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(from Bodman, the name of an old imperial castle), one of the largest lakes in the foothills of the Alps, on the border between the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Switzerland, and Austria.
The Bodensee lies at an altitude of 395 m. It has an area of 538 sq km (63 km long and 14 km wide, with a maximum depth of 252 m). To the northwest it branches out into three separate parts (Überlinger See, Untersee, and Zeller See). During the period of the Würm glaciation the lake bed of the Bodensee was subjected to the action of the terminal Rhine Glacier. The shores of the Bodensee are flat or hilly; in the southeast they are high and craggy. The Rhine River flows through the Bodensee, and this lake serves as a natural regulator of the flow of the middle Rhine. The lake’s water is blue-green in color and is clear. It freezes very rarely and mitigates the climate of the surrounding area. Seiches are observed on this lake. It abounds in many valuable species of fish (trout, burbot). There is steamship transportation. The large cities and health resorts in the area are Konstanz, Friedrichshaven, Lindau (FRG), and Bregenz (Austria).