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Places worth visiting on the Moldau and the Elbe rivers

The River Moldau (Vltava)

With its length of 433 km, it is the longest river in The Czech Republic. It has its source in Šumava, runs through e. g. Český Krumlov, České Budějovice and Prague, and it empties on the left into the Elbe in Mělník. The drainage area of The Moldau with its affluents of Malše, Otava, Lužnice, Sázava and Berounka occupies the south part of Bohemia together with The Elbe, whose tributary is Moldau, and it creates a system which drains almost the whole of Bohemia. The drainage area of this river is 28 090 square kilometres (of which 27 006,70 square kilometres are in The Czech Republic).

The River Elbe

It is one of the longest rivers in Europe. It has its source in The Giant Mountains in the north of Bohemia, runs through Germany and empties by estuary into The North Sea. It is almost the only Czech river whose gender is not feminine (in The German language, however, it is feminine). It is 1154 km long (in Bohemia 358,3). Its drainage area is 144 055 square kilometres (in The Czech Republic 51 394 square kilometres). At its confluence with The Moldau, it has a smaller flow and it is shorter from its source, but The Elbe is not considered the tributary of the Moldau. The entire length of the course of Černý potok, Teplá Vltava, the Moldau and The Elbe from its confluence with the Moldau until it empties into the sea is 1329 km.

The Elbe got its name from The Celts, who were inhabiting its drainage area (including the area of The Czech Republic) during The Old Ages. The original Celtic word (perhaps ´elb´) simply meant “(big) river” and it appears in the names of many rivers in Sweden (alv, Lule alv, Pite alv, etc). According to some sources, its name is of Indo-European origin, which means white, bright, clear. In Antique sources, the river is mentioned as The Albis, meaning white, bright, clear. Its Czech name is probably derived from The Germanic word Alba, with the help of an anagram. The Elbe is said to be the only Czech river whose gender is not feminine.

Thanks to The Celts, The Vltava is considered as the tributary of The Elbe, not on the contrary, although The Vltava is considerably longer and it has a bigger flow.

Seznam míst na Vltavě a Labi



Cultural monuments




Lock chambers – Elbe


Natural beauty spots

Technical facilities

Spots of technical interest

Observation points

Lock chambers – Vltava

Císařská louka (Imperial Meadow)

Císařská louka is a 1.7 km long, artificially created island in Praha-Smíchov, separated from the left bank by a harbour.

This area was originally called Královská louka, a wide shore where a big coronation feast took place in 1297. In 19th century, the meadow became a popular holiday destination for Prague people. Social outings and sports tournaments took place there, including horse races. Until the end of 19th century, gold was washed there.

Císařská louka became an island by artificially extracting soil from the west part of the meadow during the years 1899-1903, when the harbour of Smíchov was built, originally called the harbour of the emperor František Josef.

In the football pitch, the first derby between Slavia and Sparta took place in 1896. Nowadays it is used by the football team SK Radlice and the League of Hanspaulská is played there as well.

The island serves as a port for small vessels, there is also a caravan camping, sports grounds and a restaurant Cinda.

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