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Tower hill in Mecklenburg

A hill is a landform that rises above its surroundings. It is smaller than a mountain , although there is no definition for the exact delimitation and differentiation of the two types of terrain. A hill is usually not much longer than it is wide, otherwise the elevation is called a ridge . A hill can be part of a mountain if elevations have formed in its foothills. In gardening and landscaping , hills are also piled up and modeled as earthworks .


Hills can arise naturally

  • by erosion of earth material ( mound )
  • by the pressure and the movement of ice masses
  • by erosion of mountains
  • from earthquakes and other geological activities
  • by volcanism
  • from impacts by asteroids or volcanic material
  • due to uneven wind and vegetation-related deposits of dust, sand, etc.
  • by animals ( anthills , termite mounds )

In addition, hills can also be artificial, i.e. H. arise through human intervention, for example

Erosion and terrain shape

In the case of hills, the erosion affects all around (in all directions), while in the mountainous region it acts in only two preferred directions (downhill, formation of dendritic, tree-like ridge structures). Therefore, hilly landscapes are usually structured more irregularly than z. B. mountain ranges , hill ranges as a typical low mountain range structure but more gently rounded. Increasing erosion of high mountains leaves ridges of hills, which is why hill country is mostly old ( rump landscapes ), or foothills on the edge of the high mountains .

Another common form of education are meandering remnants and former breakthroughs that give the typical hill settlement in the Alps, cliffs (upstream Formation residues), volcanic and other monolithic hard rock residues, as well as large fossil moraines and other post-glacial small forms ( glacial deposits ).

Hill as a settlement

Hills used to be the preferred places to build settlements and defenses , as they had a view of the surrounding landscape and attackers had more difficulty conquering them, especially with heavy equipment. With the growth of cities , the industrial availability of explosives, and the change in war tactics in favor of increased mobility, however, such tactical advantages have faded.

Place naming

Mugl in the Perlacher Forest

Hill itself as a word has only been attested since the 16th century and has had little influence on the name treasure. However, there is mhd.  Houc , which has been preserved in the forms Haug , Hauck - but here a derivation from Hugo as a patronymic is more likely in personal names .

The old word for Hügel, Bühel or Pichl , which is common in southern Germany , has been rich in name-building since the earliest times. The root is ahd.  Buhil , zu mhd.  Bühel  for 'hill, hill'. In the vocabulary in use it is still in Tyrol / Salzburg and in Vorarlberg / West Swiss, where it is generally the word in dialect instead of the non-native 'hill'. The variants are diverse:

Also as an origin name is about Pichler , Bichler , Pichlarn , Büchler , Bühler , Böhler or forms such as

  • Zumbühl, Ambiel, Oberbeul - 'the (above / below) on the hill'
  • Pichlbauer, Pühlhofer, Buglmeier - 'Farmer (nhof) am Hügel'
  • Birkenbihl , Sandbiller, Breitenpöhler, Lindbüchel, Sonnenbichler, Birnbiggl - more detailed description of the hill

and the like widely used.

North German is Hövel, Hübel , this form is also rich:

In the case of personal names, however, a possible, also very likely, derivation from Hof is to be assumed.

In total, the German word atlas gives over 50 different names for hills that are alive in dialects. This includes:

See also

Web links

Commons : Hills  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: hill  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Konrad Kunze : dtv-Atlas onenology . 1st edition. dtv tape 2490 . dtv, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-423-03266-9 , surface shape of the landscape. Elevations , p. 97 , col. 2 (Distribution map Hövel / Bühler / Pichler p. 96).
  2. German word atlas . tape 4 , p. 10 .
  3. Distribution map Knopp / Knupp / Knipp / Knapp (en) Kunze p. 96