The Fichtelgebirge mountain range

The landscape of the Fichtelgebirge can essentially be divided into two very different
natural habitats: as an open granite mountain wall, the High Fichtelgebirge with its
highest elevations, the Schneeberg mountain (1053 m) and the Ochsenkopf
mountain (1024 m), encircles the landscape of the Selb-Wunsiedler-Plateau, which is
also known by the name “Sechsämterland”. The entire mountain range forms the
shape of a horseshoe open towards the northeast.
This shape also causes large climatic differences within the Fichtelgebirge. The
western part, in particular the mountains, are Atlantic in character. High precipitation
(up to more than 1200 mm) and, resulting from the high altitude, partly extremely cool
temperatures characterize this landscape (Schneeberg mountain: annual mean
temperature 3.7 degrees Celsius).
At the same time, however, the mountain range acts like a shield against the main
wind direction and thus protects the Inner Fichtelgebirge, as the Selb-Wunsiedler-
Plateau is also called, from the westerly winds and rain. At the same time, the
opening towards the east allows influences from the continental climate. As a result,
very different and diverse habitats could develop in close proximity in the
This large number of different habitats give home to a correspondingly large
multitude of plants and animals.
Whether by land or by water, the Fichtelgebirge forms a crossing of migration and
distribution paths of the flora and fauna and connects the habitats from all over the
central European region.

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