Wiehen Hills

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Wiehen Hills

The Wiehen Hills[1] (German: Wiehengebirge, also locally, just Wiehen) are a hill range in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony in Germany. The hills run from west to east like a long finger away from the main upland area of the Lower Saxon Hills, beginning at the Weser River near Minden and terminating in the vicinity of Osnabrück. It is the northernmost of the German Central Upland ranges extending into the Northern Lowlands. Their highest hill is the Heidbrink near Lübbecke with an altitude of 320 metres (1,050 ft).

Location of the Wiehen Hills in the Lower Saxon Hills. It is easy to see that it forms a single geomor-phological unit with the Gehn, Weser Hills and Süntel. As the map clearly shows, the Wiehen Hills are the northernmost finger of the main body of the German Central Uplands. By contrast, other groups of "real" hills (excluding moraines), such as the Stemmer Berge or the Rehburger Berge at the upper edge of the map not far from the lakes of the Dümmer and Steinhuder Meer, lie like islands in the North German Plain.
The Porta Westfalica defines the eastern end of the Wiehen Hills (left). To the east, on the other side of the Weser, the hills continue as the Wesergebirge (right).


The Wiehen Hills lie within the districts of Osnabrück, Minden-Lübbecke and Herford. Their northern section runs in an east-west direction roughly from the territory of Bramsche (northwest of Osnabrück) via Ostercappeln, Bad Essen, Preußisch Oldendorf and Rödinghausen, Lübbecke, Hüllhorst and Bad Oeynhausen as far as the towns of Minden and Porta Westfalica on the Porta Westfalica gorge and River Weser. They also graze Bohmte and Hille to the north. South of the Wiehen Hills lie Osnabrück, Bissendorf, Melle, Kirchlengern, Bünde, Löhne and Bad Oeynhausen. The Wiehen Hills form the northwestern boundary of the Lower Saxon Hills to which they belong geographically, together with the Westphalian part of the ridge. Whilst the eastern end of the hill chain is clearly defined by the Porta Westfalica gorge and the hill of Wittekindsberg, this is not so simple for its western extremity. To the west the Wiehen descends gradually, transitioning from a hilly ridge into a chain of hillocks and then descending almost imperceptibly into the plain. South of Bramsche the ridge rises again at the Penter Egge to a height of 99 metre, but 2.5 km further west it reaches the level of the surrounding countryside. The waterways of the Mittelland Canal and Osnabrück Canal running away to the south appear to mark the end of the hill range, but west of these canals is the 82 metre high Larberger Egge which forms the westernmost cornerstone of the Wiehen Hills, rising just 2 km northeast of the boundary with the province of Münster. Contrary to popular assumption, Ibbenbüren is no longer considered to be situated by the Wiehen Hills and the Ibbenbüren Plateau (Ibbenbürener Bergplatte comprising the Schafberg, etc.) is no longer part of the Wiehen.[2] Geological reasons, according to current research, do not support such an assumption.[3]

To the north, the Wiehen descends to the North German Plain into a region known as the Lübbecke Loessland. On the banks of the Weser, opposite Porta Westfalica, lies the Wesergebirge, which is the eastern continuation of the Wiehen Hills. This ridge is of similar geological construction and runs as far as the area of Hessisch Oldendorf to the Süntel hills. Southeast of the Wiehen Hills are the Lippe Uplands, to the south the Ravensberg Hills, to the southwest in the area of the Tecklenburg Land are the northern foothills of the Teutoburg Forest, and to the northwest are the hills of the Gehn and the Ankum Heights, the Damme Hills and the Stemweder Berg. North of the northwestern tip of the Wiehen liest the great bog of the Großes Moor.


Southern view near Lübbecke
For a long time seen as the highest point – the 274 m high Nonnenstein
The Wiehen Hills in the fog
The Wiehen Hills seen from Bünde
In the Wiehen Hills near Rödinghausen
The hill forest of the Wiehen, here on the western slopes of the Wurzelbrink
On the summit area of the Kniebrink
Kreisstraße 79 near the Wiehen Tower at the Egge water gap (autumn 2008); built during RAD emergency work (1924–1927); looking north
View of the Nettelstedter Berg from the north. from the Großes Torfmoor ("Great Peat Bog")
The summit of the highest hill, the Heidbrink
The Wiehen Hills near Bad Holzhausen

The hills of the Wiehen range from west to east are:

Height of the highest hill in bold; heights in metres (m) above Normalhöhennull (NHN)

Description Height Commune Remarks/Description of the location
Larberger Egge 82,0 Bramsche westernmost spur of the Wiehen Hills[4]
Schleptruper Egge 148,0 Bramsche with transmission site; southeast of Bramsche-Schleptrup
Kalkrieser Berg
also: „Schmittenhöhe“
157,0 Bramsche with nearby Alt Barenaue Castle; north of Bramsche-Engter
Venner Egge 158,0 Ostercappeln near Ostercappeln-Vehrte
Stenshöhe 149,0 Belm with dem Süntelstein
Sonnenbrink 177,0 Bad Essen with Sonnenbrink Tower (communications tower with observation platform); southwest of Bad Essen
Linner Berg 181,0 Bad Essen with dinosaur tracks; south-southwest of Bad Essen Linne
Kleiner Kellenberg 161.4 Bad Essen with dinosaur tracks of Barkhausen“; south-southeast of of Bad Essen-Barkhausens
Großer Kellenberg 211,0 Melle with nearby Grüner See; northeast of Buer
Steinbrink 135.6 Bad Essen south of Bad Essen Lintorf
Schwarzer Brink 211,0 Bad Essen south of Bad Essen Dahlinghausen
Egge 198,0 Preußisch Oldendorf with the Wiehen Tower; southwest of the old town of Preußisch Oldendorf
Offelter Berg 178,0 Preußisch Oldendorf south of Preußisch Oldendorf-Offelten
Limberg 190,0 Preußisch Oldendorf with restaurierter Anlage der Burg Limberg; northeast Preußisch Oldendorf-Börninghausen
(früher Rödinghauser Berg)
274,0 Rödinghausen/Preußisch Oldendorf with „observation tower auf dem Nonnenstein“; northwest of Rödinghausen
Maschberg 190,0 Rödinghausen/Preußisch Oldendorf north of Schwenningdorf
Donoer Berg 243,0 Rödinghausen north of of Bieren-Dono
Glösinghauser Berg 289,0 Preußisch Oldendorf east of of Preußisch Oldendorf-Glösinghausen
Altes Verbrenn 291.1 Preußisch Oldendorf east of of Preußisch Oldendorf-Glösinghausen
Babilonie 255.0 Lübbecke with Kulturdenkmal Wallburg; south of Lübbecke-Obermehnen
Blasheimer Berg 287.8 Lübbecke with Schierecks Tempel; south of Lübbecke-Obermehnen
Kahlewart 240,0 Hüllhorst north of Hüllhorst-Oberbauerschaft; with Freilichtbühne Kahle Wart
Breitenbrink 287,0 Hüllhorst north of Hüllhorst-Oberbauerschaft
Wurzelbrink 318,0 Lübbecke with observation tower “Wartturm“; south of Lübbecke
Kniebrink 315,0 Lübbecke south of Lübbecke
Meesenkopf 225.8 Lübbecke south of Lübbecke
Reineberg 276,0 Lübbecke with remains of the ruins of Reineburg; south of the “Hausberg“ of Lübbecke
Heidkopf 272.6 Lübbecke north of Hüllhorst/Ahlsen-Reineberg
Heidbrink 319.6 Hüllhorst north of Hüllhorst-Ahlsen-Reineberg
Straußberg 275.5 Lübbecke south of Lübbecke
Gehlenbecker Berg 275,0 Lübbecke with impressive stand of oak near the summit; south of Lübbecke-Gehlenbeck
Eilhauser Berg Lübbecke southeast of Lübbecke-Eilhausen
Nettelstedter Berg 288,0 Lübbecke southwest of Lübbecke-Nettelstedt
Schnathorster Berg
also Eickhorster Berg
246.6 Hüllhorst north of Schnathorst
Bröderhauser Berg
also Lübber Berg
251.2 Hille near Hille-Oberlübbe; in the vicinity of Oberlübber Bergsee
Elfter Kopf 233,0 Bad Oeynhausen west of Wallücke
Bergkirchener Kopf 255.4 Bad Oeynhausen east of Wallücke, northwest of Bergkirchen with Nebengipfel Buchenkopf north of davon
Haddenhauser Berg 261.3 Bad Oeynhausen north of Volmerdingsen
Lutternsche Egge 256,0 Minden south of Luttern
Eidinghauser Berg 247,0 Bad Oeynhausen north of Bad Oeynhausen-Eidinghausen
Häverstädter Berg 269.6 Minden south of Häverstädt
Wittekindsberg 294,2 Porta Westfalica u. a. with Emperor William Monument, Moltke Tower and Wittekindsburg; west of the Porta Westfalica

Northernmost German uplands[edit]

According to folklore, regionally conscious residents around the hills usually admit grudgingly that the Wiehen Hills are not particularly high. In the same breath, they may assert, often with a raised index finger and an odd emphasis on the word gebirge ("hill/mountain range"), that they are the northernmost hill range in Germany and the one closest to the sea. Whether this assertion is true is in fact a matter of definition. It clearly ignores the morainic ridges further north and closer to the sea, as well as other true uplands such as the Stemweder Berg or the Rehburg Hills. Of course, these hills are much lower and do not reach the 200-metre contour line. Of the higher, say up to 300 metre high uplands, the northern foothills of Deister and Bückeberge extend farther north than the eastern Wiehen range. However, it is also true that the highest part of the Wiehen Hills at Lübbecke has the most northerly hill over 300 metres in Germany. The almost 320 metre high Heidbrink is also the northernmost "300" on the European continent between the central Ural Mountains and the Atlantic, i.e. excluding the British Isles and Fennoscandinavia.


  1. ^ Elkins, T.H. (1972). Germany (3rd ed.). London: Chatto & Windus, 1972. ASIN B0011Z9KJA.
  2. ^ Aussage zur Ibbenbürener Bergplatte in Bezug auf das Wiehengebirge
  3. ^ Newspaper article that maintains that Ibbenbüren is not by the Wiehen Hills
  4. ^ "Landschaften im Bereich des Mittelgebirgssaumes (PDF)" (PDF) (in German). Retrieved 2014-04-23. 

Coordinates: 52°15′N 8°30′E / 52.250°N 8.500°E / 52.250; 8.500