name = Elbe
map_caption = The Elbe watershed
other_name = _cs. Labe
other_name1 = _de. Elbe
Low German: "Ilv"
country = Czech Republic
country1 = Germany
region = Hradec Králové Region
region1 = Pardubice Region
region2 = Central Bohemian Region
region3 = Ústí nad Labem Region
region4 = Saxony
region5 = Saxony-Anhalt
region6 = Brandenburg
region7 = Lower Saxony
region8 = Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
region9 = Hamburg
region10 = Schleswig-Holstein
city = Pardubice
city1 = Ústí nad Labem
Pirna, Dresden, Meißen, Torgau, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Dessau, Magdeburg, Hamburg, Cuxhaven
length = 1091
watershed = 148268
discharge_location = mouth
discharge_average = 711
discharge_max_month = April
discharge_max = 1232
discharge_min_month = September
discharge_min = 493
discharge1_average = 303
source_name = Bílé Labe
source_location = Krkonoše
source_country = Czech Republic
source_elevation = 1386
source_lat_d = 50
source_lat_m = 46
source_lat_s = 31
source_lat_NS = N
source_long_d = 15
source_long_m = 32
source_long_s = 16
source_long_EW = E
mouth_name = North Sea
mouth_country = Germany
mouth_elevation = 0
tributary_left = Vltava
tributary_left1 = Ohře
Mulde, Saale, Ohre, Tanger, Ilmenau River, Oste
tributary_right = Jizera
tributary_right1 = Schwarze Elster,
Havel, Elde, Sude, Alster, Stör
image_caption = The Labe near Děčín, Czech RepublicThe Elbe (Audio-cs|Labe|Cs-Labe.ogg; _de. die Elbe;
Low German: "de Ilv") is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It originates in the northwestern Czech Republicbefore traversing much of Germanyand flowing into the North Sea. Its total length has been given as convert|1091|km|mi|0.
The Elbe rises at an elevation of about convert|1400|m|ft|0 in the Krkonoše (also known as "Giant Mountains" or in German as "Riesengebirge") on the north west borders of the Czech Republic. 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 convert|60|m|ft|0 of the Labský vodopád, the latter stream unites with the steeply 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 Kolínsome convert|43|km|mi|0 further on, it bends gradually towards the north-west. At the village of Káraný, a little above Brandýs nad Labemit picks up the Jizera.
Mělníkits stream is more than doubled in volume by the Vltava, or Moldau, a river which winds northwards through Bohemia. Although upstream from the confluenceVltava is longer (434 km vs. 294), has larger discharge and larger drainage basin, due historical reasons (at the confluencethe Vltavameets the Elbe at almost a right angle, so it appears as a tributary) river continues as Elbe.
Some distance lower down, at
Litoměřice, the waters of the Elbe are tinted by the reddish Ohře(Eger). Thus augmented, and swollen into a stream convert|140|m|ft|0 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 of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, the stream assumes a north-westerly direction, which on the whole it preserves right to the North Sea.
The river rolls through
Dresdenand finally, beyond Meißen, enters on its long journey across the North German Plainpassing along the former border of East Germany, touching Torgau, Wittenberg, Dessau, Magdeburg, Wittenberge, and Hamburgon the way, and taking on the waters of the Muldeand Saalefrom the west, and those of the Schwarze Elster, Haveland Eldefrom the east. Soon the Elbe reaches Hamburg, and then passes through Holsteinuntil it flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven. Near its mouth it passes Otterndorf, Glückstadt, Brunsbütteland the entrance to the Kiel Canal.
The 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 Canallinks the Elbe to the Baltic Sea, as does the Kiel Canal, whose western entrance is near the mouth of the Elbe.
Before Germany was reunited, waterway transport in Western Germany was hindered by the fact that inland navigation to Hamburg had to pass through the German Democratic Republic. The Elbe Seitenkanal (Elbe Lateral Canal) was built between the Mittellandkanal and the lower Elbe to restore this connection. When the two nations were reunited, works began to improve and restore the original links: the Elbe Canal Bridge near Magdeburg now allows large barges to cross the Elbe without having to enter the river. The often low water levels of the Elbe do not hinder navigation to Berlin any longer. (Source: [http://www.noorderSoft.com/indexen.html NoorderSoft Waterways Database] )
First attested in Latin as "Albis", the name "Elbe" means "river" or "river-bed" and is nothing more than the
High Germanversion of a word (*"albiz") found elsewhere in Germanic; cf. Old Norseriver name "Elfr", Swedish "älv" "river", Old Englishriver name "Ielf", and Middle Low German"elve" "river-bed". [Orel, Vladimir. "A Handbook of Germanic Etymology". Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2003: 13]
The Elbe was recorded by
Ptolemyas "Albis" (Germanic for "river", see below) in GermaniaMagna with its source in the "Asciburgis" mountains (Krkonoše, Riesengebirge or Giant Mountains), where the Germanic " Vandalii" lived.
The 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
Rhineto the Elbe, and this attempt failed in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forestin 9 AD, after which they never seriously tried again. In the Middle Agesit formed the eastern limit of the Empire of Charlemagne. The river's navigable sections were also essential to the success of the Hanseatic Leagueand much trade was carried on its waters.
In 1945, as
World War IIwas drawing to a close, Nazi Germanywas caught between the armies of the western Allies advancing from the west and the Soviet Unionadvancing from the east. On April 25, these two forces linked up near Torgau, on the Elbe. The event was marked as Elbe Day. After the war, the Elbe formed part of the border between East and West Germany.
According to Russian accounts, In April, 1970, when the
SMERSHfacility in Magdeburgwas being transferred to the East German government, the remains of Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun, Joseph Goebbels, Magda Goebbelsand the Goebbels' six children were reportedly exhumed, thoroughly cremated, and the ashes finally dumped unceremoniously into the Elbe.
2002 European floods
2006 European floods
* [http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=albis&btnG=Search&domains=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancientlibrary.com&sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ancientlibrary.com Ancient library Albis river in Germania Magna]
* [http://www.ancientlibrary.com/gazetteer/0367.html Source of Albis river in Asciburgis (Riesengebirge Giants mountains]
* [http://www.ergis.cz/krkonose/index.php?lang=en&detail=38&path=places information and pictures of the spring of Labe in Giant Mountains (Krkonoše, Riesengebirge)]
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