The Lek River near Nieuwegein.
Location of Lek in dark blue.
|Region||Utrecht, South Holland|
|- location||Wijk bij Duurstede, Utrecht|
|- location||Kinderdijk, South Holland|
|Length||62 km (39 mi)|
The Lek (Dutch pronunciation: [lɛk] ) is a river in the western Netherlands of some 60 km in length. It is the continuation of the Nederrijn after the Kromme Rijn branches off at the town of Wijk bij Duurstede. The main westbound waterway is hereafter called the Lek River. The Nederrijn is, itself, a distributary branch of river Rhine.
A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of water. Small rivers can be referred to using names such as stream, creek, brook, rivulet, and rill. There are no official definitions for the generic term river as applied to geographic features, although in some countries or communities a stream is defined by its size. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location; examples are "run" in some parts of the United States, "burn" in Scotland and northeast England, and "beck" in northern England. Sometimes a river is defined as being larger than a creek, but not always: the language is vague.
The Netherlands is a country located mainly in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, Germany and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.
Nederrijn is the name of the Dutch part of the Rhine from the confluence at the town of Angeren of the cut-off Rhine bend of Oude Rijn and the Pannerdens Kanaal. The city of Arnhem lies on the right (north) bank of the Nederrijn, just past the point where the IJssel branches off. The Nederrijn flows on to the city of Wijk bij Duurstede, from where it continues as the Lek. The once-important but now small Kromme Rijn branch carries the name "Rhine" towards the city of Utrecht.
The name "Lek" is derived either from the Middle Dutch words "lake" and "leek", meaning "watercourse".
Middle Dutch is a collective name for a number of closely related West Germanic dialects whose ancestor was Old Dutch and was spoken and written between 1150 and 1500. Until the advent of Modern Dutch after 1500, there was no overarching standard language, but all dialects were mutually intelligible. During the period, a rich Medieval Dutch literature developed, which had not yet existed during Old Dutch. The various literary works of the time are often very readable for speakers of Modern Dutch since Dutch is a rather conservative language. Nonlinguists often refer to Middle Dutch as Diets.
Portions of the river form the boundary between the provinces of Utrecht and Gelderland, and between Utrecht and South Holland.
Gelderland is a province of the Netherlands, located in the central eastern part of the country. With a land area of nearly 5,000 km2, it is the largest province of the Netherlands and shares borders with six other provinces and Germany.
In Roman times, the Nederrijn flowed into the Kromme Rijn and these streams were the main outflow of the river Rhine. When the Kromme Rijn began to silt up in the Middle Ages, the Lek became the primary branch. A short distance past Wijk bij Duurstede, the river intersects with the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal, which continues south towards the Waal. A branch of this canal, the Lekkanaal (Lek Canal) is connected to the river at the town of Nieuwegein.
The Waal is the main distributary branch of the river Rhine flowing approximately 80 km (50 mi) through the Netherlands. It is the major waterway connecting the port of Rotterdam to Germany. Before it reaches Rotterdam, it joins with the Afgedamde Maas near Woudrichem to form the Boven Merwede. Along its length, Nijmegen, Tiel, Zaltbommel and Gorinchem are towns of importance with direct access to the river.
Other major towns on its banks are Culemborg, Vianen, Schoonhoven, Nieuw-Lekkerland, Lekkerkerk and Krimpen aan de Lek. The bed of the river lies slightly higher than the surrounding lands and dikes are therefore essential to contain the Lek. At the village of Kinderdijk the Lek meets the Noord River and the combined stream is thereafter known as the Nieuwe Maas as it flows down towards the North Sea.
Culemborg is a municipality and a city in the centre of the Netherlands. The city has a population of 27,973, and is situated just south of the Lek river. Direct train lines run from the railway station towards the cities of Utrecht and Den Bosch.
Vianen is a city and a former municipality in the central Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht. It is located south of the Lek River. Before 2002 it was part of the province of South Holland. Vianen is bordered by two major motorways leading to Utrecht: the A2 (Amsterdam-Maastricht) on its west, and the A27 (Breda-Almere) just east of the town. Both roads can be notoriously congested near Vianen during peak commute hours. The municipality was merged with the municipalities of Leerdam and Zederik on January 1, 2019. The name of the new municipality is Vijfheerenlanden which is a part of the province Utrecht.
Schoonhoven is a city and former municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. Since 2015 it has been a part of the municipality of Krimpenerwaard.
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an mostly northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands to the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and eventually empties into the North Sea.
Wijk bij Duurstede is a municipality and a city in the central Netherlands.
Alphen aan den Rijn is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland, between Leiden and Utrecht. The town is situated on the banks of the river Oude Rijn, where the river Gouwe branches off. The municipality had a population of 109,449 in 2017, and covers an area of 132.49 km2 (51.15 sq mi) of which 5.91 km2 (2.28 sq mi) is water.
Dorestad was an early medieval emporium, located in the southeast of the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands, close to the modern-day town of Wijk bij Duurstede. It flourished during the 8th to early 9th centuries, as an important port on the northeastern shipping routes due to its proximity to the fork in the Rhine, with access to Germany via the Nederrijn, to the southern Netherlands, northern France, and England, and to the northern Netherlands, northern Germany, and Scandinavia.
The Amsterdam–Rhine Canal is a canal in the Netherlands that was built to connect the port and capital city of Amsterdam to the main shipping artery of the Rhine. Its course follows a generally southeasterly direction as it goes through the city of Utrecht towards Wijk bij Duurstede where it intersects the Lek branch of the Rhine and then continues on to the river Waal near Tiel, with a branch, the Lek Canal, to the Lek near Nieuwegein.
The Kromme Rijn is a river in the central Netherlands.
The Vecht is a Rhine branch in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is sometimes called Utrechtse Vecht to avoid confusion with its Overijssel counterpart. The area along the river is called the Vechtstreek.
The Bijlands Kanaal is a canal in the Dutch province of Gelderland, near the Dutch-German border. It is currently by far the most important river-stretch of the Rhine when that major river enters the Netherlands.
The Oude Rijn is a branch of the Rhine delta in the Dutch provinces of Utrecht and South Holland. Its present-day length is 52 kilometres.
The Lower Rhine flows from Bonn, Germany, to the North Sea at Hoek van Holland, Netherlands ; alternatively, Lower Rhine may refer to the part upstream of Pannerdens Kop, excluding the Nederrijn.
Maartensdijk is a village in the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is a part of the municipality of De Bilt, and lies about 4 km north of Bilthoven.
The Oudegracht, or "old canal", runs through the center of Utrecht, the Netherlands. It starts in the southeast of the city. Here the Kromme Rijn and the Vaartse Rijn arrive to meet the original moat of the fortified town, and the Oudegracht goes from there into the center of town. Parts of the Oudegracht follow the original flow of the river Rhine, but there is some disagreement on what parts. The northern part is most likely an early canal connecting the Rhine section to the river Vecht. The southern part was started in 1122, after the water level of the Rhine in Utrecht dropped because of the new dam at Wijk bij Duurstede. The ground excavated was used to raise the sides of the canal, to reduce the chance of flooding. When the city's system of locks was finished in 1275 the water level was constant, enabling the creation of permanently dry cellars and new quays at water level, hence the typical wharfs below street level. Warehouses used to line the canal. Today many of these warehouses have been converted into restaurants and cafés.
The Leidse Rijn is a canal in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands.
The name Rijnland means "Rhineland" in Dutch. When referring to the Rhine in Germany, "Rijnland" has the same meaning as "Rhineland" in English or "Rheinland" in German. However, "Rijnland" has a specific, different meaning in a Dutch context - the area along the Oude Rijn.
The Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta or Helinium is a river delta in the Netherlands formed by the confluence of the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt rivers. The result is a multitude of islands, branches and branch names that may at first sight look bewildering, especially as a waterway that appears to be one continuous stream may change names as many as seven times, e.g. Rhine → Bijlands Kanaal → Pannerdens Kanaal → Nederrijn → Lek → Nieuwe Maas → Het Scheur → Nieuwe Waterweg. Since the Rhine contributes most of the water, the shorter term Rhine Delta is commonly used. However, this name is also used for the river delta where the Rhine flows into Lake Constance, so it is clearer to call the larger one Rhine–Meuse delta, or even Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta, as the Scheldt ends in the same delta. By some calculations, the delta covers 25,347 km2 (9,787 sq mi), making it the largest in Europe.
The Vaartse Rijn is a canal connecting the city of Utrecht with Nieuwegein and the Lek river in the Dutch province of Utrecht. The Vaartse Rijn was formerly a major shipping route between Utrecht and the Rhine basin.
The Windmill of Wijk bij Duurstede is an oil on canvas painting by the Dutch painter Jacob van Ruisdael. It is an example of Dutch Golden Age painting and is now in the collection of the Amsterdam Museum, on loan to the Rijksmuseum.
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A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.