a mountain massif in western Czechoslovakia and adjacent regions of Poland, the German Democratic Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, and Austria. The massif is approximately 500 km long and reaches a width of 300 km. The maximum elevation is 1,602 m, at Mount Sněžka.
The rhomboid Bohemian Massif extends from east to west. Along the margins of the massif rise ranges of medium elevation: the Šumava and the Bohemian Forest in the southwest, the Erzgebirge (Krušné Hory) in the northwest, and the Krkonoše of the Sudetes in the northeast. The Bohemian-Moravian Highlands lie in the southeastern part of the massif. The interior of the Bohemian Massif, a broad depression known as the Bohemian Basin, consists of several lowlands separated by uplands and low-mountain massifs.
A protruding body of the ancient basement of the Hercynian folded region, the Bohemian Massif is composed of gneisses, migmatites, schists, and granulites of the Proterozoic and slates, quartzites, and sandstones of the Lower and Middle Paleozoic; the sedimentary mantle is represented by Cretaceous and Cenozoic rocks. Neogene and Anthropogenic (Quaternary) movements brought about fractures and faults along which volcanic lava flowed. Tectonic troughs in the northeastern rim are associated with the formation of the Upper Silesian Coalfield.
On the mountain slopes mixed and coniferous forests of spruce, fir, pine, beech, and oak grow on mountain brown forest soils and mountain podzols; above 1,400 m there are subalpine meadows and shrubs on mountain meadow soils. Such health resorts as Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně have developed around the region’s mineral springs.