Gouwe (river)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hefbrug over de Gouwe bij Alphen aan den Rijn.jpg
Vertical lift bridge over the river Gouwe at Alphen aan den Rijn.
Country The Netherlands
State South Holland
Source Oude Rijn
 - location Alphen aan den Rijn, South Holland
 - coordinates 52°07′07″N 4°40′28″E / 52.11861°N 4.67444°E / 52.11861; 4.67444
Mouth Hollandse IJssel
 - location Gouda, South Holland
 - coordinates 51°59′50″N 4°41′28″E / 51.99722°N 4.69111°E / 51.99722; 4.69111Coordinates: 51°59′50″N 4°41′28″E / 51.99722°N 4.69111°E / 51.99722; 4.69111
Length 14 km (9 mi)
Location Gouwe.PNG
Location of the Gouwe in dark blue.

The Gouwe is a channelized river in South Holland, the Netherlands. It runs in a north-south direction from the Oude Rijn to the Hollandse IJssel.

From Alphen aan den Rijn, where the Gouwe begins at the Gouw Locks, it flows through Boskoop and Waddinxveen to Gouda. Here it splits into the old stream through the city and into the Gouwe Canal on the city's west side.

The Gouwe was historically part of the primary (and prescribed) shipping route in Holland, connecting Dordrecht with Haarlem and later on Amsterdam. These cities, together with the Counts of Holland who collected toll at Gouda and Spaarndam, maintained this arrangement to the dissatisfaction of the cities Delft and Leiden which were bypassed by this route.

Today the Gouwe is still an important shipping route. At the Oude Rijn, river travel can be continued north over the Aar Canal. It also functions as the main water outlet for the Rijnland region.

Three striking vertical lift bridges cross the Gouwe at Alphen aan den Rijn, Boskoop, and Waddinxveen.