Water in the Fichtelgebirge

The Fichtelgebirge is mostly known for the four large rivers which originate here: The
“white” spring at the Ochsenkopf mountain is the source of the Main river which runs
through all of Franconia and acts as a lifeline on its way, shaping nature, culture and
the history of this region. At the Schneeberg’s western slope is the source of the Eger
river. It runs from the west to the east of the Fichtelgebirge. Once, the large Imperial
Free City Eger, which was important in former days and is now called Cheb, bore its
name. This river runs far into Bohemia in the Czech Republic and eventually flows
into the Elbe river. The Saxon Saale river, whose source is found at the northern
slope of the Waldstein mountain, eventually flows into the Elbe river after a long
journey north. All three rivers thus finally flow towards the North Sea. Except for the
Naab river. Starting at the Ochsenkopf mountain, it runs toward the south, crossing
Upper Palatine and finally flowing into the Danube river. After many thousands of
kilometres, its water reaches the Black Sea. Thus, the Fichtelgebirge is part of the
European watershed.
Besides those four well-known rivers, more than 1000 smaller springs originate at the
mountain slopes, which combine to form creeks and finally leave the Fichtelgebirge
via the larger river systems. Healing waters can also be found, for example in Bad
Alexandersbad, in Schönwald, in Kothigenbibersbach or in Hohenberg.
Since the middle ages, many ponds have been created for fish farming. Today, they
offer an important habitat for aquatic animals and plants. The Weißenstädter See, the
Fichtelsee and the Nagler See offer many possibilities to those seeking recreation:
bathing in the summer and ice-skating in the winter.