The Nördlinger Ries is a depression in western Bavaria, Germany, located north of the Danube in the district of Donau-Ries.
The Ries is in fact a crater caused by a meteorite 14.8 million years ago. The depression has a circular shape and is 25 km in diameter. The bottom of the crater is about 100-150 m below the brink. The city of Nördlingen is located in the middle of the crater.
The word "Ries" is not a German word; it is believed that the term is derived from Raetia, since the tribe of Raetians lived in the area in pre-Roman times. The addition "Nördlinger" is actually redundant, as there is no other place called Ries.
For human settlement within the Ries region, see Donau-Ries.