Palatinate Forest


Palatinate Forest

Geobox|Biosphere reserve
Palatinate Forest-Vosges du Nord
name = Palatinate Forest
native_name = Pfälzerwald
other_name =
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category_local = Biosphere reserve
category_iucn =


image_size =
image_caption = Palatinate Forest in south-west Germany
country = Germany
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state = Rhineland-Palatinate
state_type =
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region = Palatinate
region_type = Region
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highest = Kalmit
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highest_elevation = 673
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established_type = Biosphere Reserve
established = 1998
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management_body = Naturpark Pfälzerwald e.V.
management_location = Lambrecht
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website = http://www.biosphere-vosges-pfaelzerwald.org/

The Palatinate Forest ( _de. Pfälzerwald) is a low-mountain region in southwestern Germany, located in Palatinate in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The "Nature Park" ( _de. Naturpark, equivalent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) Palatinate Forest covers 1,771 km² and its highest elevation is Mount Kalmit (673 m).

Together with the northern part of the adjacent Vosges Mountains in France it forms the UNESCO Biosphere reserve Palatinate Forest-Vosges du Nord. The Biosphere reserve is one of the biggest forests in Europe.

Geography

Boundaries

The low mountain range of the Palatinate Forest is continued northward by the extensive hilly landscape of the northern Palatinate ("Nordpfälzer Bergland"), whose highest point is the volcanic Donnersberg (687 m). In the south it is continued by the northern Vosges Mountains in France.

The eastern end of the forest ("Haardt") is adjacent to the Palatinate wine growing region. Here the German Wine Route stretches through the undulating area that lies between the Palatinate Forest and the Upper Rhine valley.

West of Kaiserslautern is the marshy lowland of Landstuhl.

Structure

The Palatinate Forest can be divided into 3 areas.

* The northern Palatinate Forest, bounded by the northern Palatinate extensive hilly landscape and reaching southwards to a line from Kaiserslautern to Bad Duerkheim

* The middle Palatinate Forest from the stream Isenach and the line Kaiserslautern - Bad Duerkheim to the stream Queich and the line Pirmasens - Landau

* The southern Palatinate Forest, the so called Wasgau, from the stream Queich and the line Pirmasens - Landau to the french borderline in the south.

Tourism

The Palatinate Forest is an attractive region for hiking, offerig an extensive network of trails.

In 2005, the Mountainbikepark Pfälzerwald, a route network for mountainbiking, was developed in the centre of the region.

Climbers appreciate the red sandstone rocks in the Dahner Felsenland.

Castles

The region is well known for its castles and has attracted tourists for many years. The Hambach Castle is located in the east near Neustadt an der Weinstraße and is considered to be the symbol of the German democracy movement because of the Hambacher Fest which occurred here in 1832.

The Berwartstein Castle has been reconstructed and is open to visitors. It is situated in the southern part of the Palatinate Forest. Of many other castles, like the Wegelnburg Castle, only ruins are left.

Trifels Castle, where replicas of the Imperial Regalia (Reichskleinodien) of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation can be viewed, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Palatinate.

External links

* [http://www.biosphere-vosges-pfaelzerwald.org/_uk/html/frameset/frameset.htm Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest - Vosges du Nord]


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