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WaterCultureLandscape Elbe River

The Elbe (Czech: "Labe") originates in the Riesengebirge Mountains and empties 1,094 kilometres away into the North Sea at Cuxhaven. It is one of Europe's longest rivers. At Mělník, the 433 kilometre-long Vltava empties into the much shorter Elbe (259 kilometres).

The origin of the name Elbe / Labe is the Indo-Germanic word "albhos" and means "white". This might refer to the typical light-coloured sand that accumulates at the middle and bottom section of the riverbed.

Floods and other natural events characterise the length of the Elbe as much as a variety of human interactions. The objective of this travel guide is to examine the traces and evidence that water has left behind on nature, culture, and the economic landscape of the Elbe. An important technical monument of the late Middle Ages, for example, is the 30.83 kilometre-long Opatovice canal, which was installed between 1498 and 1521 to supply mills with water. Or consider Dresden-Niederwartha, where the pumped-storage hydro-electrical facility was erected in 1930, as one of the first of its kind in the world. On the other hand, a visit to the Auenhaus information centre, the UNESCO biosphere reserve visitors' centre near Dessau, is a special experience for nature fans. This website feature a number of places of interest that are worth spending the day visiting.

Discover the diversity of the Labe and WaterCultureLandscape Elbe River!

The Elbe in Europe

The catchment basin of the Elbe includes an area of 148,268 square kilometres, 65.5 % of which are located within Germany, 33.7 % in the Czech Republic, 0.6 % in Austria, and 0.2 % in Poland. This is the fourth-largest river catchment area in Central Europe. Approximately 25 million inhabitants live in this region, and they help form its unique cultural landscape.

Do you know any other destination along the Elbe river?
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The Brochure "WaterCultureLandscape Elbe River"
A brochure is available in Czech and German that features a selection of points of interest, provides a reference to this website, and should leave an impression on readers regarding the diversity of the interesting hydrological items presented. To inquire about availability, please use this contact form.
The individual chapters are also available to you here in both languages as a download.