Vltava (Moldau) River

 The Vltava, German "Moldau",  is the longest river in the Czech Republic, running north from its source in Šumava through Český Krumlov, České Budějovice, and Prague (Praha), merging with the Elbe (Labe) at Mělník. It is 430 km (267 miles) long and drains about 28,090 sq. km.     At their confluence the Vltava actually has more water than the Elbe, but joins the Elbe at a right angle to its flow so that it appears a mere tributary. Several dams were built on it in the 1950s, the biggest being Lipno Dam in Šumava.

In August 2002 a flood of the Vltava killed several people and caused massive damage and disruption along its length.

The best-known of the classical Czech composer Bedřich Smetana's set of six symphonic poems Má vlast (My Fatherland) is called Vltava (Moldau) and is an evocation of the course the river takes.


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