The Rhön Mountains ) are a group of low mountains in central Germany, located around the border area where the states of Hesse, Bavaria and Thuringia come together. These mountains, which are at the extreme southeast end of the East Hesse Highlands , are partly a result of ancient volcanic activity. They are separated from the Vogelsberg Mountains by the river Fulda and its valley. The highest mountain in the Rhön is the Wasserkuppe ) which is in Hesse. The Rhön Mountains are a popular tourist destination and walking area.
The name Rhön is often thought to derive from the Celtic word raino , but numerous other interpretations are also possible. Records of the monks at Fulda Abbey from the Middle Ages describe the area around Fulda as well as more distant parts of the Rhön as Buchonia, the land of ancient beech woods. In the Middle Ages beech was an important raw material. Large scale wood clearing resulted in the "land of open spaces" , 30% of which, today, is forested.
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