Sickingen Heights

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Franz von Sickingen, best known member of the House of Sickingen

The Sickingen Heights (German: Sickinger Höhe) form a landscape in the western part of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The region was named after the family of imperial knight, Franz von Sickingen (1481–1523), because most of the area belonged to the territory of the House of Sickingen in the Middle Ages.

Geography[edit]

Location[edit]

The Sickingen Heights form the northern part of the Westrich Plateau; about a third of the area within the county of Kaiserslautern and two-thirds in the county of Südwestpfalz. It extends from Sickingen's town of Landstuhl in the north almost to the town of Zweibrücken in the south and from the border between Rhineland-Palatinate and the Saarland in the west to the Palatinate Forest in the east.

Geology[edit]

The Sickingen Heights belong to the major region known as the Palatine-Saarland Muschelkalk Region (Pfälzisch-Saarländisches Muschelkalkgebiet).[1] The hilly plateau, which lies at heights from 300 to 430 m above sea level (NN) descends very steeply in the north in several, densely wooded, escarpments to the Landstuhl Marsh. Numerous small and medium-sized rock formations from the bunter sandstone of the Karlstal beds outcrop along the escarpment, for example the Heidenfelsen near Hauptstuhl, the eponymous rocks near Bärenloch in Kindsbach or the rock landscape in the Fleischackerloch near Landstuhl. Somewhat less rugged in appearance is the plateau's westward transition to the Saarland and even less than that in the east, where the valley of the Moosalb forms the boundary. In the south the Sickingen Heights transition almost seamlessly into the Zweibrücken Hills.

Rivers and streams[edit]

Much of the Sickingen Heights is drained southwards by the Moosalb, Wallhalb and Auerbach into the Schwarzbach and then via the Blies, Saar and Moselle into the Rhine. The Lambsbach flows westwards directly into the Blies.

Sights and culture[edit]

Settlement and transportation[edit]

The land is sparsely settled and the only large towns occur on the lower-lying perimeter of the plateau. There are no pan-regional transport routes, except for a mostly two-lane section of the A 62 motorway Landstuhl–Pirmasens.

Due to its remoteness, the region is well suited for hiking e.g. along the Mill Trail in the Wallhalb Valley. Over the Sickingen Heights runs the waymarked North Route of the Palatine sections of the historic Way of St. James.

References[edit]

  1. ^ naturschutz.rlp.de. "Landschaftsräume in Rheinland-Pfalz – Sickinger Höhe" (in German). Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  2. ^ Ortsgemeinde Queidersbach. "Museum Sickinger Höhe Queidersbach" (in German). Retrieved 2013-09-20. 
  3. ^ Pfälzischer Merkur: "Der große Knall bleibt unvergessen" (pdf; 947 kB) (in German). Zweibrücken, 20 July 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ "Der Knall aus dem All" (in German), Die Rheinpfalz am Sonntag (Ludwigshafen,), 28 2 2010 
  5. ^ Landkreis Südwestpfalz, ILE: "Teilprojekt Wander- und Radwanderland Sickinger Höhe" (in German). Wallhalben, January 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  6. ^ Verbandsgemeinde Wallhalben. "Mundart" (in German). Retrieved 2013-09-20.  Menüpunkt "Mundart"

Coordinates: 49°19′32″N 7°30′36″E / 49.32556°N 7.51000°E / 49.32556; 7.51000