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This article is about the tributary of the Aller. For other rivers with the same name, see Leine (disambiguation).
The Leine near Sarstedt-Ruthe
Country  Germany
States Thuringia, Lower Saxony
Reference no. DE: 488
Basin features
Main source In Leinefelde in the Eichsfeld
340 m above sea level (NN)
River mouth Near Schwarmstedt into the Aller at km 52.26[1]
25 m above sea level (NN)
52°43′22″N 9°35′38″E / 52.72278°N 9.59389°E / 52.72278; 9.59389Coordinates: 52°43′22″N 9°35′38″E / 52.72278°N 9.59389°E / 52.72278; 9.59389
Progression Aller → Weser → North Sea
River system Weser
Basin size 6,512 km2 (2,514 sq mi)
Physical characteristics
Length 281 km (175 mi)
  • Location:
    at Göttingen gauge
  • Average rate:
    5.3 m3/s (190 cu ft/s)
(location 2)
  • Location:
  • Average rate:
    32.0 m3/s (1,130 cu ft/s)
(location 3)
  • Location:
  • Average rate:
    52.3 m3/s (1,850 cu ft/s)
(location 4)
  • Location:
  • Average rate:
    61.7 m3/s (2,180 cu ft/s)

The Leine (Old Saxon Lagina) is a river in Thuringia and Lower Saxony, Germany. It is a left tributary of the River Aller (and so of the River Weser as well) and 281 kilometres (175 mi) long.

Leine near Nordstemmen

The river's source is located close to the town of Leinefelde in Thuringia. About 40 kilometres (25 mi) downriver, the river enters Lower Saxony and runs northwards.

Important towns upstream to down along its course are Göttingen, Einbeck, Alfeld and Gronau, before the river enters Hanover, the largest city on its banks. Downstream some 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Hanover, near Schwarmstedt, the river joins the Aller and reaches the North Sea via the Weser. Only in its northern (lower) reaches is it navigable by today's smallest commercial carriers, though in the past it served as an important pre-railway barge transport artery as far upriver as Göttingen.

The river is somewhat polluted from industries and so not used for drinking water but the pollution was never severe enough to prevent fish from living in it. Like many western rivers since the 1960s, it has enjoyed successively cleaner waters since the implementation of environmental controls. People enjoy sport fishing from small boats and from along the banks, although yields are normally low.

At at least one point (Göttingen) the river is partially diverted into a canal that runs more or less parallel to the river.

In his 1986 bestseller Red Storm Rising, author Tom Clancy uses the Leine as a major obstacle to the Soviet Union's Red Army in its drive to the River Rhine and the North Sea ports of the Netherlands and Belgium through West Germany.

References and footnotes[edit]


  • Uwe Schmida: Die Leine - Eine fotografische Reise. ISBN 3-00-020567-5
  • Gerd Lüttig: Neue Ergebnisse quartärgeologischer Forschung im Raume Alfeld-Hameln-Elze. In: Geologisches Jahrbuch Band 77, Seite 337–390. Hannover, Juni 1960.

External links[edit]