Porta Westfalica (gorge)
The Porta Westfalica is a gorge and water gap
A water gap is an opening or notch which flowing water has carved through a mountain range. Water gaps often offer a practical route for road and rail transport to cross mountain ridges.- Geology :...
, where the Weser river
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...
runs through the passage between the mountain chains of the Wiehengebirge
The Wiehen Hills are a low mountain range in North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony in Germany. The hills run from west to east like a long finger away from the main upland area of the Lower Saxon Hills, beginning at the Weser River near Minden and terminating in the vicinity of Osnabrück.It is...
in the west and the Wesergebirge
The Wesergebirge is a low mountain chain up to high in the Weser Uplands in the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony....
(part of the Weserbergland
The Weser Uplands is a hill region in Germany The Weser Uplands (German: Weserbergland) is a hill region (Bergland = uplands, hills or hill region) in Germany The Weser Uplands (German: Weserbergland) is a hill region (Bergland = uplands, hills or hill region) in Germany (Lower Saxony, Hesse,...
) in the east. It is located in the district of Minden-Lübbecke
Minden-Lübbecke is a Kreis in the northeastern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Diepholz, Nienburg, Schaumburg, Lippe, Herford, Osnabrück.-Geography:...
in North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
Since 1973 Porta Westfalica
Porta Westfalica is a town in the district of Minden-Lübbecke, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The name “Porta Westfalica” is Latin and means “gate to Westphalia”. Coming from the north, the gorge is the entry to the region of Westphalia...
is also the name of a town, which was established by merging fifteen villages surrounding the gorge. Since 2006 it is a National Geotope
Geotope is the geological component of the abiotic matrix present in an ecotope. Example geotopes might be: an exposed outcrop of rocks, an erratic boulder, a grotto or ravine, a cave, an old stone wall marking a property boundary, and so forth....
The name "Porta Westfalica" is Latin language term, and means "Gate to Westphalia
Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...
". Coming from the north, the gorge is the entry to the region of Westphalia. Despite the Latin name the term was not coined in Roman
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....
times, but by scholars of the 19th century.
High above the gorge on the west side is a large six-sided stone structure that can be seen from a considerable distance; this is the Emperor William I Memorial, erected in honour of Kaiser Wilhelm I. and dedicated in 1896.