Arda (Maritsa)

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Arda (Арда), Ardas (Άρδας)
Arda River Borislavtsi Bulgaria.jpg
Origin near Smolyan, Rhodopes, Bulgaria
Mouth Maritsa, near Edirne
41°39′39″N 26°29′42″E / 41.66083°N 26.49500°E / 41.66083; 26.49500Coordinates: 41°39′39″N 26°29′42″E / 41.66083°N 26.49500°E / 41.66083; 26.49500
Basin countries Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey
Length 290 km (241 km in Bulgaria)
Source elevation 1,455 m (Ardin vrah)
Basin area 5,795 km²
Map of Arda River and Maritsa river

The Arda (Bulgarian: Арда, Arda, Turkish: Arda, Greek: Άρδας, Árdas) is a 290 km long river in Bulgaria and Greece. It is a tributary of the Maritsa (Greek: Έβρος, Evros). Its source lies in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains near the village Arda, part of the municipality of Smolyan. It flows eastward past Rudozem, Kardzhali and Ivaylovgrad and enters Greece in the northern part of the Evros regional unit. It flows into the Maritsa on the border of Greece and Turkey, between the Greek village Kastanies and the Turkish city Edirne. In the Bulgarian section there are three hydroelectric and irrigation dams, Kardzhali Dam, Studen Kladenets and Ivaylovgrad Dam. The Bulgarian section is 241 km long, making the Arda the longest river in the Rhodopes. The medieval Dyavolski most arch bridge crosses the river 10 km from Ardino.

The three floods of February 18, 2005, when the water level was at 4.8 m, March 1 and March 7, 2005 flooded the low lying areas, especially in the Kastanies area which turned the area into a lagoon. The merging of the waters of the Maritsa (Evros/Meriç) caused streets and buildings including homes to be flooded and people to be stranded in their homes.

Arda Peak on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica and the mineral ardaite are named after the Arda river.

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