Aerial view of the Vltava River, foto: Libor Sváček
Vltava River

The Vltava is the longest Czech river. Its main stream called Černý potok has its source at the southeast slope of the Černá mountain, 1 172 m above sea level. The section beginning at Kvilda is called Teplá Vltava (Warm Vltava), which has its confluence with the Studená Vltava near the village Chlum. The Studená Vltava (Cold Vltava) has its source in Austria, and enters our Republic near the Nové Údolí. The area of the river's basin is 121 km2, and its length is 440,2 km.

There are large peat-bogs at the upper end of the Vltava river. Its valley is narrow and widens gradually. The only exception is the short section above the village Horní Vltavice, where the river flows through a defile valley, and has the character of a mountain stream. The average drop of the river in its spring area up to Kvilda is 26,2 %, in the following part, up to the confluence with Studená Vltava, the angle decreases decreases down to 4,9 %. From Lenora it flows through a large valley, which is today mainly filled up with the waters of the Lipno Dam. The slopes of the valley are covered with forests. The relatively small descent caused the river to meander, and thus created the so-called Heart of the Vltava. In another section up to Vyšší Brod, it regains the character of a mountain stream, flowing through a deep and narrow defile with a rocky bottom. Between Lipno nad Vltavou and Vyšší Brod, the descent of the river's bed is 20.2 %, in the section beginning 8 km from Lipno,
Vltava River in Český Krumlov, in the mist, foto: Libor Sváček 
ending at the railway station Čertova stěna, the drop is 137 m. After the river discharges to the České Budějovice basin, its bed is still relatively deep and narrow. The afforested slopes sometimes drop right to the river's banks. The average relative descent in this section is about 2.12 %.

Near Borová Lada, Malá Vltava (Small Vltava) flows into the Vltava, and near Lenora, Řasnice, otherwise called Travnatá Vltava (Grassy Vltava) also joins. Near Želnava, the river flows into the Lipno Dam, and leaves it again at Lipno nad Vltavou. The next part of the river bed is nearly empty, because the main stream flows to the hydro power plant at the dike of the dam, and then by the underground canal to the level tank in Vyšší Brod. Only in the following part, the river again flows through natural surroundings. The section below the Lipno Dam is called Čertovy proudy.

Up to Český Krumlov, the river is 144 km long. The area of the river basin up to Český Krumlov is 544.9 km2, the year's average precipitation reaches 818 mm, and the average flow is 18.5 m3/s.

Český Krumlov, meanders of the Vltava River, areal photo, foto: Lubor Mrázek       One of the weirs on the upper section of the Vltava River

Further information :
Description of Natural Conditions in the Český Krumlov Region
Rock Formations Čertova stěna and Luč
The Vltava River - Historical Transportation
Canoing and Rafting on the Vltava River
Rafts on upper Vltava
The Devil's rock face, attempts to navigate through Devil's torrents
Two churches in Loučovice
Water Slalom of Loučovice called Čertovy Proudy (Devil´s Streams)
The settlement of Hruštice called Václavova Lhota
Construction Work of Lipno Dam


© Sdružení Oficiálního informačního systému Český Krumlov, 2000
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