Thuringia

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The Free State of Thuringia (German: Freistaat Thüringen, pronounced [ˈfʁaɪʃtaːt ˈtyːʁɪŋən]) is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country. It is known as the "green heart of Germany"[2], due to the dense forest that covers the terrain. It has an area of 16,171 square kilometers (6,243.7 sq mi) and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states. The capital is Erfurt.

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Geography

From the Northwest going clockwise, Thuringia borders on the German states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Bavaria and Hesse. The ridges of the western Harz Mountains divide the region from Lower Saxony on the north-west, while the eastern Harz similarly separates Thuringia from the state of Saxony-Anhalt to the north-east. To the south and southwest, the Thuringian Forest effectively separates the ancient region of Franconia, now the northern part of Bavaria, from the rolling plains of most of Thuringia. The central Harz range extends southwards along the western side into the northwest corner of the Thuringian Forest region, making Thuringia a lowland basin of rolling plains nearly surrounded by ancient somewhat-difficult mountains. To the west across the mountains and south is the drainage basin of the Rhine River.

The most conspicuous geographical feature of Thuringia is the Thuringian Forest, a mountain chain in the southwest. The Werra River, a tributary of the Weser River, separates this mountain chain from the volcanic Rhön Mountains, which are partially in Thuringia, Bavaria, and Hesse. In the northwest, Thuringia includes a small part of the Harz. The eastern part of Thuringia is generally a plain. The Saale River runs through these lowlands from south to north.

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