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Navigating the Rivers of the Czech Republic

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Vltava

The Vltava is the longest river in the Czech Republic, at 430 kilometers (267 miles) in length. It begins in Sumava, the Bohemian forest, and then flows through Czesky Krumlov, Czeske Budejovice and then Prague. It eventually merges with the Elbe River in Melnik, which is slightly north of Prague. It is an important river for Southern and Central Bohemia.

In Prague, the Vltava bisects the city, and many of the beautiful bridges cross its banks, including the famous Charles Bridge. Many museums and other famous sites, like the Vysehrad castle complex, are also located alongside the Vltava waters in Prague. The Vltava also cuts through Czesky Krumlov, and is full of many quaint, stone walking bridges.

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Elbe

The River Elbe (called the “Labe” in Czech) is an important river for Central Europe, and the fourth largest in Europe. It originates in the northwestern region of the Czech Republic in the Krkonose (Giant) Mountains, and then flows through a great part of Bohemia. It eventually continues on into Germany, running for a total of 1,094 kilometers (680 miles). Some of the towns that the Elbe runs through in the Czech Republic are Pardubice, Kolin, Karany and Melnik, where it then joins with the Vltava. Its waters continue north west, and then flow through the Czeske Stredohori mountain range, before hitting the German border.

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Morava

The Morava is the most important river of the Moravian region, as it is where this area derives its name. The total river is 354 kilometers (220 miles) in length, and it rises on the Kralicky Sneznik mountain of Moravia, near the border with Poland. This river forms part of the border between the Czech Republic and Austria (above), and Austria and Slovakia. The only major Czech city that is on the Morava is Olomouc.

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Ostravice

The Ostravice is a river in the Moravian-Silesian region of the eastern Czech Republic. In the past, its waters formed some historic borders between the Moravian and Silesian regions. This river is 64 kilometers (40 miles) in length, and it originates in the Moravian-Silesian Beskids, which is a small mountain range. It then flows through the towns of Ostravice, Fryland nad Ostravici, Frydek-Mistek and eventually into the city of Ostrava, where it joins the Oder.

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