The Elbe River is a central European river that has its source in the Czech Republic in the Giant Mountains and, after a route mostly located in Germany, flows into the North Sea by a long estuary of a hundred kilometers on which is Hamburg, first port of Germany. The length of this river is 1,091 kilometers.
The Elbe is the fourteenth river in Europe and is one of the 200 largest rivers in the world. If we assume that its source is in fact that of Vltava (at the confluence, this tributary has a higher flow), its total length is increased to 1,252 km (thirteenth place in Europe). The part of the course in the Czech Republic is 364 km long, while the part of the course running from the Czech border to the North Sea is 727 km long. The basin drained by the river has an area of about 148,000 km2. The average flow of the Elbe is 710 m3 / s which makes it the fourth river in Germany after the Rhine, the Danube and the Inn.
The Elbe first crosses the north of Czech Bohemia by describing a great arch, then crosses Germany, passing in particular through the cities of Dresden, Magdeburg and Hamburg before throwing itself into the North Sea at Cuxhaven. During the separation of the two Germanys until 1990, the Elbe served as a border on much of its course. At the time, it was heavily polluted in particular by heavy metals, but the quality of water improved significantly during the 2000s. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot
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