Bohemian Forest

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The Bohemian Forest, also known in Czech as Šumava (), is a low mountain range in Central Europe. Geographically, the mountains extend from South Bohemia in the Czech Republic to Austria and Bavaria in Germany. They create a natural border between the Czech Republic on one side and Germany and Austria on the other.

For political reasons, the Bohemian and German sides have different names: in Czech, the Bohemian side is called Šumava and the Bavarian side Zadní Bavorský les (), while in German, the Bohemian side is called Böhmerwald (), and the Bavarian side Bayerischer Wald (). In Czech, Šumava is also used as a name for the entire adjacent region in Bohemia.

Geography and climate

The Bohemian Forest comprises heavily forested mountains with average heights of 800–1400 metres. The highest peak is Großer Arber (1456 m) on the Bavarian side; the highest peak on the Bohemian and Austrian side is Plechý (Plöckenstein) (1378 m). The range is one of the oldest in Europe, and its mountains are eroded into round forms with few rocky parts. Typical for the Bohemian Forest are plateaux at about 1000–1200 m with relatively harsh climates and many peat bogs.


The Bohemian Forest is the dividing range between the watersheds of the Black Sea and the North Sea, where water collected by the Vltava, Otava and Úhlava rivers flows. These rivers all spring from the Bohemian Forest. Owing to heavy precipitation (mostly snow), the peat bogs and the Lipno water dam,...
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