Geography - Niedersachsen/Lower Saxony
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The southeast hills of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) sprawl into the Harz Mountains.  This mountain range is located between the Elbe and Weser rivers.  The upper Harz, located in the northwestern part of the range, has an average elevation of 640 m/2100 ft. above sea level.  Brocken, the highest peak, extends 1142 m/3747 ft above sea level.  The southeastern part of this range is known as the Lower Harz.  The average elevation of this region reaches 305 m/1000 ft.  The mountains are a popular tourist attraction known for hiking, skiing, and spas.    These mountains also have a long mining history dating back to the 10th Century.  They contain veins of silver, gold, copper, lead, alum, iron ore, sulfer and arsenic.

The southern section of the state is bordered by the states of Thuringia, Hesse, and North Rhine-Westphalia.  Netherlands borders the western section.

The northern section of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) is low and flat.  It's bordered on the eastern side by Mecklenburg-West Pomeriania, north by the states of Hamburg and Schkeswig-Holstein, and the North Sea.  The North Sea gives Germany it's link to the Atlantic.  At it's widest point, the North Sea extends about 645 km/ approx 400 miles and it's length about 965 km/approx. 600 miles.  The Elbe, Wesser, Ems,( which all flow south to north), Rhine, and Schelde rivers all flow into the southern part.  The North Sea provides support for surrounding area through it's supply of fish, and petroleum from the sea floor.

Niedersachsen is divided into four districts, 38 Landkreise, and 9 free cities.  The largest city, Hannover, is the capital.

Population (1990 est.) - 7.3 million

Area - 47,424 sq km (18,311 sq mi)

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