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Moldau River

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Moldau River

This article is about a river in the Czech Republic. For the symphonic poem, see Má vlast.
Vltava
River
The Vltava's bend in Prague
Country Czech Republic
Regions South Bohemia, Central Bohemia
Tributaries
 - left Otava River, Berounka
 - right Lužnice, Sázava River
Cities Český Krumlov, České Budějovice, Prague
Source Černý potok
 - location Černá hora, Bohemian Forest
 - elevation 1,172 m (3,845 ft)
 - coordinates 58|29|N|13|33|39|E|type:river_region:CZ name=

}}

Mouth Elbe
 - location Mělník
 - elevation 155 m (509 ft)
 - coordinates 20|29|N|14|28|30|E|type:river_region:CZ name=

}}

Length 430 km (267 mi)
Basin 28,090 km2 (10,846 sq mi)
Discharge
 - average 149.9 m3/s (5,294 cu ft/s)
The course and drainage basin of the Vltava from its source to its confluence with the Elbe (magenta)
The course and drainage basin of the Vltava from its source to its confluence with the Elbe (magenta)
Commons: Vltava

The Vltava (Czech pronunciation: [ˈvl̩tava]; German: Moldau, IPA: [ˈmɔldaʊ̯]) is the longest river in the Czech Republic, running north from its source near the German border in Šumava through Český Krumlov, České Budějovice, and Prague, merging with the Elbe at Mělník. It is 430 kilometres (270 mi) long and drains about 28,090 square kilometres (10,850 sq mi); at their confluence the Vltava actually has more water than the Elbe and is even much longer, but joins the Elbe at a right angle to its flow so that it appears a mere tributary. The river is crossed by 18 bridges (including the famous Charles Bridge, shown below) as it runs through Prague. It covers 31 kilometres (19 mi) within the city.[1] Several dams were built on it in the 1950s, the biggest being Lipno Dam in Šumava.

In August 2002 a flood of the Vltava killed several people and caused massive damage and disruption along its length.

The best-known of the classical Czech composer Bedřich Smetana's set of six symphonic poems Má vlast ("My Motherland") is called Vltava (or The Moldau), and is a musical depiction of the river's course through Bohemia.

Physical description

The height difference from source to mouth is about 1,016 metres (3,333 ft) and the largest stream at the source is named Černý Potok (Black Brook).

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The Vltava as it flows under Charles Bridge in Prague

Etymology

Both the Czech name Vltava and the German name Moldau are believed to originate from the old Germanic words *wilt ahwa[2] ("wild water") (cf. Latin aqua). In Annales Fuldenses (872 AD) it is called Fuldaha; from 1113 AD it is attested as Wultha. In Chronica Boemorum (1125 AD) it is attested for the first time in its bohemised form as Wlitaua.

Honors

A minor planet 2123 Vltava discovered in 1973 by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh is named after the river.[3]

The Moldau#Vltava is also a famous symphonic poem by Bedřich Smetana, which inspired a song by Bertolt Brecht. An English version of it, by John Willett, is worded Deep down in the Moldau the pebbles are shifting/ In Prague three dead emperors moulder away.[4]

References

External links

  • Geographic data related to OpenStreetMap
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