- Meuse River
river_name = Maas
caption = The Meuse in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands
origin = flag|France
basin_countries = flag|France, flag|Belgium, flag|Netherlands
length = 925 km (575 mi)
elevation = 409 m (1,342 ft)
discharge = 230 m³/s (8,124 ft³/s)
watershed = 36,000 km² (13,900 mi²)
The Meuse (in Dutch and in German: "Maas", in
Latin: "Mosa", in Celtic:"Mus" (the rootword, presumingly related to: "moist")), is a major European river, rising in Franceand flowing through Belgiumand the Netherlandsbefore draining into the North Sea. It has a total length of 925 km (575 miles).
The Meuse marked the Western border of the
Holy Roman Empirefrom its creation in the 9th century until the annexation of most of Alsaceand Lorraine by France through the Treaty of Westphalia(1648), and to some extent until 1792 when the Prince-Bishopric of Liègewas also annexed to France. Its Belgian portion, part of the sillon industriel, was the first fully industrializedarea in continental Europe.fr icon cite web | title=Wallonie : une région en Europe | url=http://sder.wallonie.be/ICEDD/CAP-atlasWallonie2006/pages/atlas.asp?txt=conWalEur | publisher=Ministère de la Région wallonne | accessdate=September 29 | accessyear=2007] The Meuse is mentioned nostalgically in "Das Lied der Deutschen".
The Meuse rises in Pouilly-en-Bassigny, commune of
Le Châtelet-sur-Meuseon the Langresplateau in Francefrom where it flows northwards past Sedan (the head of navigation) and Charleville-Mézièresinto Belgium. At Namur it is joined by the River Sambre. Beyond Namur the Meuse winds eastwards, skirting the Ardennes, and passes Liège before turning north. The river then forms part of the Belgian-Dutch border, except that at Maastrichtthe border lies further to the west. In the Netherlands it continues northwards through Venloclosely along the border to Germany, then turns towards the west, where the Waal riverjoins it, before it starts being part of an extensive delta, together with the mouths of especially the Scheldt riverin its south and the main part of the Rhine riverin the north. Before, the river has divided near Heusdeninto the Afgedamde Maason the right and the Bergse Maason the left. The Bergse Maas continues under the name of Amer, which is part of the Biesbosch, and is joined by the Nieuwe Merwede, after which it flows on under the name of Hollands Diep, before finally flowing into the North Sea as Haringvliet.
The Meuse is crossed by
railway bridges between the following stations (on the left and right banks respectively):
There are also numerous road bridges and around 32 ferry crossings.
The Meuse is navigable over a substantial part of its total length: In the Netherlands and Belgium, the river is part of the major inland navigation infrastructure, connecting the Rotterdam-Amsterdam-Antwerp port areas to the industrial areas upstream: 's Hertogenbosch, Venlo, Maastricht, Liège, Namur. Between Maastricht and
Maasbracht, an unnavigable section of the Meuse is bypassed by the 36 km Juliana Canal. South of Namur, further upstream, the river can only carry more modest vessels, although a barge as long as 100 m. can still reach the French border town of Givet.
From Givet, the river is canalized over a distance of 272 kilometers. The canalized Meuse used to be called the "Canal de l'Est — Branche Nord" but was recently rebaptized into "Canal de la Meuse". The waterway can be used by the smallest barges that are still in use commercially (almost 40 meters long and just over 5 meters wide). Just upstream of the town of Commercy, the Canal de la Meuse connects with the
Canal de la Marne au Rhinby means of a short diversion canal. (Source: NoorderSoft Waterways database)
The Cretaceous sea reptile
Mosasauris named after the river Meuse. The first fossils of it were discovered outside Maastricht 1780.
The main tributaries of the river Meuse are listed below in downstream-upstream order, with the town where the tributary meets the river:
Wurm(in Heinsberg, Germany)
Merzbach(in Linnich, Germany)
Inde(in Jülich, Germany)
** Voer/Fouron (in
Moelingen, part of Voeren)
***Weser/Vesdre (near Liège)
Lesse(in Anseremme, part of Dinant)
**Semois or Semoy (in
Départements, provinces and towns
The Meuse flows through the following
departments of France, provinces of Belgium, provinces of the Netherlandsand towns:
Meuse: Commercy, Saint-Mihiel, Verdun, Stenay
* Ardennes: Sedan,
Huy, Liège, Visé
Maastricht, Roermond, Venlo
North Brabant: Boxmeer, Heusden
Das Lied der Deutschen" ("The Song of the Germans"), also known as "Das Deutschlandlied" ("The Song of Germany"), written in 1841, describes a then–yet-to-unite Germany, with the Maas as the Western border, as the river runs closely along the border to the Netherlands and parts of the Holy Roman Empire(the duchies of Jülich and Cleves and the prince-bishopric of Liège) bordered river Maas before the Great French Warfrom 1795.
* [http://www.ppl.nl/bibliographies/all/showresults.php?bibliography=water&code=WR244&topic=regional%20studies%20%3E%20Europe%20%3E%20Meuse%20River Peace Palace Library's Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law regarding "Meuse River"]
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