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Taunus

wooded highland of Germany, extending across parts of the Lander (states) of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate. The range is 50 miles (80 km) long and is bounded by the Rhine (west), Main (south), and Lahn (north) rivers. The range slopes steeply along the Rhine; it is noted for its precipitous crags, especially downstream from Bingen. The average elevation is 1,500 feet (460 m), with a higher ridge above the Rheingau, the slopes to the Rhine between Biebrich and Bingen. The highest points occur in the east, where the Grosser Feldberg (2,887 feet), Kleine Feldberg (2,710 feet), and Altkonig (2,618 feet) dominate the Wetterau and the valley of the Main River. The hills are generally well wooded with beech and some pine plantations; large areas of forest were cleared for cultivation in the Middle Ages. Where possible, the lower slopes are planted with vineyards, orchards, and chestnut and almond groves. The Rheingaugebirge (mountains) in the Rhine gorge have vineyards that yield grapes for quality white wines. The region is also known for its mineral springs and health resorts, notably Wiesbaden, Konigstein, and Bad Homburg von der Hohe

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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