Notes on the river Elbe

One of Europe's mighty rivers

We have named the mathematics set of our BusyBusy educational cards after the river Elbe ~ a name chosen at random from a list of major rivers with short names. Here we offer a few notes by way of educational bonus for those wishing to improve their geographical knowledge. (Teacher's note ~ Great! ~ Anything to get away from the dreariness of the syllabus. Pupil's note ~ Great! Another red herring ~ anything rather than real work.

The land mass of Europe is huge. Rivers flow towards the sea, draining the land as they go. The greater the area of land, the wider and deeper the river that drains it. The Elbe is one of the waterways which is huge when compared with those draining the smaller area of the British Isles.

Large lengths of the river are calm and wide and suitable for navigation by large ~ shallow draught ~ vessels such as barges and floating hotels. A great deal about the river ~ and the surrounding countryside ~ is explained on the WWW (particularly in Wikipedia), and so we provide only a brief introduction here.

The Elbe rises in the mountains of the Czech Republic and flows in a north-westerly direction through north east Germany for over 1000km, eventually reaching the North Sea. There are many scenic places, some with very interesting rock formations. We have not copied photographs available on the WWW, but have chosen some antique views for each of the cities we name sets of cards after. Such views are both interesting and out of copyright.

Prague is on the river Vltava, but that river very soon flows into the Elbe, which is already established as a large waterway. Prague ~ and several other cities downstream ~ have suffered tremendous flood damage in recent years.

Hamburg may be the place whee the Elbe meets the sea. Hamburg is accessible to large shipping, but it is some way inland. The Elbe flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven.

The Elbe series of BusyBusy cards ~ and their purpose ~ is fully described on a separate page [elbe cards].

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