Morava (river)

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For the rivers in Serbia, see Great Morava, South Morava, and West Morava.
Morava (March)
Obrázok 015.jpg
The Morava meets the Danube in Bratislava-Devín
Countries Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria
Regions Pardubice, Olomouc, Zlín, South Moravian, Trnava, Bratislava, Lower Austria
 - left Krupá, Branná, Desná, Oskava, Bečva, Dřevnice, Olšava, Velička, Myjava
 - right Mírovka, Moravská Sázava, Haná, Thaya
Cities Olomouc, Kroměříž, Uherské Hradiště, Hodonín, Bratislava
 - location Králický Sněžník
 - elevation 1,371 m (4,498 ft)
Mouth Danube
 - location Bratislava
Length 354 km (220 mi)
Basin 26,658 km2 (10,293 sq mi)

The Morava (German: March, Hungarian: Morva) is a river in Central Europe. It is the most important river of Moravia, which derives its name from it. The river originates on the Králický Sněžník mountain in the north-eastern corner of Pardubice Region, near the border between the Czech Republic and Poland and has a vaguely southern trajectory. The lower part of the river's course forms the border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia and then between Austria and Slovakia.


The lowlands formed by the river are the Upper Moravian Vale or Hornomoravský úval and then the Lower Moravian Vale or Dolnomoravský úval in Moravia, the Moravian Field or Marchfeld (the plain between the northeast of Vienna and the Morava river) in Lower Austria, and the Záhorie Lowland or Záhorská nížina (the plain between Moravia and Bratislava) in Slovakia.

The only major cities along the river are Olomouc in the Czech Republic and the Slovak capital Bratislava. After approximately 354 km, the Morava flows into the Danube at Bratislava-Devín, with an average discharge rate of 120 m3/s. The Morava river is unusual in that it is a European blackwater river.

The river's most important tributary is the Thaya (in German) or Dyje (in Czech), flowing in at the tripoint of Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.


Though the German name March may refer to Mark, "border, frontier" (c.f. English march), the river's name more probably is derived from Proto-Indo-European *mori, "waters" (mare). It was first documented as Maraha in an 892 deed.

Indeed the lower part of the river, downstream of the confluence with the Thaya at Hohenau an der March, which today marks the Austro-Slovakian border, is one of the oldest national boundaries still extant in continental Europe: it was the eastern boundary of the Carolingian Empire with the Avar Khaganate around 800 and from the 10th century onwards marked the border of the Imperial marcha orientalis, later Duchy of Austria with the Kingdom of Hungary (within the Habsburg Monarchy during 1526–1918 due to the imperial expansion of the Austrian lands).


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Coordinates: 50°12′18″N 16°50′57″E / 50.20500°N 16.84917°E / 50.20500; 16.84917