Argen

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Argen
Argen Unterlauf.jpg
The Argen upstream of the suspension bridge between Kressbronn am Bodensee and Langenargen
Origin

Confluence of Lower Argen and Upper Argen, between Neukirch and Neuravensburg

47°39′17″N 9°44′40″E / 47.65472°N 9.74444°E / 47.65472; 9.74444Coordinates: 47°39′17″N 9°44′40″E / 47.65472°N 9.74444°E / 47.65472; 9.74444
Mouth

Into Lake Constance between Kressbronn am Bodensee and Langenargen

47°35′14″N 9°33′19″E / 47.58722°N 9.55528°E / 47.58722; 9.55528
Progression Lake ConstanceRhineNorth Sea
Basin countries Germany
Location Ravensburg and Bodenseekreis in Baden-Württemberg
Length 23.4 km (14.5 mi)
Source elevation 496 m (1,627 ft)
Mouth elevation 395 m (1,296 ft)
Avg. discharge 20.5 m3/s (720 cu ft/s) at mouth
River system Rhein
Right tributaries Bollenbach

The Argen is a river in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It flows into Lake Constance between Kressbronn am Bodensee and Langenargen as the third largest tributary to the lake. It is 23.4 km long; if one includes the Upper Argen, the combined length is 51.4 km.

Course[edit]

The headwaters of the Argen rise in the Allgäu. There are two headwaters: the Upper Argen and the Lower Argen. The two arms wrap around the Große Kreisstadt of Wangen im Allgäu and meet each other in the Neuravensburg district of Wangen im Allgäu.

Lower Argen[edit]

The origin of the Lower Argen is the confluence of Börlasbach and Stixnerbach at the western entrance to Missen at about 850 m above NN in the Allgäu region of Bavaria. From the confluence, it first flows north to Isny im Allgäu, then northwest to Waltershofen, then southwest to Primisweiler. Past Primisweiler, it merges with the Upper Argen.

The main tributaries are the Wengener Argen and the Haslach.

The Federal highway A96 crosses it a number of times.

Upper Argen[edit]

The Upper Argen originates in a marshy area north-west of Oberstaufen in the Allgäu and initially flows through a gorge named Eistobel, then underneath the Argentobelbrücke, then past Grünenbach towards Wangen im Allgäu. From there it goes on via Neuravensburg to Pflegelberg, where it is united with the Lower Argen.

Lower reaches[edit]

Lower reaches and mouth and between Kressbronn and Langenargen

Geomorphologically, the Argen has cut a deep and wide valley into the landscape, which has led to place names such as Gitzensteig. In some place, the valley is over a kilometer wide. The edges of the valley rise steeply up to 100 meters in places and the valley floor is at the level of Lake Constance.

Further down its course, the river bed becomes increasingly broad. The river here flows past the villages of Laimnau, Apflau and Badhütten. In the lower part of its course, the Argen was straightened considerably. Oxbow lakes no longer exist because of the intensive agriculture of the valley. In recent years at least the massive concrete walls alongside the river have been replaced in most of the shallower zones by large stones. Near the estuary at Kressbronn, gravel will be mined in larger quantities, creating new lakes along the river.

Ruins[edit]

The ruins of several castles and palaces flank the lower reaches of the Argen: Altsummerau, Neusummerau, the late medieval Gießen Castle at Kreisbrunn, Achberg Castle and Neuravensburg Castle. Remains of an ancient hill fort can be found in the woods above the river.

Mouth[edit]

The mouth into Lake Constance is flanked on both sides with ports or pleasure boats. On the left, we also find a camping grounds, name Gohren. Another camping grounds can be at Laimnau, next to a restaurant. Further leisure facilities can be found in this area.

At its mouth, the Argen is 30 meters wide, which is fairly wide for such a short river. Depending on the weather, is may have a large discharge as well. To defend against floods, protective walls have been constructed along the river.

Kayaking is possible; bathing facilities are available.

Level[edit]

Level measuring station Pegel Gießen

About 200 meters below the Gießenbrücke bridge in Kressbronn (river km 5.8), a water level measuring station exists on the Kresbronn side of the river. It is operated by the "Flood Forecasting Center Baden-Württemberg" and the "State Institure for Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation Baden-Württemberg". It is operated by the Regierungsbezirk Tübingen. The zero level for this station is at 420.13 m above NN.

Statistical values[edit]

  • Mean lowest water level 1980-2003: 0.29 m, 4.87 m³ per second
  • Average water level in the years 1980-2003: 0.57 m, 20.50 m³ per second
  • Historical record levels, flooding on 22 May 1999: 3.58 m

Nature Reserve[edit]

Bluffs above Gießenbrücke

An area of approximately 296 hectares flanking the Argen was declared a Nature Reserve by the Regional Council of Tübingen on 16 December 1997. Its official name is Naturschutzgebiet Argen and it is registered as reserve number 4282. The reserve covers the area between the confluence of the Upper and Lower Argen Argentina and the mouth into Lake Constance. It includes the river, including the steep slopes, floodplain forest and swamp forests, valleys and flood embankments. 234.8 hectares of the reserve are in the Bodenseekreis district; 61.54 hectares in the Ravensburg district.[1]

History[edit]

In Alamannia, a Carolingian county named Argungowe (i.e. Argen County) existed from the end of the 8th century.

Marathon[edit]

The roads along the Argen between Argensteg and Gießenbrücke are used in the annual Bodensee-Marathon. Runners must run on the road on the Kresbronn side to Gießenbrücke, then cross the bridge and run along the river on the Langenargen side to Argensteg, then via Gohren to the finish at Kressbronn Lakeside Sports Hall.

Gallery[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  • Norbert Kruse: Die Argen und ihre Namen, in: Im Oberland, issue 2, 2002, pp. 55–64
  • Hermann Vogelmann (1988), Die Argen. Von den Quellen bis zur Mündung., Bergatreute: Eppe, ISBN 3-89089-009-1 
This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.lubw.baden-wuerttemberg.de

External links[edit]