• Vogtlandkreis
  • Vogtland District
  • Vogtlandkreis

Vogtland District

Total size: 1412 km²
Area of the nature park: Approx. 476 km²
Municipalities within the nature park:
Fully within the nature park: Bad Brambach, Bad Elster, Bergen, Erlbach, Höhenluftkurort Grünbach, Klingenthal, Markneukirchen, Schöneck, Muldenhammer (Hammerbrücke, Morgenröthe-Rautenkranz, Tannenbergsthal), Werda, Zwota
Partially within the nature park: Adorf, Auerbach, Eichigt, Ellefeld, Falkenstein, Mühlental, Neustadt, Rodewisch, Steinberg, Tirpersdorf, Treuen

Natural region: Western Erzgebirge, south-east middle elevations of the Vogtland (Adorf-Falkenstein uplands), north-east lower elevations of the Vogtland (Treuen-Reichenbach lowlands)

Geology: Granite, mica schist, phyllite

Relief (Western Erzgebirge natural region):
Ridge height: 800–950 m
Highest elevation: Großer Rammelsberg (963.0 m)
Terrain: Plateaus sharply delineated by valleys; deeply carved valleys, notable discrete elevations such as the Großer Rammelsberg, Kiel, Thierberg, and Aschberg; the only Saxon section of the southern declivity of the Erzgebirge (to the west of Klingenthal and Zwota)
Relief (Vogtland natural region):
Highest elevation: Kapellenberg (759.0 m)
Terrain: Interfluves interrupted by U-shaped valleys and low hills
Special feature: The ridge of the Schönecker Landstufe divides the Vogtland and Erzgebirge with a difference in altitude of 100–200 m

Soil type (Western Erzgebirge natural region): Podzols in the upper elevations, brown podzolic soils in the middle elevations, paludification and peat formation reaching to the middle elevations
Soil type (Vogtland natural region): Acidic brown earths, podzols, partially groundwater gleysols and peaty soils, partially meadow gleysols along the Weiße Elster (White Elster) river

Climate (Western Erzgebirge): Strong maritime influence; annual precipitation up to 1,000 mm/year far into the middle elevations; orographic precipitation due to the mountainsides of the Western Erzgebirge and the prevailing westerly winds
Forest climate zones: Mid-mountain elevations with humid climates; higher mountain elevations with humid climates; ridge elevations with humid climates; to a minimal extent, lower mountain elevations and hilly landscapes with humid climates near Falkenstein
Climate (Vogtland): Higher levels of precipitation in the south-east as a result of the windward areas of the Western Erzgebirge; apart from this, the Vogtland is a lee area as it is surrounded by the Thuringian Forest and Thuringian Highland, the Franconian Forest mountain region, and the Fichtelgebirge and Erzgebirge
Forest climate zones: Mid-mountain elevations with moderately humid climates

Groundwater: Erzgebirge bedrock aquifer, Vogtland Slate Mountains bedrock aquifer
Watercourses: Water catchment area of the Zwickau Mulde, Eger and Weiße Elster rivers
Important watercourses: Zwickau Mulde, Große Pyra and Kleine Pyra, Zwota, Weiße Elster, Rauner Bach, Tetterweinbach, Trieb
Standing water bodies:
Natural standing water bodies: Very few
Artificial standing water bodies: Falkenstein, Muldenberg, and Werda reservoirs; Vogtlandsee; larger numbers of small artificial bodies of water, such as fish ponds, abandoned quarries and mines, fire ponds, lakes formerly used for log driving, etc., in the Vogtland than in the Western Erzgebirge

Settlement history: Land in the Vogtland natural region was reclaimed for farming from the start of the 12th century by settlers from Egerland, Franconia, Oberpfalz and Thuringia. As a result of the unfavourable agricultural conditions in the Western Erzgebirge, there was no settlement in the eastern parts of the modern-day Vogtlandkreis during this period. The second period of settlement in the 14th and 15th centuries was more intensive and more significant in the Western Erzgebirge natural region than in the Vogtland due to the nascent mining industry. In the 17th century, religious exiles settled in the area. There was limited or no industrialisation during the 19th century, which led to population migration away from the region, with the Western Erzgebirge particularly affected. After 1946, uranium mining by SAG / SDAG Wismut led to the inward migration of mine workers, particularly in Klingenthal and Schneckenstein

Settlement types: Primarily forest villages in the Vogtland natural region, but also dispersed settlements; forest villages in the north of the Western Erzgebirge; dispersed settlements, small hamlets associated with industry and occasional small urban settlements in the south of the Western Erzgebirge

Agricultural land use: Forest farmsteads, some land parcelling, parcel and strip farming around the Kapellenberg mountain

Regionally important biotopes: Other near-natural pine forests, small sedge fens (spring moors), upland moors (Western Erzgebirge natural region)

Regionally important plant species: Winter heath (Erica carnea), bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata), marsh grass of Parnassus (Parnassia palustris), shrubby milkwort (Polygala chamaebuxus), maiden sorrel (Rumex arifolius), long-leaf starwort (Stellaria longifolia), heath milkwort (Polygala serpyllifolia), water ragwort (Senecio aquaticus agg.)

Regionally important animal species: Palmate newt (Triturus helveticus), woodland ringlet (Erebia medusa), cranberry fritillary (Boloria aquilonaris), false heath fritillary (Melitaea diamina), golden-ringed dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii), beautiful demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo), freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera)

Conservation areas (NSG/LSG) protected under the Saxon Nature Conservation Act (SächsNatSchG): NSG Am Alten Floßgraben, NSG Dreibächel, NSG Dreiländereck, NSG Goldberg, NSG Gottesberg, NSG Großer Kranichsee (partial), NSG Grünheider Hochmoor, NSG Hirschberg, NSG Hüttenbach, NSG Jägergrüner Hochmoor, NSG Landesgemeinde, NSG Muldenwiese, NSG Sohrwiesen, NSG Steinwiesen, NSG Zauberwald, NSG Zeidelweide, NSG Zwiebrandwiesen, LSG Görnitztal (partial), LSG Oberes Göltzschtal, LSG Oberes Vogtland
NATURA 2000 Fauna-Flora Habitats (FFH) and Special Protection Areas (SPA): FFH Großer Kranichsee (partial), FFH Zeidelweide, FFH Am Alten Floßgraben, FFH Dreiländereck, FFH Muldenwiesen, FFH Steinwiesen, FFH Raunerbachtal, SPA Westerzgebirge (partial)