Franconian Forest

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Franconian Forest
The Thuringian-Franconian Slate Mountains with the Franconian Forest in the southeast

The Thuringian-Franconian Slate Mountains with the Franconian Forest in the southeast

The Döbraberg - highest mountain in the Franconian Forest

The Döbraberg - highest mountain in the Franconian Forest

Highest peak Döbraberg ( 794.6  m above sea  level )
location Bavaria , Thuringia ( Germany )
Coordinates 50 ° 17 ′  N , 11 ° 39 ′  E Coordinates: 50 ° 17 ′  N , 11 ° 39 ′  E
surface 925 km²

The Franconian Forest is 300 to 794.6  m above sea level. NHN high and 925 km² large German low mountain range in northeast Franconia (northern Bavaria ). Small parts belong to Thuringia and form the south-eastern continuation of the Thuringian Forest .

The Franconian Forest is the middle part of the Thuringian-Franconian low mountain range . This 200 km long ridge of the Thuringian Forest and Thuringian Slate Mountains , Franconian Forest and Fichtel Mountains runs from northwest to southeast to the Czech border.


Natural location

The Franconian Forest lies between the Thuringian Slate Mountains (in the narrower sense) in the northwest, the Hofer Land (Bavarian Vogtland) in the east, the Fichtel Mountains in the southeast and the Upper Main Hills in the south; the transition to the Thuringian Slate Mountains is fluid, the one to the Fichtel Mountains runs over the Münchberg plateau . Some communities in south-eastern Thuringia are part of the Franconian Forest, which from a geological point of view forms the Saale Slate Mountains together with the Thuringian Slate Mountains and the Vogtland Slate Mountains .

The area from the south-western edge of the Saalisch Slate Mountains to the ridge heights is called the Franconian Forest, taking into account morphographic values . This means in particular that the Franconian Forest to the northeast only extends just beyond the Main-Saale watershed and drains almost exclusively to the Main.

Naturally , the Franconian Forest is part of the Thuringian Slate Mountains, a main unit within the main unit group Thuringian-Franconian Central Uplands . However, since the Franconian Forest is viewed in the tourist sense for historical reasons as a (partial) low mountain range that is separate from the Thuringian Forest , to which the Thuringian Slate Mountains are usually added, the Franconian Forest is usually understood to this day exactly that part of the mountain ridge that southeast of the so-called Steinacher flexure along the line Mengersgereuth-Hammern  - Steinach  - Spechtsbrunn  - Gräfenthal , whereby the flexure, which is clearly recognizable on satellite images because of its clearing, intersects the river valleys of the Steinach and its tributaries and does not follow one of its valleys.


The mountains of the Franconian Forest include - sorted by height in meters (m) above mean sea level (NHN):

physical geography

Traffic map from 1912 with the western Franconian Forest (top right)

The following sentence describes the character of the Franconian Forest - only contradicting at first glance: "In the Franconian Forest there are no mountains - there are valleys". A large number of narrow, sometimes parallel V-valleys between Werra , Itz and Steinach in the northwest and the source branches of the White Main in the southeast intervene in the plateau and create a low mountain range.

The Franconian Forest is a forest rich area. European beech and fir trees used to dominate . After the almost complete deforestation at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, reforestation was mainly carried out with fast-growing spruce monocultures, which still characterize the image of the Franconian Forest today.

The geology of the Franconian Forest consists to a large extent of greywacke and slate from the Lower Carboniferous . On the Franconian Line , a fault zone , it borders on the shell limestone of the Upper Mainland. Scientifically, a distinction is made between the Franconian Forest in the narrower sense (west of Selbitz ) and the Franconian Forest (umbrella term for the three areas of the Franconian Forest in the narrower sense, the Münchberg plateau and the Bavarian Vogtland ).

On the western edge of the Franconian Forest, between Gundelsdorf in the south and Rothenkirchen in the north, there is the three-part Stockheim Basin, one of the few Rotliegend basins in Bavaria. In it are u. a. acidic volcanic rocks , volcanogenic and lacustrine sediments of the Permian (mainly slate , sandstones and various conglomerates ) as well as some thin coal seams that were mined underground near Stockheim and Neuhaus-Schierschnitz until the 1960s.


The slate mentioned above designed the houses - the “blue gold” is still used today for roofing - and characterizes the Franconian forest villages.

Many places like Schwarzenbach am Wald or Bad Steben are state-approved climatic health resorts due to their altitude and the stimulating climate and thus contribute a large part to the income of the population.

The Franconian Forests are closely connected to their forest. It was the basis for their livelihood in the glass and porcelain industry , rafting , charcoal burning and the numerous cutting mills . The raftsmen brought Franconian firs on the Main and Rhine as far as Amsterdam . The rafting on the Wilder Rodach near Wallenfels is still a tourist business today .

The settlement of the Franconian Forest, the former Nortwald, began in the 13th century, initially on the wooded plateaus. The first settlements with the still recognizable settlement forms Waldhufen - and Rundangerdorf emerged in clearing islands . A prime example of a well-preserved Rundanger village is the village of Effelter in the Kronach district, which is now part of Wilhelmsthal . The valleys were not settled until later and the typical meadow valleys emerged.

That is why the Franconian Forest is characterized by three landscape elements:

  • cleared plateaus
  • wooded slopes
  • Meadow valleys

In the east, in the area around Naila and Schwarzenbach am Wald, there is a rather gently undulating high plateau landscape. In the west, on the other hand, in the district of Kronach , narrow meadow valleys alternate with wooded slopes and cleared plateaus.

The railway lines Munich - Berlin, Lichtenfels - Kulmbach - Hof, Saalfeld - Blankenstein, Münchberg - Helmbrechts , Hof - Naila - Bad Steben , the federal autobahn 9 and the federal highways 2 , 85 , 89 , 173 , run through the Franconian Forest or on its edge . 289 and 303 .


Mitwitz moated castle, east side
View over the Höllental from the Hirschsprung
natural beauties



Grafengehaig town center
City view of Kronach

The regional center, Hof (Saale) , is already a few kilometers outside the Franconian Forest.

The following communities are located in the Franconian Forest or on its borders. The list is sorted alphabetically.

(*: Peripheral location;
**: already a bit outside)


The Franconian Forest lies between the Main in the southwest and the (Saxon) Saale in the northeast. The Rodach with its tributaries Haßlach and Kronach as well as the Schorgast with the Untere Steinach flow towards the Main , whereby the two latter rivers originate from the Münchberg plateau and only the Untere Steinach crosses the Franconian Forest, while its receiving water west of Wirsberg forms the southern border.

The Selbitz in the eastern Franconian Forest and the Loquitz in the north flow into the Saale. The European watershed between the Elbe and the Rhine runs in the Franconian Forest between the tributaries of the Saale and Main .


The Franconian Forest Nature Park is made up of parts of the Kronach district and the neighboring districts of Hof and Kulmbach . The Ködeltalsperre , the largest drinking water reservoir in Bavaria, is located in the nature park. With a capacity of 21 million cubic meters, it supplies almost the entire Upper Franconian population with raw water .

The Frankenwaldverein is a local and hiking association. He maintains customs and history in the Franconian Forest and maintains a dense network of hiking trails. The association was founded in Naila and uses technologies such as GPS for hiking.

Like the Black Forest, the Franconian Forest was a deforestation area in centuries past. The logs were shipped to the Netherlands by rafting. While the Black Forest wood was being used in Rotterdam, Franconian wood was the foundation for Amsterdam.


General literature

Hiking and travel guides, gastronomy criticism

  • Harald Göbel (Red.): Hiking in the Franconian Forest: the hiking guide of the Frankenwaldverein e. V. Ackermann, Hof 1992, ISBN 3-929364-07-7
  • Annette Schmidt, Heinz-Ulrich Schmidt: Tavern guide Franconian forest. Gondrom, Bindlach 1995, ISBN 3-8112-0812-8
  • Georg Blitz: Franconian Forest: after the hikes from Vagabundus: wonderful hiking trails, cozy inns, hotels and guest houses, access routes, parking facilities. Drei-Brunnen-Verlag, Stuttgart 1996 ISBN 3-7956-0246-7 (2nd, revised, updated and expanded edition of the new edition from 2003: Emmerich Müller (ed.), Anja Bech (hikes): Fichtelgebirge, Frankenwald : after the hikes of Vagabundus, hiker between path and economy; [53 wonderful tours; selected refreshment stops]. Drei-Brunnen-Verlag, Plüderhausen 2014, ISBN 978-3-7956-0330-4 , table of contents )
  • Richard Seuss, Hartmut Fischer: Hiking with nature and culture in the Franconian Forest. "Around the Steinach Valley"; with nature and culture on 20 circular hiking trails. Touristik Steinachtal, Helmbrechts, approx. 2002, ISBN


  • Radu Chinta: The ore deposits in the northeastern part of Bavaria; (Overview of the old ore mines). In: Geological sheets for northeast Bavaria and neighboring areas. Vol. 33, No. 1/2, 1983, ISSN  0016-7797 , pp. 64-81.


  • Otto Knopf, Johannes Martin: The Franconian Forest. Impressions of a landscape. Conventus Musicus, Dettelbach 2005, ISBN 3-429-02720-9 (DVD, playing time 63 minutes)

Web links

Commons : Frankenwald  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Map services of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation ( information )
  2. a b Frankenwald landscape profile ( memento of the original from July 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. of the BfN  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. ^ A b H. Liedtke, J. Marcinek : Physical geography of Germany. 2nd Edition. Perthes, Gotha 1995, ISBN 3-623-00840-0 , pp. 372-374.
  4. Map services ( Memento of the original from December 19, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. of the BfN map service "Protected areas" makes the borderline visible  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Natural space map of Thuringia ( memento of the original from October 26, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF, 260 kB) of the Thuringian State Institute for Environment and Geology ; Detailed maps for each district - TLUG does not differentiate between the High Thuringian Slate Mountains and the Franconian Forest and draws a somewhat more extensive border to the northeast than the BfN  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. Definition of the Franconian Forest ( Memento of the original from January 7, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. at @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Mauthaus / Ködelsee drinking water reservoir ( Memento from August 16, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) from the Hof water management office