The Elbe (German: [ˈɛlbə] (listen); Czech: Labe [ˈlabɛ] (listen); Low German: Ilv or Elv; Upper and Lower Sorbian: Łobjo) is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Giant Mountains of the northern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia (western half of the Czech Republic), then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 kilometres (68 miles) northwest of Hamburg. Its total length is 1,094 km (680 mi).[1]

The Elbe (Labe) near Děčín, Czech Republic
The Elbe drainage basin
Native name
Regions (CZ)
States (DE)
Physical characteristics
SourceElbe Meadow
  locationGiant Mountains, Czech Republic
  coordinates50°46′32.59″N 15°32′10.14″E
  elevation1,386 m (4,547 ft)
MouthNorth Sea
53°55′20″N 8°43′20″E
0 m (0 ft)
Length1,112 km (691 mi)
Basin size148,268 km2 (57,247 sq mi)
  average870 m3/s (31,000 cu ft/s)
  minimum493 m3/s (17,400 cu ft/s)
  maximum1,232 m3/s (43,500 cu ft/s)
  average303 m3/s (10,700 cu ft/s)
Basin features
  leftVltava, Ohře, Mulde, Saale, Ohre, Ilmenau, Este, Lühe, Schwinge, Oste, Medem
  rightJizera, Schwarze Elster, Havel, Elde, Bille, Alster, Mrlina

The Elbe's major tributaries include the rivers Vltava, Saale, Havel, Mulde, Schwarze Elster, and Ohře.[1]

The Elbe river basin, comprising the Elbe and its tributaries, has a catchment area of 148,268 square kilometres (57,247 sq mi), the twelfth largest in Europe. The basin spans four countries, however it lies almost entirely just in two of them, Germany (65.5%) and the Czech Republic (33.7%, covering about two thirds of the state's territory). Marginally, the basin stretches also to Austria (0.6%) and Poland (0.2%). The Elbe catchment area is inhabited by 24.4 million people, the biggest cities within are Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Dresden and Leipzig.[1]

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