It strictly designates only that district in upper Saxony that is bounded by the Werra, the Harz Mountains, the Saale and the Thuringian Forest; in common parlance, however, it is frequently used as equivalent to the Thuringian states, i.e.
These are Franconia (Franken), which embraces the districts of Bamberg, Schweinfurt and Wurzburg on the upper Main; Swabia (Schwaben), in which is included Wtirttemberg, parts of Bavaria and Baden and Hohenzollern; the Palatinate (Pfalz), embracing Bavaria west of the Rhine and the contiguous portion of Baden; Rhineland, applied to Rhenish Prussia, Nassau, Hesse-Darmstadt and parts of Bavaria and Baden; Vogtland, the mountainous country lying in the south-west corner of the kingdom of Saxony; Lusatia (Lausitz), the eastern portion of the kingdom of Saxony and the adjacent portion of Prussia watered by the upper Spree; Thuringia (Thulingen), the country lying south of the Harz Mountains and including the Saxon duchies; East Frlesland (Ost Friesland), the country lying between the lower course of the Weser and the Ems, and Westphalia (Westfalen), the fertile plain lying north and west of the Harz Mountains and extending to the North Sea and the Dutch frontier.
The last bear was killed in the Harz in 1705, and the last lynx in 1817, and since that time the wolf too has become extinct; but deer, foxes, wild cats and badgers are still found in the forests.
There are four Evangelical churches, a Roman Catholic church, a synagogue, several schools, a natural science museum, containing a collection of Harz minerals, the Fenkner museum of antiquities and a number of small foundations.
The effect of the two processes on the purity of the market lead is clearly shown by the two following analyses by Hampe, which represent lead from Lautenthal in the Harz Mountains, where the Parkes process replaced that of Pattinson, the ores and smelting process remaining practically the same: - It is absolutely necessary for the success of the Parkes process that the zinc and lead should contain only a small amount of impurity.
At Rammelsberg in the Harz it forms a bed in argillaceous schist, and at Mansfeld in Thuringia it occurs in the Kupferschiefer with ores of nickel and cobalt.
To the west of the Harz a series of hilly tracts is comprised under the name of the Weser Mountains, out of which above Minden the river Weser bursts by the Porta Westphalica.
Flax, hops and oilseeds are also cultivated, and large quantities of excellent fruit are grown at the foot of the Harz and in the valleys of the Unstrut and the Saale.
Apples, pears, plums and cherries are the principal kinds of fruit cultivated, while the wild red cranberries from the Harz and the black bilberries from the Luneburger Heide form an important article of export.
Of other events of this period the most notable were two winter journeys, the first in 1777, to the Harz Mountains, the second, two years later, to Switzerland - journeys which gave Goethe scope for that introspection and reflection for which his Weimar life left him little time.