The natural preserve Spessart

( with an extract of localities and sights )

the natural preserve Surrounded by Rhön, Vogelsberg and Odenwald, framed by the rivers Main (Mainviereck = Main quadrangle), Kinzig and Sinn, spreads the Spessart («Spehteshart» = Spechtswald) over an area of 2440 sq km between Würzburg and Aschaffenburg.

The nature park of Bavarian Spessart founded in 1961 contains approx. 1710 sq km (= 130,700 hectares) and the nature park of Hessian Spessart founded in 1962 approx. 730 sq km (= 72,900 hectares). With an area of more than 200,000 hectares is the Spessart one of the largest nature park areas in Germany.

The Spessart is a low mountain range wooded with oaks and beeches. The highest elevation is the Geiersberg which is 585 m high. The North-South-extension which is similar to the East-West-extension is around 60 km. A red sandstone layer which is sometimes as thick as 400 m, falls softly away to the southeast and he is forming the geological basis of this low mountain range. Oceans flowing back and climate influences over millions of years have cut valleys into the red sandstone. Deep valleys, soft slopes and great heights characterize the Spessart landscape. The Spessart hills rise up from the Main valley with 160 m NN at Gemünden and 100 m NN near Hanau a height of nearly 600 m. Clay and loam layers hold up the seeping away of the rainfalls. Many water-springs give us fresh and clear water. The large forest secures a good water balance and a constant water flow. Quiet valleys with clear creeks give pleasure to the hikers. Wooded areas cover the heights and slopes. Only the farming fields imitating cleared islands around the villages are unwooded. Great parts of the Spessart are covered by many varieties of leaf-trees. Two thirds of the forest are state-owned forest. Nature reserves (e.g. "Rohrberg" and "Metzger") preserve ancient Spessart oaks in their originality and give them selves over to the natural "grow up and pass away". Other parts of the forest are carefully looked after and deliver the world-famous Spessart veneer oaks.

Sights: (castles, castles ruins and other historical buildings)