of the Day
Clue of the Month
major waterway of central Europe
Common clues: North Sea
feeder; Dresden's River; Czech river; Hamburg's river; Central
once a year
in English language:
39455 / 86800
River at Hamburg
Elbe River is one of the major waterways of central Europe. It
originates in the North West Czech Republic before traversing
much of Germany and finally emptying into the North Sea.
Elbe near Festung Königstein in Germany.
Elbe rises at an altitude of about 1400 m (4593 ft). Of the
numerous small streams whose waters compose the infant river, the
most important is the Bílé Labe, or White Elbe.
After plunging down the 60 km (37 miles) of the Labský
vodopád, the latter stream unites with the steep
torrential Malé Labe, and thereafter the united stream of
the Elbe pursues a southerly course, emerging from the mountain
glens at and continuing on to Pardubice, where it turns sharply
to the west. At Kolín some 43 km (27 miles) further on, it
bends gradually towards the north-west.
little above Brandýs nad Labem it picks up the Jizera and
at Mělník it has its stream more than doubled in
volume by the Vltava, a river which winds northwards through
Bohemia. Some distance lower down, at Litomerice, the waters of
the Elbe are tinted by the reddish Ohře. Thus augmented, and
swollen into a stream 140 m (459 ft) wide, the Elbe carves a path
through the basaltic mass of the České Středohoří,
churning its way through a deep, narrow rocky gorge. Shortly
after crossing the Czech-German frontier, and passing through the
sandstone defiles, the stream assumes a north-westerly direction,
which on the whole it preserves right to the North Sea.
river rolls through Dresden and finally, beyond Meissen, enters
on its long journey across the North German plain passing along
the former border of East Germany, touching Torgau, Wittenberg,
Magdeburg, Wittenberge, and Hamburg on the way, and gathering
into itself the waters of the Mulde and Saale from the west, and
those of the Schwarze Elster, Havel and Elde from the east. Soon
the Elbe reaches Hamburg, and then passes through Holstein until
it becomes merged in the North Sea off Cuxhaven.
Elbe has been navigable by commercial vessels since 1842, and
provides important trade links as far inland as Prague. The river
is linked by canals to the industrial areas of Germany and to
Berlin. The Elbe-Lübeck Canal links the Elbe to the Baltic
Sea, as does the Kiel Canal, whose western entrance is near the
mouth of the Elbe.
Elbe has long been an important delineator of European geography.
The Romans knew the river as the Albis; however, they only
attempted once to move the Eastern border of their Empire forward
from the Rhine to the Elbe,
and this attempt failed in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in
9 AD, after which they never seriously tried again. In the Middle
Ages it formed the eastern limit of the Empire of Charlemagne.
The river's navigable sections were also essential to the success
of the Hanseatic League and much trade was carried on its waters.
In 1945 a section of the Elbe was made a section of the border
between East and West Germany.
article is licensed under the GNU
Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia