The Leine Uplands is a region in Germany's Central Uplands which forms a part of the Lower Saxon Hills and lies along the River Leine between Göttingen and Hanover. It borders on the Weser Uplands in the west, the Innerste Uplands in the northeast, the Harz in the east and Untereichsfeld in the southeast; the Leine Uplands, which merge into the Weser Uplands to the east and the Harz to the west, are not a defined landscape in terms of being a natural region but are relatively delineated. Their extent from south to north is determined by the river that lends them their name and their extent from east to west by high ridges. From north to south the uplands can be broadly divided into a southern half around the wide trough of the River Leine's middle course and a northern half by the lower reaches of the same river; the River Leine flows from Friedland via Göttingen and Northeim to Einbeck through the Leine trough, an important north-south orientated geological rift valley. On the hilltops along the valley of the Leine there are many castles that controlled the north-south road network in the valley during the Middle Ages and could block it entirely.
In the southeastern part of the Leine Uplands, east of the valley, is the plateau of the Göttingen-Northeim Forest, founded on Bunter sandstone and Muschelkalk. The western edge of the forest reaches from Friedland via Göttingen and Nörten-Hardenberg to Northeim, it is here. They are located in the narrowest places in the ravine-like rocky valleys between the Leine and the Eichsfeld. In an area about 30 km long and 6 to 10 km wide around 1600 abris have been discovered; the woods are utilised by the forestry industry. To the north this landscape transitions into the thickly wooded escarpments and fault-block landscape of the Southwest Harz Foreland, in which Jurassic limestone is found alongside Bunter and Muschelkalk. North of Einbeck the Hube, an outlier of the Southwest Harz Foreland, reaches the western side of the Leine and "blocks" the Leine trough to the north. West of the trough is the heath landscape of the latter opposite the intensively farmed Solling Foreland. Not counted as part of the Leine Uplands is the extreme east of the Southwest Harz Foreland and the extreme northwest of the Solling Foreland around the Vogler.
After the Leine trough has been blocked and flows around the Hube, it runs through the Alfeld Uplands called the Ith-Hils Upland, characterised by a succession of spaced ridges and finger valleys running in a northwest-southeast direction. East of the massifs that give the region its alternative name, the Ith and the Hils, which are up to 480 m high, the ridges fall steeply on both sides of the Leine into the valley and are dissected by various tributaries. Beech woods dominate the heights. Large areas of the countryside are protected. On the ridges east of the Leine, besides the mesophilic beech and ravine woods, there are xeric grasslands, dry bushlands, mesophilic grasslands and dry chalk hillside forests that are worthy of conservation. Near Gronau the Leine leaves the Leine Uplands and the Central Uplands and enters funnel-shaped basin of the Calenberg Loess Börde which opens out into the North German Plain and which abuts on the Calenberg Uplands in the west and the Innerste Uplands and Hildesheim Forest in the east.
The landscape regions of the Leine Uplands are grouped into the following major units, whereby the numbers not prefixed by the letter D represent the old categorisation into major unit groups and major units, whilst the new major unit group, D 36, contains the two older groups. D 36 Lower Saxon Hills 37 Weser-Leine Uplands 377 Alfeld Uplands 371 Solling Foreland 372 Leine-Ilme Basin 376 Southwest Harz Foreland 373 Göttingen-Northeim Forest The following hills are counted as part of the Leine Uplands: Horst Vesterling: Das Leinebergland. Landschaft – Kultur – Freizeit. PDV-Sachbuchverlag, Hannover 1986. ISBN 3-925490-02-7. Gerhard Kraus: Rund um die sieben Berge. Ein historischer Freizeitführer durch das Leinebergland. Harenberg, Hannover 1983. ISBN 3-89042-007-9. Heinz Jordan: Geologische Wanderkarte Leinebergland. Maßstab 1:100.000. 1. Auflage. Verkehrsverein Leinebergland, Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Bodenforschung, Hannover 1979. Verkehrsverein Leinebergland: Leinebergland. Geschichte, Freizeit.
Verkehrsverein Leinebergland, Alfeld 1976. Arthur Rühl: Das südliche Leinebergland. Eine forstlich-vegetationskundliche und pflanzengeographische Studie. Pflanzensoziologie Band 9. Verlag G. Fischer, Jena 1954. Bundesanstalt für Landeskunde und Raumforschung: Geographische Landesaufnahme 1:200000. Naturräumliche Gliederung Deutschlands. Die naturräumlichen Einheiten auf Blatt 86 Hannover. Bad Godesberg 1960 Bundesanstalt für Landeskunde und Raumforschung: Geographische Landesaufnahme 1:200000. Naturräumliche Gliederung Deutschlands. Die naturräumlichen Einheiten auf Blatt 99 Göttingen. Bad Godesberg 1963 Dr. Dietrich Flieder: Landeskunde Niedersachsen. 1. Auflage. Paul List Verlag, München 1970, ISBN 3-471-18876-2. S. 284 ff. Leine Uplands region Hödeken BfN-Landschaftssteckbriefe: Ith-Hils Uplands Solling Foreland Leine-Ilme Basin Southwest Harz Foreland Göttingen-Northeim Forest
Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück
The Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück) (German: Hochstift Osnabrück. It should not be confused with the Diocese of Osnabrück, larger and over which the prince-bishop exercised only the spiritual authority of an ordinary bishop, it was named after Osnabrück. The still extant Diocese of Osnabrück, erected in 772, is the oldest see founded by Charlemagne, in order to Christianize the conquered stem-duchy of Saxony; the episcopal and capitular temporal possessions of the see quite limited, grew in time, its prince-bishops exercised an extensive civil jurisdiction within the territory covered by their rights of Imperial immunity. The Prince-Bishopric continued to grow in size, making its status during the Reformation a contentious issue; the Peace of Westphalia left the city bi-confessional and had the Prince-Bishops alternate between Catholic and Protestant. The bishopric was dissolved in the German Mediatisation of 1803, when it was incorporated into the neighboring Electorate of Hanover; the see, the chapter, the convents and the Catholic charitable institutions were secularized.
The territory of the see passed to Prussia in 1806, to the Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807, to Napoleonic France in 1810, back to Hanover in 1814. With the end of the prince-bishopric, the future of the diocese became unclear. Klemens von Gruben, titular Bishop of Paros in Greece, was made vicar apostolic of Osnabrück, as such cared for the spiritual interests of the Catholic population; the ordinary Latin Catholic episcopacy was restored in 1824, but henceforth the bishops would no longer wield any temporal power. The temporal protectorate exercised over so many mediaeval dioceses by laymen became, after the 12th century, hereditary in the Amelung family, from whom it passed to Henry the Lion. After Henry's overthrow, it came into the possession of Count Simon of Tecklenburg and his descendants, though it was the source of many conflicts with the bishops. In 1236 the Count of Tecklenburg was forced to renounce all jurisdiction over the town of Osnabrück, as well as the lands of the see, the chapter and the parish churches.
On the other hand, the bishop and chapter, from the 13th century on, expanded their jurisdiction over many convents and hamlets. Scarcely any other German see freed itself so from civil jurisdiction within its territory; the royal prerogatives were transferred little by little to the bishop, e.g. the holding of fairs and markets, rights of toll and coinage and hunting rights, mining royalties and fortresses so that, by the early part of the 13th century, the bishop was the real governor of the civil territory of Osnabrück. Among the prominent mediaeval bishops were: Drogo. In the time of Engelbert of Altena-Isenberg, Bruno of Altena-Isenberg, under Conrad II of Rietberg, the new orders of Franciscans and Augustinians were received with favour. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the power of the bishops waned before the increasing influence of the cathedral chapter, of the military servants of the diocese, of the town of Osnabrück; the last sought to free itself from the bishop's sovereignty, but never became a Free City of the Empire.
The see was continually engaged in warlike troubles and difficulties and had to defend itself against the Bishops of Minden and Münster. From the 14th century auxiliary bishops became necessary due to the civil duties that absorbed the attention of the bishop himself; the successor of Bishop Conrad IV of Rietberg was Eric of Brunswick Bishop of Münster and Paderborn. He opposed the Reformers and successfully. Franz of Waldeck Bishop of Minden, acted, on the contrary, a doubtful part, he offered little resistance to Lutheranism in Münster, though he vigorously opposed the Anabaptists. However, the chapter and the Dominicans opposed a German service that dispensed with all the characteristics of the Roman Catholic Mass. In 1548, Bishop Franz promised to suppress the Reformation in Osnabrück and to execute the Augsburg Interim, but fulfilled his promise indifferently, his successor, John IV of Hoya, was more Catholic, but was succeeded by three bishops of a Protestant mind: Henry II of Saxe-Lauenburg, Bernhard of Waldeck, Philip Sigismund.
Under them the Reformation swept over most of the diocese. In 1624, Cardinal Eitel Frederick of Hohenzollern became Bishop of Osnabrück and called in the Jesuits. However, he died soon afterwards, his successor, Francis of Wartenberg, fulfilled the task of imposing the Counter-Reformation decrees. The city-council was purged of anti-Catholic elements and the former Augustinian convent was turned over to the Jesuits; the Edict of Restitution was executed by him and in 1631 he founded a university at Osnabrück. But in 1633, Osnabrück was captured by the Swedes: the university was discontinued, Catholic r
The Calenberg Land is a historic landscape southwest of Hanover in Germany formed by the countryside between the Leine and the Deister hills. The name of this region comes from the Principality of Calenberg ruled the area during the Middle Ages with its seat at Calenberg Castle near Pattensen. Today Calenberg Land covers a geographical area of about 20 x 30 km, it lies on the left bank of the river Leine and is bordered to the west by the hills of the Deister, Kleiner Deister and Osterwald. Its northern boundary is the line of the A 2 motorway towards Wunstorf, its name is not derived from the hill known as the Kalenberg on the Deister. The region includes the Calenberg Loess Börde, formed during and after the Weichselian glaciation. Strong north winds deposited the loess soil in layers between 0.2 –2 m thick, the upper layers of which became loam. The area is dominated by arable farming as a result of its fertile soils; the elevations of the Marienberg, crowned by Schloss Marienburg, Süllberg, Benther Berg, Gehrdener Berg and Stemmer Berg dominate the otherwise rolling hills.
Under the Calenberg Land lie natural resources which were being used in the Middle Ages. There are coal deposits in the Deister, potash salts, which were mined at Ronnenberg and Benthe and limestone in the Deister and Kleine Deister, clay for baking bricks and sand and gravel in the river terraces of the Leine. Barsinghausen Gehrden Hemmingen Pattensen Ronnenberg Seelze Springe Wennigsen WunstorfThe towns of the Calenberg Land developed in the Middle Ages as the ruling classes conferred self-administration and market rights. All of them remained farming towns. Whilst today the majority of population of the Calenberg Land commutes into Hanover, Hanover's citizens use the region as their local recreation area; the present-day geographical region of Calenberg Land corresponds to the Germanic area of Marstemgau, ruled by the House of Billung in the Early Middle Ages. In the 12th century various fiefdoms emerged ruled by noble families from the region who were enfeoffed by the bishops of Minden and Hildesheim.
These were the counts of Wölpe, of Roden, of Schaumburg, of Schwalenberg, of Spiegelberg and of Hallermund. At that time the counts founded a number of abbeys including: Mariensee, Barsinghausen, Wennigsen and Wülfinghausen. In the 13th century the House of Welf gained the upper hand in Calenberg Land, although it was not called that, they bought out the counts and their estates or defeated their feudal masters in the shape of the bishops of Hildesheim and Minden. In the 13th century the Welfs built, south of Hanover in the vicinity of the Leine the water castle of Calenberg. Out of that emerged the Welf sub-principality of Calenberg. In this way the land ruled by the Principality of Calenberg emerged, much larger than the Calenberg Land is today. In the 15th century it stretched as far southwest as Hamelin. In 1495 the Principality of Calenberg was united with the Principality of Göttingen to become the Principality of Calenberg-Göttingen. In 1519, during the Hildesheim Feud, there was serious devastation in the region.
A map published in 1590 depicts all the settlements in the Calenberg Land as burning. In 1542 the area became Lutheran thanks to the work of the widowed duchess, Elisabeth of Brandenburg, Anton Corvinus carried out the Reformation at her request. An attempt to re-catholicise the area by Eric II, Duke of Calenberg during the Schmalkaldic War failed due to popular resistance. In 1625, during the Thirty Years War, the forces of Tilly invaded and captured the castle of Calenberg after a three-week siege; the general ruled the whole of the Calenberg Land with the exception of Hanover. Not until 1633 was the castle recaptured. Calenberg Land was incorporated into the Landdrostei Regierungsbezirk of Hanover in 1823 together with Hoya and Diepholz. After the dissolution of the Regierungsbezirke and their governments in Lower Saxony in 2004 it became part of Hanover Region. Since the 19th century there has been an economic boom in the Calenberg Land as a result of more intensive use of its geological and agricultural resources, such as potash mining and intensive sugar beet farming by cement factories and sugar refineries respectively.
Bennigser Burg Calenberg Castle Hallermund Castle Wülfinghausen Abbey Saupark Springe Marienburg Castle Springe Bison Enclosure Kingdom of Hanover Calenberger Neustadt Carl-Hans Hauptmeyer: Calenberg, Geschichte und Gesellschaft einer niedersächsischen Landschaft, Hanover, 1983, ISBN 3-7716-1437-6 Maps of the former principalities of Calenberg and Grubenhagen. Landscape fact file for the Calenberg Loess Börde with map by the Bundesamt für Naturschutz Excavation of medieval sites in the Calenberg Land
Low German or Low Saxon is a West Germanic language spoken in Northern Germany and the northeastern part of the Netherlands. It is spoken to a lesser extent in the German diaspora worldwide. Low German is most related to Frisian and English, with which it forms the North Sea Germanic group of the West Germanic languages. Like Dutch, it is spoken north of the Benrath and Uerdingen isoglosses, while German is spoken south of those lines. Like Frisian, English and the North Germanic languages, Low German has not undergone the High German consonant shift, as opposed to High German; the Low German dialects spoken in the Netherlands are referred to as Low Saxon, those spoken in northwestern Germany as either Low German or Low Saxon, those spoken in northeastern Germany as Low German. This is because northwestern Germany and the northeastern Netherlands were the area of settlement of the Saxons, while Low German spread to northeastern Germany through eastward migration of Low German speakers into areas with a Slavic-speaking population.
It has been estimated that Low German has 6.7 million native speakers – 5 million in Germany Northern Germany, 1.7 million in the Netherlands. A 2005 study by H. Bloemhof, Taaltelling Nedersaksisch, showed 1.8 million spoke it daily in the Netherlands. It has been estimated that Low German has 6.7 million native speakers – 5 million in Germany Northern Germany, 1.7 million in the Netherlands. Dialects of Low German are spoken in the northeastern area of the Netherlands and are written there with an unstandardised orthography based on Standard Dutch orthography; the position of the language is, according to UNESCO, vulnerable. Between 1995 and 2011 the numbers of speakers of parents dropped from 34% in 1995 to 15% in 2011. Numbers of speakers of their children dropped in the same period from 8% to 2%. Variants of Low German are spoken in most parts of Northern Germany, for instance in the states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg.
Small portions of northern Hesse and northern Thuringia are traditionally Low Saxon-speaking too. Low German was spoken in German parts of Poland as well as in East Prussia and the Baltic States of Estonia and Latvia; the Baltic Germans spoke a distinct Low German dialect, which has influenced the vocabulary and phonetics of both Estonian and Latvian. The historical Sprachraum of Low German included contemporary northern Poland, East Prussia, a part of western Lithuania, the German communities in the Baltic states, most notably the Hanseatic cities of modern Latvia and Estonia. German speakers in this area fled the Red Army or were forcibly expelled after the border changes at the end of World War II; the language was formerly spoken in the outer areas of what is now the city-state of Berlin, but in the course of urbanisation and national centralisation in that city, the language has vanished. Under the name Low Saxon, there are speakers in the Dutch north-eastern provinces of Groningen, Stellingwerf and Gelderland, in several dialect groups per province.
Today, there are still speakers outside Germany and the Netherlands to be found in the coastal areas of present-day Poland. In the Southern Jutland region of Denmark there may still be some Low German speakers in some German minority communities, but the Low German and North Frisian dialects of Denmark can be considered moribund at this time. There are immigrant communities where Low German is spoken in the Western hemisphere, including Canada, the United States, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay. In some of these countries, the language is part of the Mennonite culture. There are Mennonite communities in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Minnesota which use Low German in their religious services and communities; these Mennonites are descended from Dutch settlers that had settled in the Vistula delta region of Prussia in the 16th and 17th centuries before moving to newly-acquired Russian territories in Ukraine in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, to the Americas in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
The types of Low German spoken in these communities and in the Midwest region of the United States have diverged since emigration. The survival of the language is tenuous in many places, has died out in many places where assimilation has occurred. Members and friends of the Historical Society of North German Settlements in Western New York, a community of Lutherans who trace their immigration from Pomerania in the 1840s, hold quarterly "Plattdeutsch lunch" events, where remaining speakers of the language gather to share and preserve the dialect. Mennonite colonies in Paraguay and Chihuahua, Mexico have made Low German a "co-official language" of the community. East Pomeranian is spoken in parts of Southern and Southeastern Brazil, in the latter in the state of Espírito Santo, being official in five municipalities, spoken among its ethnically European migrants elsewhere in the states of Rio de Jane
East Frisia or Eastern Friesland is a coastal region in the northwest of the German federal state of Lower Saxony. It is the middle section of Frisia between West Frisia in the Netherlands and North Frisia in Schleswig-Holstein. Administratively Ostfriesland belongs to three districts, namely Aurich, Wittmund and to the city of Emden. There are 465,000 people living in an area of 3,144.26 square kilometres. There is a chain of islands off the coast, called the East Frisian Islands; these islands are Borkum, Norderney, Langeoog and Wangerooge. The geographical region of East Frisia was inhabited in Paleolithic times by reindeer hunters of the Hamburg culture. There were Mesolithic and Neolithic settlements of various cultures; the period after prehistory can only be reconstructed from archaeological evidence. Access to the early history of East Frisia is possible in part through archaeology and in part through the studying of external sources such as Roman documents; the first proven historical event was the arrival of a Roman fleet under Drusus in 12 BC.
The earlier settlements, known through material remnants but whose people's name for themselves remains unknown, led up to the invasion of Germanic tribes belonging to the Ingvaeonic group. Those were Chauci mentioned by Tacitus, Frisians; the region between the rivers Ems and Weser was thereupon inhabited by the Chauci. They were displaced by Frisian expansion after about 500, were partially absorbed into the Frisian society. Saxons settled the region and the East Frisian population of medieval times is based on a mixture of Frisian and Saxon elements; the Frisian element is predominant in the coastal area, while the population of the higher Geest area expresses more Saxon influence. Historical information becomes clearer by early Carolingian time, when a Frisian kingdom united the whole area from present-day West Frisia throughout East Frisia up to the river Weser, it was ruled by kings like the famous Radbod whose known names were still mentioned in folk tales until recent times. Frisia was a short-lived kingdom, it was crushed by Pippin of Herstal in 689.
East Frisia became part of the Frankish Empire. Charles the Great divided East Frisia into two counties. At this time, Christianization by the missionaries Liudger and Willehad started. With the decay of the Carolingian empire, East Frisia lost its former bindings, a unity of independent self-governed districts was established, their elections were held every year to choose the "Redjeven", who had to be judges as well as administrators or governors. This system prevented the establishment of a feudalistic system in East Frisia during medieval times. Frisians regarded themselves as free people not obliged to any foreign authority; this period is called the time of the "Friesische Freiheit" and is represented by the still well-known salute "Eala Frya Fresena" that affirmed the non-existence of any feudality. Frisian representatives of the many districts of the seven coastal areas of Frisia met once a year at the Upstalsboom, located at Rahe. In the early Middle Ages, people could only settle on the higher situated Geest areas or by erecting in the marsh-areas "Warften", artificial hills to protect the settlement, whether a single farming estate or a whole village, against the North Sea floods.
In about 1000 AD the Frisians started building large dikes along the North Sea shore. This had a great effect on establishing a feeling of national independence; until the late Middle Ages Ostfriesland resisted the attempts of German states to conquer the coasts. During the 14th century adherence to the Redjeven constitution decayed. Catastrophes and epidemics such as pestilence intensified the process of destabilization; this provided an opportunity for influential family-clans to establish a new rule. As chieftains they took control over villages and regions in East Frisia. Instead, the system implemented in Frisia was a system of followship which has some similarity to older forms of rule known from Germanic cultures of the North. There was a specific relation of dependence between the inhabitants of the ruled area and the chieftain, but the people retained their individual freedom and could move where they wanted; the Frisians threatened the ships coming down the river. For this reason the state of Oldenburg made several attempts to subjugate East Frisia during the 12th century.
Thanks to the swampy terrain, the Frisian peasants defeated the Oldenburgian armies every time. In 1156 Henry the Lion failed to conquer the region; the conflicts lasted for the next few centuries. In the 14th century Oldenburg gave up on plans to conquer Ostfriesland, restricting their attacks to irregular invasions, killing livestock leaving; the East Frisian chieftains used to provide shelter for pirates such as the famous Klaus Störtebeker and Goedeke Michel, who were a threat to the ships of the powerful Hanseatic League which they attacked and robbed. In 1400 a punitive expedition of the Hanseatic League against East Frisia succeeded; the chieftains had to promise to discontinu
Lower Saxony is a German state situated in northwestern Germany. It is the second-largest state by land area, with 47,624 km2, fourth-largest in population among the 16 Länder federated as the Federal Republic of Germany. In rural areas, Northern Low Saxon and Saterland Frisian are still spoken, but the number of speakers is declining. Lower Saxony borders on the North Sea, the states of Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and North Rhine-Westphalia, the Netherlands. Furthermore, the state of Bremen forms two enclaves within Lower Saxony, one being the city of Bremen, the other, its seaport city of Bremerhaven. In fact, Lower Saxony borders more neighbours than any other single Bundesland; the state's principal cities include the state capital Hanover, Braunschweig, Lüneburg, Osnabrück, Hildesheim, Wolfenbüttel, Göttingen. The northwestern area of Lower Saxony, which lies on the coast of the North Sea, is called East Frisia and the seven East Frisian Islands offshore are popular with tourists.
In the extreme west of Lower Saxony is the Emsland, a traditionally poor and sparsely populated area, once dominated by inaccessible swamps. The northern half of Lower Saxony known as the North German Plains, is invariably flat except for the gentle hills around the Bremen geestland. Towards the south and southwest lie the northern parts of the German Central Uplands: the Weser Uplands and the Harz mountains. Between these two lie the Lower Saxon Hills, a range of low ridges. Thus, Lower Saxony is the only Bundesland that encompasses both mountainous areas. Lower Saxony's major cities and economic centres are situated in its central and southern parts, namely Hanover, Osnabrück, Salzgitter, Göttingen. Oldenburg, near the northwestern coastline, is another economic centre; the region in the northeast is called the Lüneburg Heath, the largest heathland area of Germany and in medieval times wealthy due to salt mining and salt trade, as well as to a lesser degree the exploitation of its peat bogs until about the 1960s.
To the north, the Elbe River separates Lower Saxony from Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg. The banks just south of the Elbe are known as Altes Land. Due to its gentle local climate and fertile soil, it is the state's largest area of fruit farming, its chief produce being apples. Most of the state's territory was part of the historic Kingdom of Hanover, it was created by the merger of the State of Hanover with three smaller states on 1 November 1946. Lower Saxony has a natural boundary in the north in the North Sea and the lower and middle reaches of the River Elbe, although parts of the city of Hamburg lie south of the Elbe; the state and city of Bremen is an enclave surrounded by Lower Saxony. The Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region is a cooperative body for the enclave area. To the southeast, the state border runs through the Harz, low mountains that are part of the German Central Uplands; the northeast and west of the state, which form three-quarters of its land area, belong to the North German Plain, while the south is in the Lower Saxon Hills, including the Weser Uplands, Leine Uplands, Schaumburg Land, Brunswick Land, Untereichsfeld and Lappwald.
In northeast, Lower Saxony is Lüneburg Heath. The heath is dominated by the poor, sandy soils of the geest, whilst in the central east and southeast in the loess börde zone, productive soils with high natural fertility occur. Under these conditions—with loam and sand-containing soils—the land is well-developed agriculturally. In the west lie the County of Bentheim, Osnabrück Land, Oldenburg Land, Oldenburg Münsterland, on the coast East Frisia; the state is dominated by several large rivers running northwards through the state: the Ems, Weser and Elbe. The highest mountain in Lower Saxony is the Wurmberg in the Harz. For other significant elevations see: List of hills in Lower Saxony. Most of the mountains and hills are found in the southeastern part of the state; the lowest point in the state, at about 2.5 m below sea level, is a depression near Freepsum in East Frisia. The state's economy and infrastructure are centred on the cities and towns of Hanover, Celle, Wolfsburg and Salzgitter. Together with Göttingen in southern Lower Saxony, they form the core of the Hannover–Braunschweig–Göttingen–Wolfsburg Metropolitan Region.
Lower Saxony has clear regional divisions that manifest themselves geographically, as well as and culturally. In the regions that used to be independent the heartlands of the former states of Brunswick, Hanover and Schaumburg-Lippe, a marked local regional awareness exists. By contrast, the areas surrounding the Hanseatic cities of Bremen and Hamburg are much more oriented towards those centres. Sometimes and transition areas happen between the various regions of Lower Saxony. Several of the regions listed here are part of other, larger regions, that are included in the list. Just under 20% of the land area of Lower Saxony is designated as nature parks, i.e.: Dümmer, Elbhöhen-Wendland, Elm-Lappwald, Harz, Lüneburger Heide, Münden, Terra.vita, Solling-Vogler, Lake Steinhude, Südheide, Weser Uplands, Wildeshausen Geest, Bourtanger Moor-Bargerveen. L
South Lower Saxony
South Lower Saxony refers to the southern part of the German federal state of Lower Saxony. The region so described is neither nor geographically defined to the north within Lower Saxony, it cuts across the more delineated natural regions of the Weser Uplands, Leine valley, Leine Uplands and the western parts of the Harz mountains as well as the western part the historical region of Eichsfeld. The districts of Göttingen and Northeim are counted as being within South Lower Saxony, as are those of Holzminden and Goslar, depending on the context; the only regional centre is the university city of Göttingen. Its current significance lies in the fact; the South Lower Saxony Transport System, which covers the districts of Göttingen, Holzminden and Osterode am Harz, brings together the bus and rail companies as well as public transport divisions. The South Lower Saxony Regional Association deals with cultural issues. In the wake of the disbandment of regional administrations in 2005 important functions to do with the promotion of regional culture were transferred to it by the state of Lower Saxony.
The South Lower Saxony Foundation acts as an independent and party-politically neutral network coordinator, which advances the South Lower Saxony region as a whole in terms of economic and social development and growth. Until the Middle Ages the hilly terrain between the Weser and the Harz belonged to the heartlands of the Holy Roman Empire. After that its suffered for several centuries from battles over its political domination; as a result, it became a political fringe region. Numerous cultural treasures have been preserved, that have only been opened up to tourism. Regionalverband Südniedersachsen SüdniedersachsenStiftung Landschaftsverband Südniedersachsen Working Group for South Lower Saxony Local History Research