Bordered by a belt of forest, the interior of Herland ranges from mountain valleys with winter snow to a large valley in southeastern Herland with a climate similar to that of California. The valley contains broad plains and well-tended forests, almost all of whose trees are either hardwood or food-bearing varieties. The three male adventurers compare the entire land to a garden, a park, and a truck farm. They comment that the forests are better tended than Germany’s, with no dead limbs and even with trained vines. Interspersed throughout the well-cultivated land are small glades with shaded stone furniture placed near fountains with birdbaths.
The dust-free roads crisscrossing Herland are constructed of a durable manufactured material. Sloped, graded, curved, and guttered as well as the best European highways, they lead to towns containing both white and pink houses, situated “among the green groves and gardens like a broken rosary of pink coral.” The white buildings are for public use, whereas the pink ones, especially those near the town center, resemble palaces or college buildings in parklike settings. All of Herland’s towns and cities are clean, orderly, and lovely, without the urban blight common in American and European population centers. The entire country of Herland underscores the virtues of its all-female inhabitants.
Herland castle. Massive fortress more than one thousand years old in which the three Americans are detailed after they enter Herland. In contrast to the town’s pink and white buildings, the castle is built of gray stone with thick walls and is isolated in the hills. Its high, smooth walls, built of huge stones interlocked like puzzle pieces, are reminiscent of Peru’s massive pre-Columbian architecture. Perched on a lofty rock, the castle’s high walls line the edge of a sheer cliff, with a river at its base. Its location in northern Herland gives it a clear view of the open plains in the southeast of the country.
The castle has no bars, though initially the three men are not allowed to leave. In contrast to the European princesses imprisoned in castles in traditional medieval tales of Europe, these men are interned only until they learn the language and customs of Herland. Instead of trying to possess the men, the women of Herland want to liberate them and learn from them.
Herland’s forests. Important because the women whom the three adventurers court and eventually marry all work in Herland’s well-fertilized forests, as do the three men after they wed. The forests seem almost magical to the intruders; they are also practical, since their many food-producing trees require little upkeep and yield more produce in a smaller area of land than do traditional farming methods. Herland’s women have enriched their soil and nurtured their trees until they have created an Eden-like country, a standard against which the three male American intruders and their civilization are judged and found lacking.