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Vltava River In Prague - Tricky Laziness
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© Christine Till - CT-Graphics
The Vltava (Moldau) is the longest river in the Czech Republic, running north from its source near the Austrian Border in Šumava through Český Krumlov, České Budějovice, and Prague, merging with the Elbe at Mělník. As it runs through Prague the river is crossed by 18 bridges. It covers 31 km within the city.
The Vltava has long been seen as an industrial dumping ground in Prague. After 1989, that slowly began to change. The Vltava is now safe for swimming, fishermen say new species are returning to the river, and once again Prague lives around Vltava, both banks showing beautiful buildings embracing the river.
But flood protection kept being neglected. With good reason both the Czech name Vltava and the German name Moldau originate from the old Germanic words 'wilt ahwa' ("wild water"). The river's calm, langourous journey through the city belies the raging torrents that can be produced when floodwaters hit from further upriver. In August 2002 a cathastrophic flood of the Vltava killed several people and caused massive damage and disruption along its length. From that destruction, however, came a rebirth and a commitment by the city of Prague to protect its riverside areas by building a flood barrier, fixed walls and embankments as well as mobile walls.
June 10th, 2012
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