Morava (river)

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Morava river between Austria and Slovakia during sunset.jpg
The Morava between Austria and Slovakia
Country Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria
Region Pardubice, Olomouc, Zlín, South Moravian, Trnava, Bratislava, Lower Austria
Cities Olomouc, Kroměříž, Uherské Hradiště, Hodonín, Holíč, Bratislava, Marcheeg
Physical characteristics
 - location Králický Sněžník
 - coordinates 50°12′18″N16°50′57″E / 50.20500°N 16.84917°E / 50.20500; 16.84917
 - elevation1,275 [1]  m (4,183 ft)
Mouth Danube
 - locationDevín
 - coordinates 48°10′27″N16°58′32″E / 48.17417°N 16.97556°E / 48.17417; 16.97556 Coordinates: 48°10′27″N16°58′32″E / 48.17417°N 16.97556°E / 48.17417; 16.97556
Length354 [1]  km (220 mi)
 - average120 m3/s (4,200 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Basin size27,267 [1]  km2 (10,528 sq mi)
 - left Krupá, Branná, Desná, Oskava, Bečva, Dřevnice, Olšava, Velička, Myjava
 - right Mírovka, Moravská Sázava, Haná, Thaya
Progression DanubeBlack Sea

The Morava (German : March, Hungarian : Morva, Polish : Morawa) is a river in Central Europe, a left tributary of the Danube. It is the main river of Moravia, which derives its name from it. The river originates on the Králický Sněžník mountain in the north-eastern corner of Pardubice Region, near the border between the Czech Republic and Poland and has a vaguely southward trajectory. The lower part of the river's course forms the border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia and then between Austria and Slovakia.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Hungarian language language spoken in and around Hungary

Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in Hungary and parts of several neighbouring countries. It is the official language of Hungary and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarians in the countries that today make up Slovakia, western Ukraine (Subcarpathia), central and western Romania (Transylvania), northern Serbia (Vojvodina), northern Croatia and northern Slovenia. It is also spoken by Hungarian diaspora communities worldwide, especially in North America and Israel. Like Finnish and Estonian, Hungarian belongs to the Uralic language family. With 13 million speakers, it is the family's largest member by number of speakers.

Polish language West Slavic language spoken in Poland

Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.



Though the German name March may refer to Mark, "border, frontier" (cf. English march ), the river's name more probably is derived from Proto-Indo-European *mori, "waters" ( mare ). It was first documented as Maraha in an 892 deed.

Proto-Indo-European language proto-language (last common ancestor) of the Indo-European language family

Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the linguistic reconstruction of the common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, the most widely spoken language family in the world.


The shores of the Morava have been inhabited for a very long time. The village of Stillfried  [ de ], in the Austrian part of the river course, has been the place of a human settlement already 30,000 years ago. [1] Agriculture began to be practiced in the Morava valley approximately 7,000 years ago. Fortified settlements began to appear in the river valley during the New Stone Age. [1]

The Neolithic, the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first development of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world. The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago, marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development, although this term may not be used, until European contact.

The lower part of the river, downstream of the confluence with the Thaya at Hohenau an der March, which today marks the Austro-Slovakian border, is one of the oldest national boundaries still extant in continental Europe: it was the eastern boundary of the Carolingian Empire with the Avar Khaganate around 800 and from the 10th century onwards marked the border of the Imperial marcha orientalis , later Duchy of Austria with the Kingdom of Hungary (within the Habsburg Monarchy during 15261918 due to the imperial expansion of the Austrian lands). At the times of the Cold War, this section of the river was part of the Iron curtain, being the frontier between Austria and Czechoslovakia.

Hohenau an der March Place in Lower Austria, Austria

Hohenau an der March is a town in the district of Gänserndorf in the Austrian state of Lower Austria, close to Vienna and the borders with the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Carolingian Empire final stage in the history of the early medieval realm of the Franks, ruled by the Carolingian dynasty

The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large empire in western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of the Lombards of Italy from 774. In 800, the Frankish king Charlemagne was crowned emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III in an effort to revive the Roman Empire in the west during a vacancy in the throne of the eastern Roman Empire. After a civil war (840–43) following the death of Emperor Louis the Pious, the empire was divided into autonomous kingdoms, with one king still recognised as emperor, but with little authority outside his own kingdom. The unity of the empire and the hereditary right of the Carolingians continued to be acknowledged, preceding the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806.

1997 flooding

In July 1997, the Morava basin (especially its northern and eastern part) was affected by heavy stratiform raining, which lasted several days and caused catastrophic floods also on the Oder River basin in Poland and Germany. In the Czech Republic, 49 people lost their life, more than 250 villages had to be evacuated and the total damage cost 63 billion crowns.

Rain liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated

Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. It provides suitable conditions for many types of ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation.

1997 Central European flood July 1997 Oder River flood

The 1997 Central European flood or the 1997 Oder Flood of the Oder and Morava river basins in July 1997 affected Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic, taking the lives of about 114 people and causing material damages estimated at $4.5 billion. The flooding began in the Czech Republic, then spread to Poland and Germany. In Poland, where it was one of the most disastrous floods in the history of that country, it was named the Millennium Flood. The term was also used in Germany (Jahrtausendflut). The flood has also been referred to as the Great Flood of 1997.

Poland Republic in Central Europe

Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.

History of the river

Allegory figure of speech

As a literary device, an allegory is a metaphor in which a character, place or event is used to deliver a broader message about real-world issues and occurrences. Allegory has occurred widely throughout history in all forms of art, largely because it can readily illustrate or convey complex ideas and concepts in ways that are comprehensible or striking to its viewers, readers, or listeners.

Schloss Hof building in Lower Austria, Austria

Schloss Hof is a palace located in Austria near the border of Slovakia. It once belonged to Prince Eugene of Savoy who purchased it late in his life in 1726. He had it enlarged in the Baroque style by the architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt in 1729, and used it as an elaborate hunting lodge. He left it to a niece in his will, and it was later purchased by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria and became part of the imperial estates.

Uherské Hradiště Town in Czech Republic

Uherské Hradiště is a town in the Moravia, of the Czech Republic, located 23 km (14 mi) southwest of Zlín on the Morava River. It is the capital of the Uherské Hradiště District. The town itself has a population of 25,454. The agglomeration with the two neighbouring towns of Staré Město and Kunovice has over 38,000 people.


The river originates in the Králický Sněžník mountains in north-western Moravia, not far from the border with Poland. The lowlands formed by the river are the Upper Moravian Vale or Hornomoravský úval and then the Lower Moravian Vale or Dolnomoravský úval in Moravia, the Moravian Field or Marchfeld in Lower Austria, and the Záhorie Lowland or Záhorská nížina in Slovakia. The latter three are actually continuous parts of one large basin, forming the major part of the Vienna Basin.

In the Czech Republic, there are some larger towns lying upon Morava, particularly Olomouc, Kroměříž, Otrokovice, Uherské Hradiště and Hodonín. Brno, the second largest city of Czech Republic, lies within the river basin. [1] The catchment area of the river has a population of c. 3,5 million people. [1] Downstream from Hodonín, the river flows along sparsely inhabited, forested border area, all the way to its outfall into the Danube, just below the Devín Castle at the outskirts of the Slovak capital Bratislava. After 354 km of its course, Morava feeds the Danube by an average discharge rate of 120 m3/s, gathered from a drainage area of 26 658 km2.

The river's longest tributary by far is the Thaya (in German) or Dyje (in Czech), [1] flowing in at the tripoint of Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The biggest tributary from the left is Bečva .

The Morava is a lowland river with a basin that consists to 51 percent of plains; mountains make up only seven percent of the basin while 35 percent are considered highland. The average slope of the river is 1.8‰ and at the confluence 4‰. [1] The bedrock of the river basin is mostly crystalline bedrock and flysch. [1]

The Morava river is unusual in that it is a European blackwater river.

Course of the river


The Morava river forms an important link between the Danube Valley and the plains of northern Europe, for animals as well as, at least historically, for humans. Its weak slope across flat plains furthermore means that the river is prone to meander and flood, creating vast floodplains. Because of these reasons, the floodplains of the Morava river are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems in Europe. [1] Its richness in plant and animal species (some 12,000 species have been identified) ranks it second in diversity only to the Danube Delta. During the 20th century however, large tracts of the river, especially downstream from Litovel, have been regulated with the ensuing effect of loss of inundation areas (floodplains). Since the river basin is densely populated and, especially the Czech part, industrialised, the river also receives a lot of wastewater. Agriculture also contributes to spreading nitrogen and other nutrients into the river. Nevertheless, the central part of the river has retained much of its natural character and in later years conscious efforts have been made to protect the nature and ecosystem of the river basin. [1]

Ecology of the river

See also

Related Research Articles

Geography of the Czech Republic features of Czechia

The geography of the Czech Republic is quite varied. Bohemia, at the west part of Czech Republic, consists of a river basin, drained by the Elbe and Vltava rivers. It is surrounded by mostly low mountains such as the Sudetes with its part Krkonoše, containing the highest point in the country, the Sněžka at 1,603 metres (5,259 ft). Moravia, the eastern part, is also quite hilly and is drained predominantly by the Morava river, but also contains the source of the Oder river. Water from the landlocked Czech Republic flows to three different seas: the North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea. The Czech Republic also possesses Moldauhafen, a 30,000-square-metre (7.4-acre) enclave in the middle of Hamburg docks, which was awarded to Czechoslovakia by Article 363 of the Treaty of Versailles to allow the landlocked country a place where goods transported downriver could be transferred to seagoing ships; this territory reverts to Germany in 2028.

Moravia Historical land in Czech Republic

Moravia is a historical region in the Czech Republic and one of the historical Czech lands, together with Bohemia and Czech Silesia. The medieval and early modern Margraviate of Moravia was a crown land of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, an imperial state of the Holy Roman Empire, later a crown land of the Austrian Empire and briefly also one of 17 former crown lands of the Cisleithanian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918. During the early 20th century, Moravia was one of the five lands of Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1928; it was then merged with Czech Silesia, and eventually dissolved by abolition of the land system in 1949.

South Moravian Region Region in Czech Republic

The South Moravian Region is an administrative unit of the Czech Republic, located in the south-western part of its historical region of Moravia. Its capital is Brno, the 2nd largest city in the Czech Republic. The region has 1,169,000 inhabitants and the total area of 7,196.5 km². It is bordered by the South Bohemian Region (west), Vysočina Region (north-west), Pardubice Region (north), Olomouc Region, Zlín Region (east), Trenčín and Trnava Regions, Slovakia and Lower Austria, Austria (south).

Pardubice Region Region in Czech Republic

Pardubice Region is an administrative unit of the Czech Republic, located mainly in the eastern part of its historical region of Bohemia, with a small part in northwestern Moravia. It is named after its capital Pardubice. As an administrative unit, Pardubice Region has existed three times in the course of history. It was established for the first time in 1850, and extended from Český Brod to the Bohemian-Moravian border. In its second existence, it was one of 19 regions as they were set between 1949 and 1960. After 1960, Pardubice became the capital of Pardubice district, which was part of the Eastern Bohemian Region. The Pardubice Region, as it is now, was reestablished in 2000.

Zlín Region Region in Czech Republic

Zlín Region is an administrative unit of the Czech Republic, located in the south-eastern part of the historical region of Moravia. It is named after its capital Zlín. Together with the Olomouc Region it forms a cohesion area of Central Moravia. It is located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic, where the borders with Slovakia are formed by its eastern edge. It borders the South Moravian Region in the southwest, the Olomouc Region in the northwest and the Moravian-Silesian Region in the north. Culturally, the region is composed of parts of three traditional Moravian regions: Hanakia, the Moravian Slovakia and the Moravian Wallachia, as the city of Zlín lies roughly at their tripoint.

Outer Subcarpathia

Outer Subcarpathia denotes the depression area at the outer base of the Carpathian arc, including foothills of the Outer Western Carpathians and Outer Eastern Carpathians. It stretches from northeastern Austria, trough eastern Czech Republic, southern Poland, western Ukraine and northeastern Romania.

Thaya river in Central Europe

The Thaya is a river in Central Europe, the longest tributary to the Morava River. It is 224 km (139 mi) long and meanders from west to east in the border area between Lower Austria (Austria) and South Moravia, though the frontier does not exactly follow the river's course in most parts. Its source is in two smaller rivers, namely the German Thaya and the Moravian Thaya, flowing together at Raabs.

Moravian Slovakia

Moravian Slovakia or Slovácko is a cultural region in the southeastern part of the Czech Republic, Moravia on the border with Slovakia and Austria, known for its characteristic folklore, music, wine, costumes and traditions. The area forms part of both the Zlín and South Moravian administrative regions.

Králický Sněžník mountain

Králický Sněžník or Śnieżnik Kłodzki is a mountain in Eastern Bohemia, located on the border between the Czech Republic and Poland. The name Sněžník or Śnieżnik derives from the word for "snow"; the mountain has snow cover for up to eight months a year. In Czech the adjective Králický is added to distinguish it from the mountain called Děčínský Sněžník. An alternative Polish name is Śnieżnik Kłodzki, from the town of Kłodzko. In German the mountain is known as Glatzer Schneeberg, Grulicher Schneeberg, or Spieglitzer Schneeberg.

Mikulov Highlands mountain range

The Mikulov Highlands is a mountain range in South Moravia, Czech Republic. The Highlands, together with the Waschberg Zone and Lower Austria Inselberg threshold, form the South-Moravian Carpathians.

Vienna Basin

The Vienna Basin is a geologically young tectonic burial basin and sedimentary basin in the seam area between the Alps, the Carpathians and the Pannonian Plain. Although it topographically separates the Alps from the Western Carpathians, it connects them geologically via corresponding rocks underground.

South-Moravian Carpathians

The South-Moravian Carpathians, also called Austrian - South-Moravian Carpathians are a mountain range of the Outer Western Carpathians along the border of the Czech Republic and Austria.

Margraviate of Moravia

The Margraviate of Moravia was one of the lands of the Bohemian Crown existing from 1182 to 1918. It was officially administrated by a margrave in cooperation with a provincial diet. It was variously a de facto independent state, and also subject to the Duchy, later the Kingdom of Bohemia. It comprised the region called Moravia within the modern Czech Republic.

Vyškov Gate

The Vyškov Gate is a geomorphological feature in the Moravia. It is formed by the depression between the Western Carpathian Mountains in the east and the Bohemian massif in the west. The drainage divide between the upper River Haná to the River Morava of the Danube basin runs through it and Rakovec brook. The gate is between the Upper Morava Vale and the Dyje-Svratka Vale, all in Outer Subcarpathian depression.

Brno Highlands mountain range

The Brno Highlands is a mountain range in Moravia, Czech Republic. The Highlands, together with the Jevišovice Highlands threshold, form the South-Moravian part of Moldanubian Zone - east south part of Bohemian Massif.

Dyje–Svratka Valley valley in South Moravian Region, Czech Republic

The Dyje–Svratka Valley is a geomorphological feature in Moravia. The highest prominence over the Dyje–Svratka Valley is Děvín Peak at 549 metres (1,801 ft).

Lower Morava Valley

The Lower Morava Valley is a geomorphological formation in the Moravia. It is formed by the depression in the western Carpathian Mountains in the west and Bílé Karpaty and Chvojnice hills in the east. The drainage to the River Morava of the Danube basin runs finally to the Black Sea.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Tockner, Klement; Uehlinger, Urs; Robinson, Christopher T. (2009). Rivers of Europe. Academic Press. pp. 86–88. ISBN   9780080919089.