Obersee (Lake Constance)

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The "Obersee" is the large, Eastern, part of Lake Constance

Coordinates: 47°37′N 9°26′E / 47.61°N 09.44°E / 47.61; 09.44 The Obersee ("Upper Lake") is the larger of the two parts of Lake Constance.

It has an area of 473 km² in size and extends over 63 km between Bregenz and Bodman-Ludwigshafen. Its maximum width is 14 km. The Romans called it Lacus Venetus, Lacus Brigantinus and Lacus Constantinus. In the Middle Ages the dominant term was Lacus Bodamicus, or in German Bodensee. Gradually, this name began to include the Untersee (Lacus Acronius), so the term "Upper Lake" was introduced for the larger lake.

The Upper Lake is drained by the Seerhein in Constance, which flows into the Lower Lake. Its main tributary is the Alpine Rhine.

Parts of the Upper Lake are the Lake Überlingen, the Bregenz Bay and the Constance Hopper. Lake Überlingen is sometimes considered to be a separate lake, in which case the name "Obersee" only refers to the section between Bregenz and Constance.

The lake is bordered by the Swiss cantons of Thurgau and St. Gallen, by the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and the German states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. The demarcation of their borders within the southeastern part of the Obersee has never been formally agreed upon (see further explanation at Lake Constance – International borders). Only the smaller northwestern Lake Überlingen is completely German territory.

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