List of rivers of the Czech Republic

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Vltava River in Czech capital Prague

This is a list of rivers of the Czech Republic.

Czech language distinguishes between larger (river) and smaller (stream, creek, brook etc.) watercourses; the respective nouns being řeka (feminine, "river") and potok (masculine, "stream"). River names are mostly self-standing nouns and not accompanied with the generic word for river (except when confusion might arose because name is shared with some towns, e.g. Jihlava; in such cases one sometimes says řeka Jihlava). In contrast, stream names mostly consist of two words because they contain an adjective (usually stemming from physical properties (e.g. Černý potok-"Black Stream"), usage (e.g. Mlýnský potok-"Mill Stream") or derived from location through which it flows (e.g. Rakovnický potok-"Rakovník Stream")). These two-word names are used as a whole, the word potok making an inseparable part of the name (i.e. Mlýnský potok, not just Mlýnský). There are also streams with one-word names (either masculine or feminine) akin to rivers (e.g. Botič or Modla) but they are simply considered streams due to their small size. In such cases the word potok is optional and precedes the name (potok Modla).

Drainage basins[edit]

Catchment areas of the Elbe-Vltava system (dark grey) and the Morava-Thaya (light grey) before they leave Czech territory. The remaining white areas in the northeast and north belong to the Oder and its tributaries while narrow white strip along southwestern border denotes some smaller direct tributaries of the Danube.
Triple Divide Point marked on summit of Mt. Klepý

As Main European Watershed passes through the Czech Republic, there are three directions and principal areas of drainage (very roughly overlapping with historical territories of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia): Almost 2/3 of the country is drained in NW direction through the Elbe into the North Sea. Morava River flowing towards SE collects water from eastern regions of the Czech Republic and discharges into Danube which flows to the Black Sea. The northeast and some northern portions of the territory is drained by the Oder and its tributaries like Lausitzer Neisse into the Baltic Sea. The corresponding watershed tripoint with a marker for symbolic "roof of Europe" (50°8'55"N 016°46'57"E) is located at Czech-Polish border on Mt. Klepý near Dolní Morava in Králický Sněžník Mountains.

The catchment area of the Elbe down to Czech-German border in Hřensko/Schöna covers 51,394 square kilometres (19,843 sq mi). This figure includes upper courses of some tributaries starting in neighbouring countries. The area solely within Czech borders is slightly smaller and this is the figure given in the following table, which shows Czech territory divided after drainage basins.

River level 1 level 2 level 3
Elbe 49,933[1]
Vltava 27,006.70[2]
Ohře 4,601.05[3]
Danube 21,736[4]
Morava 20,692.4[5]
Thaya 11,164.7[6]
Oder 7,217
total (km²) 78,886

Table of rivers[edit]

While the Elbe is the longest Czech-related river when measured through its overall length (i.e. including lower course in Germany), its tributary Vltava surpasses it as the longest river within territory of the Czech Republic proper (in fact Vltava even carries at confluence more water than Elbe).

Rank River Length within CR (km) Avg. discharge[7] (m³/s) Total basin (km²) Tributary to Mouth location Photo
1. Vltava 430[8] 151 28,090 Elbe Mělník Slapy Reservoir on middle course of the Vltava
2. Elbe (Labe) 370[9] 308 144,055 North Sea Cuxhaven (Germany) Confluence of Elbe and Ploučnice in Děčín
3. Morava 284[10] 65[11] 26,658 Danube Bratislava-Devín (Slovakia) Morava near Uherský Ostroh
4. Ohře 256[12] 38 5,614 Elbe Litoměřice Ohře near Doksany during a dry summer
5. Berounka (Mže) 246 36 8,823 Vltava Prague-Lahovice Berounka flowing through Czech Karst near Tetín
6. Sázava 225 25 4,350 Vltava Davle Sázava near ruin of Zbořený Kostelec Castle
7. Thaya (Dyje) 209[13] 44 13,419 Morava Hohenau (Austria) Thaya in Podyjí National Park
8. Jihlava 185 12 3,117 Svratka Ivaň Jihlava near Dolní Kounice
9. Svratka 174 15[14] 7,119 Thaya Pouzdřany Svratka in Brno-Bystrc
10. Jizera 164 24 2,193 Elbe Lázně Toušeň Jizera near Malá Skála
11. Lužnice 153[15] 24 4,226 Vltava Neznašov A weir on the Lužnice in Dobronice near Bechyně
12. Oder (Odra) 136[16] 48 118,861 Baltic Sea Świnoujście (Poland) Oder in Ostrava
13. Orlice (+Divoká Orlice) 136 22 2,036 Elbe Hradec Králové Orlice near Třebechovce pod Orebem
14. Otava (+Vydra) 134 26 3,788 Vltava Zvíkov Otava in Sušice
15. Opava 129 18 2,088 Oder Ostrava-Nová Ves Opava near Háj ve Slezsku
16. Bečva (Vsetínská Bečva) 120 18 1,626 Morava Troubky Bečva near Grymov
17. Radbuza 112 11 2,179 Berounka Plzeň Radbuza in Dobřany
18. Úhlava 109 6 919 Radbuza Plzeň-Doudlevce Upper course of the Úhlava
19. Moravice 105 8 901 Opava Opava Source of the Moravice is located high in the Hrubý Jeseník Mountains
20. Chrudimka 104 6 870 Elbe Pardubice Chrudimka near Škrovád
21. Ploučnice 103 9 1,194 Elbe Děčín Ploučnice near Česká Lípa
22. Oslava 100 4 867 Jihlava Ivančice-Letkovice Oslava in Oslavany

Hierarchical list[edit]

Rivers not located themselves within the Czech Republic but possessing tributaries originating on the Czech territory are shown in strikethrough italics. Rivers over 100 km long or having average discharge greater than 10 m³/s are emphasized in bold.

Rivers flowing to the North Sea (Elbe basin)[edit]

tributaries joining the Elbe during its course through Germany (from area along Czech-German border in NW of the country, esp. from Ore Mountains)
Some rivers of Saxony, Thuringia and Brandenburg have their headwaters located in the Czech Republic
Scheme of principal tributaries and their contribution to average discharge of the Elbe (in m³/s)
Canyon of the Křinice in rocks of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains
tributaries joining the Elbe within Czech Republic, i.e. rivers from major part of Bohemia)
Bílina River in Stadice before Ústí nad Labem (ústí is the Czech for "river mouth")
A barge with sand on the Vltava below Prague
Berounka as seen from Dolany Bridge near village of Dolany, Plzeň-North District
Confluence of Vltava and Sázava in Davle
Orlík Dam on the Vltava in south-central Bohemia. The most important series of dams in the country, so called Vltava Cascade (Vltavská kaskáda), is located on the middle Vltava above Prague.
13th century Stone Bridge (Kamenný most) over Otava in Písek. This is the oldest bridge in the Czech Republic still in use.
Canoeing on the Lužnice - this river attracts thousands of water tourists each summer
Vltava, a symphonic poem by Bedřich Smetana, describes the course of the Vltava from source to mouth
Riverbed full of boulders in upper course of the Jizera near Kořenov
Cidlina on its lower course in Libice nad Cidlinou
Confluence of Elbe and Orlice in Hradec Králové
Viktorka‘s Weir on the Úpa features in the most popular Czech novel The Grandmother by Božena Němcová

Rivers flowing to the Baltic Sea (Oder basin)[edit]

tributaries joining the Oder during its course through Poland (from northern parts of Bohemia (esp. around city of Liberec - Frýdlant Hills, Zittau Basin and NW slopes of Izera Mountains) and NW portion of Czech Silesia (esp. Jeseník District)
Drainage basin of the Oder includes the northeast and some northern portions of Czech territory
A flash flood on the Smědá in August 2010, this river is notorious for its summer surges
Olše/Olza creating Czech-Polish border in Český Těšín/Cieszyn
Ostravice in downtown Ostrava as seeen from tower of the New City Hall
Meandry Lučiny, a preserved meandering section of the Lučina near Havířov was declared a Natural Monument
Confluence of the Oder (left) and the Opava (right) in Ostrava
tributaries joining the Oder within Czech Republic, i.e. rivers from NE parts of the country, esp. Moravian-Silesian Region)

Rivers flowing to the Black Sea (Danube basin)[edit]

rivers from SE regions of the country (i.e. most of Moravia)

(Morava accounts for almost all discharge, the only exception being Vlára, which belongs to the Váh subbasin)

Drainage basin of the Danube with Morava, Svratka and Dyje/Thaya shown in the southeast of the Czech Republic
Confluence of Dyje (Thaya) and Morava (March) at A/CZ/SK tripoint
Karst spring of the Punkva in the Moravian Karst near Blansko (part of subterranean section of the river is accessible through tourist boat excursions)
Flooded Jihlava in Třebíč (spring 2006)
tributaries to the Danube from SW borders of the country (i.e. rivers flowing from Bohemian Forest and Upper Palatinate Forest to Upper Austria and Bavaria)
Řezná (Großer Regen) near its spring in Prameniště Nature Reserve near Železná Ruda, Bohemian Forest
Unnamed small stream in catchment area of the Pfreimd near Rozvadov, Upper Palatinate Forest

Alphabetical list[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 144,055 km² including part of basin extending to Germany, Austria and Poland
  2. ^ 28,090 km² including part of basin extending to Germany and Austria
  3. ^ 5,614 km² including part of basin extending to Germany
  4. ^ the remaining area of the Czech Republic after subtracting of Elbe and Oder drainage basins
  5. ^ 26,658 km² including part of basin extending to Austria and Slovakia
  6. ^ 13,419 km² including part of basin extending to Austria
  7. ^ at mouth (if within Czech Republic) or at national border
  8. ^ Total length of Vltava and Elbe courses combined within Czech territory is 530 km
  9. ^ Total length of the Elbe (including territory of Germany) is 1165 km
  10. ^ Total length of the Morava (including territory of Slovakia and Austria) is 353 km
  11. ^ before confluence with Thaya
  12. ^ Total length of the Ohře (including territory of Germany) is 316 km
  13. ^ Total length of the Thaya (including territory of Austria and Deutsche Thaya) is 306 km
  14. ^ before confluence with Jihlava
  15. ^ Total length of the Lužnice (including territory of Austria) is 208 km
  16. ^ Total length of the Oder (including territory of Poland and Germany) is 861 km