almost congruent with the 2346 square kilometer Franconian Switzerland-Veldenstein Forest Nature Park , which is located in the districts of Bamberg , Bayreuth , Forchheim , Kulmbach , Lichtenfels , Neustadt an der Waldnaab , Amberg-Sulzbach and Nürnberger Land .

Middle Franconian Alb

The Franconian Alb is increasingly used as a location for wind turbines , as here near Berching

The 1778 km² Middle Franconian Alb connects the Northern and Southern Franconian Alb. It lies almost entirely in the Bavarian administrative district of Upper Palatinate and is therefore also known as the Upper Palatinate Alb (or Upper Palatinate Jura ). Only the extreme northwest is in Central Franconia .

Its northern border with the Northern Franconian Alb runs east of the Pegnitz River between Hersbruck and Sulzbach-Rosenberg ( see above ), to the west it is flanked by the Schwarzach and south of Neumarkt by the Ludwig-Danube-Main Canal .

Between Parsberg and Regensburg , the southwest border to the southern Franconian Alb follows roughly the Schwarzen Laber .

On the eastern edge are Amberg in the north and Schwandorf in the middle.

Landscapes and Places

In the center of the Middle Franconian Alb in the district of Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate lies the 149.02 km² military training area Hohenfels . To the north of this, in the district of Amberg-Sulzbach , which occupies the north-east of the landscape, the 277.59 km² Hirschwald Nature Park , which to the north just exceeds the Franconian Alb area.

The south-east is in the district of Schwandorf , the extreme southeast in the district of Regensburg and the west in the district of Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate.

The north-west, which is still in the central Franconian district of Nürnberger Land , is largely counted as part of the Hersbrucker Alb , which, however, does not represent a natural spatial unit and continues north into the Northern Franconian Alb . The term Oberpfälzer Jura is also not limited to the Middle Franconian Jura and is also used for the south-east of the northern part. Both landscape names dive u. a. in the naming of nature reserves.

The east of the landscape is occupied by the Vilsplatten , which the Vils cuts south of Amberg .

Southern Franconian Alb

The 3126 square kilometer Southern Frankenalb is the southernmost part of the Franconian Jura. It continues the Swabian Alb east of the Nördlinger Ries in its east-northeast direction to about Regensburg . With Upper Palatinate (northeast), Lower Bavaria (southeast), Upper Bavaria (central south), Swabia (southwest) and Middle Franconia (western and central north), five of the seven Bavarian administrative districts have a share in the southern Franconian Alb .

Landscapes and Places

The southern Franconian Alb is essentially identical to the 2962.4 square kilometer Altmühltal Nature Park , which is located in the districts of Donau-Ries , Eichstätt , Kelheim , Neuburg-Schrobenhausen , Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz , Regensburg , Roth and Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen . However, the nature park crosses the borders of the Alb in the north-west, while in the east it does not quite reach the edge.

The landscape is cut in a west-east direction by the Altmühltal between Treuchtlingen and Kelheim , which is one of the valleys of the original Danube .

The two westernmost spurs of the eaves in the north of the landscape are called Hahnenkamm (between Wörnitz and Altmühl ) and Weißenburger Alb (between Altmühl and Schwarzach ).

Landscape names, protected areas and nature parks

The common landscape names of the Franconian Alb only partially designate natural spatial sub-units; many are more based on historical and tourist names.

The landscapes of the Franconian Alb, which are better known by name, include from north to southwest (larger protected areas may be listed as sub-items):

Nature parks

Nature parks in the Franconian Alb are:


The mountains of the Franconian Alb and their most important witness mountains include - sorted by height in meters (m) above sea ​​level :

Abbreviations used in the table below illustrates.

mountain Height
landscape Main unit location agriculture
( Hesselberg ) 689.4 Zeugenberg north-west. the SFA Foreland of the SFA Ehingen / Gerolfingen ON
Dürrenberg 656.4 Cockscomb Southern FA Heidenheim WUG
Poppberg 652.6 Upper Palatinate Jura Medium FA Birgland AS
Ossinger 651.1 Upper Palatinate Jura Northern FA Koenigstein AS
Kappersberg 650.7 Upper Palatinate Jura Medium FA Birgland - Frechetsfeld AS
Kütschenrainberg 6470 northeastern NFA Northern FA Kirchenthumbach / Heinersreuther Forest NEW
Zantberg 646.8 Upper Palatinate Jura Northern FA Hirschbach / Neukirchen AS
Limpelberg 640.9 southern MFA Medium FA Parsberg - Holzheim / Velburg - Freudenricht NM
High Reut 6350 Dolomitkuppenalb Northern FA Betzenstein - Riegelstein BT
Yellow mountain 628.4 Cockscomb Southern FA Dittenheim - Sammenheim WUG
Little Kulm 6270 Franconian Switzerland Northern FA Basket village BT
Hohenstein 6240 Hersbrucker Switzerland Northern FA Kirchensittenbach - Hohenstein LAU
Goeschberg 620.6 northeastern SFA Southern FA Seubersdorf / Deining NM
Wülzburger Berg 6200 Weissenburger Alb Southern FA Weissenburg WUG
( Schlossberg ) 606.7 Zeugenberg north of the SFA Foreland of the SFA Heideck RH
( Moritzberg ) 603.5 Zeugenberg west of the Hersbrucker Alb Foreland of the NFA Röthenbach - Moritzberg / Leinburg / Lauf - Weigenhofen LAU
Great Hansgörgl 601 Eaves of the Hersbrucker Alb Medium FA Reichenschwand LAU
( Dillberg ) 5950 Zeugenberg west of the MFA Foreland of the MFA Postbauer-Heng - Dillberg NM
( Buchberg ) 5910 Zeugenberg west of the MFA Foreland of the MFA Neumarkt / Berngau / Sengenthal - Buchberg NM
Ottenberg 588.0 Nightmare of the MFA Medium FA Pilsach / Berg NM
Neubürg 586.8 Eastern edge of the NFA Northern FA Mistelgau - residential area BT
Geisberg 5850 Eaves of the NFA Northern FA Geisberger Forest BA
Kemitzenstein 580.6 Northern Franconian Jura Northern FA Bad Staffelstein - Kümmersreuth LIF
Bald stone 5720 Hersbrucker Switzerland Northern FA Neunkirchen - Weißenbach LAU
Friesener Warte 561.7 Eaves of the NFA Northern FA Hirschaid - Friesen / Buttenheim - Kälberberg BA
Reisberg 553.9 Northern Franconian Jura Northern FA Schlappenreuth BA
Little Hansgörgl 553 Eaves of the Hersbrucker Alb Medium FA Reichenschwand LAU
Lindenberg 5450 Eaves of the NFA Northern FA Neunkirchen - Ermreuth / Oberlindelbach FO
Schlossberg 5430 Franconian Switzerland Northern FA Pegnitz BT
( Flüglinger Berg ) 541.3 Zeugenberg north of the SFA Foreland of the SFA Weißenburg - Weimersheim WUG
Staffelberg 5400 Northern Franconian Jura Northern FA Bad Staffelstein LIF
Kordigast 538.1 Northern Franconian Jura Northern FA Altenkunstadt LIF
Rodenstein ( honorary citizen ) 531.7 Eaves / Zeugenberg of the NFA Northern FA Wiesenthau / Leutenbach FO
Arzberg 507.1 Eichstätter Alb at the Altmühltal Southern FA Beilngries EGG
Schellenberg 494.5 Eichstätter Alb at the Altmühltal Southern FA Enkering EGG

Abbreviations in the table stand for:


Of particular tourist interest is the Northern Franconian Alb, Franconian Switzerland , which has numerous rock formations. The Altmühltal in the southern Franconian Jura also gained tourist importance with side valleys with rocks washed out by the Primeval Danube as a “climbing paradise” and with continuous cycle paths. The Altmühltal and the Northern Franconian Jura are among the more important climbing areas in Germany and are internationally known among sport climbers.

Numerous castles and small towns are worth seeing. The hiking trails are marked and maintained on a voluntary basis by associations such as the Franconian Alb Association and the Franconian Switzerland Association .

The districts of Amberg-Sulzbach, Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz, Regensburg (western part) and Kelheim are marketed by Tourismusmarketing Ostbayern GmbH under the art term Bavarian Jura .


The Franconian Alb is the geological continuation of the Swiss Jura and the Swabian Alb to the east.

During the entire Jurassic period , about 161 to 150 million years ago, the whole of southern Germany was in the area of ​​a shallow sea, when, due to the constant subsidence of the earth's crust, massive rock sequences were deposited on the sea floor. The Jura sediments still form the largest part of the rock, mainly limestone , and are the basic material of the Franconian Alb.

The sea retreated due to uplifts of the European continental plate towards the end of the Upper Jurassic and larger areas became mainland at the beginning of the following Cretaceous period. During this time there was a tropical climate and intensive weathering of the limestone and dolomite rocks that had previously formed.

In the time of the Upper Cretaceous a sea again advanced into the area of ​​the Franconian Alb.

In the Tertiary , the sea receded again due to regional uplift and the Jura landscape was partially exposed.

The Franconian Alb is rich in beautiful rocks , caves , sinkholes , karst springs and stone channels . It is traversed by some deeply cut rivers and streams and by dry valleys. The dry grass slopes of the southern Alb are a special biological feature .

References and comments

  1. a b c Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  2. a b The Hesselberg ( 689.4  m ), which extends the line of the Hahnenkamm to the northwest, lies outside the Franconian Alb, but extends the direction of the Hahnenkamm to the west-northwest. It is sometimes listed as the highest elevation of the Franconian Alb, but lies well outside the same in the foreland of the Southern Franconian Alb ( Franconian Keuper-Lias-Land ). Its mountain height is mentioned without any indication of the height reference according to the information board on the Hesselberg path photographed in 2005 .
  3. ^ Emil Meynen , Josef Schmithüsen (Ed.): Handbook of the natural spatial structure of Germany . Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Remagen / Bad Godesberg 1953–1962 (9 deliveries in 8 books, updated map 1: 1,000,000 with main units 1960).
  4. Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
    • Map service landscapes shows the boundaries of individual partial landscapes and makes landscape profiles with area information (80xxx = northern, 81xxx = middle, 82xxx = southern Franconian Alb) clickable
    • Map service for protected areas shows mountain heights down to TK 25;
      Nature reserves, FFH areas, nature parks (each with area information), main units and communal boundaries can be displayed
  5. ^ Definition of the Hahnenkamm and above all the Weißenburger Alb according to:
    Emil Meynen and Josef Schmithüsen : Handbook of the natural spatial structure of Germany (second delivery) - Federal Institute for Regional Studies, Remagen 1955
  6. The almost equally high east-southeast of the ridge of the Kütschenrainberg is called Kalvarienberg
  7. The height above sea ​​level (NHN) from the Wülzburger Berg ( 620  m ) should not be confused with the platform height of the Roßmühle bastion ( 643.8  m ), which is part of the Wülzburg fortress there (both heights according to the individual evidence of the BfN map services ).
  8. The Ehrenbürg is basically a witness mountain of the Northern Franconian Alb and separated from the actual Alb by the valley of the Ehrenbaches ; nevertheless, the demarcation in the handbook of the natural division of Germany still counts him as part of the Franconian Jura and not its foreland.


  • Hans Sperber: Geological-botanical forays through northeast Bavaria. Upper Franconian Publishing House and Printing House, Hof 1979, ISBN 3-921615-27-5 .
  • Irene Reif : "Nightmares". The Franconian Alb. In: Franconia - my love. Oberfränkische Verlagsanstalt, Hof 1989, ISBN 3-921615-91-7 , p. 127f.
  • Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Hrsg.): Future of low mountain range landscapes: Scenarios for the development of rural areas using the example of the Franconian Alb. Landwirtschaftsverlag, Münster 2002, ISBN 3-7843-3820-8 .
  • Max Schäfer: Hiking with children in the Franconian Jura. A book for young parents and grandparents 3. updated, redesigned and heavily expanded. Edition. Tümmel, Nuremberg 1999, ISBN 3-921590-71-X .
  • Hanns Zischler : The most beautiful lunar landscape you can imagine: the Franconian Alb. In: German Landscapes. S. Fischer Verlag 2003, ISBN 3-10-070404-5 , pp. 293-303.


Web links

Wikivoyage: Franconian Alb  - travel guide