|• location||Fidlův kopec, Oderské vrchy, Olomouc Region, Czech Republic|
|• elevation||634 m (2,080 ft)|
|Baltic Sea, Poland|
|Length||840 km (520 mi)|
|Basin size||119,074 km2 (45,975 sq mi)|
|• average||567 m3/s (20,000 cu ft/s)|
The Oder ( // OH-dər, German: [ˈoːdɐ] ( listen ); Czech, Lower Sorbian and Polish : Odra [ˈɔdra] ; Upper Sorbian : Wódra [wʊt.rɑ] ) is a river in Central Europe. It is Poland's second-longest river in total length and third-longest within its borders after the Vistula and Warta. The Oder rises in the Czech Republic and flows 742 kilometres (461 mi) through western Poland, later forming 187 kilometres (116 mi) of the border between Poland and Germany as part of the Oder–Neisse line. The river ultimately flows into the Szczecin Lagoon north of Szczecin and then into three branches (the Dziwna, Świna and Peene) that empty into the Bay of Pomerania of the Baltic Sea.
The Oder is known by several names in different languages, but the modern ones are very similar: English and German: Oder; Czech, Polish, and Lower Sorbian : Odra, Upper Sorbian : Wódra; Kashubian : Òdra (pronounced [ˈwɛdra] ); Medieval Latin: Od(d)era; Renaissance Latin: Viadrus (invented in 1534).
Ptolemy knew the modern Oder as the Συήβος (Suebos; Latin Suevus), a name apparently derived from the Suebi, a Germanic people. While he also refers to an outlet in the area as the Οὐιαδούα Ouiadoua (or Οὐιλδούα Ouildoua; Latin Viadua or Vildua), this was apparently the modern Wieprza, as it was said to be a third of the distance between the Suebos and Vistula.The name Suebos may be preserved in the modern name of the Świna river (German Swine), an outlet from the Szczecin Lagoon to the Baltic.
The Oder is 840 kilometres (522 miles) long: 112 km (70 miles) in the Czech Republic, 726 km (451 miles) in Poland (including 187 km (116 miles) on the border between Germany and Poland) and is the third longest river located within Poland (after the Vistula and Warta), however, second longest river overall taking into account its total length, including parts in neighbouring countries.
The Oder drains a basin of 119,074 square kilometres (45,975 sq mi), 106,043 km2 (40,943 sq mi) of which are in Poland (89%), 7,246 km2 (2,798 sq mi) in the Czech Republic (6%), and 5,587 km2 (2,157 sq mi) in Germany (5%). Channels connect it to the Havel, Spree, Vistula system and Kłodnica. It flows through Silesian, Opole, Lower Silesian, Lubusz, and West Pomeranian voivodeships of Poland and the states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany.
The main branch empties into the Szczecin Lagoon near Police, Poland. The Szczecin Lagoon is bordered on the north by the islands of Usedom (west) and Wolin (east). Between these two islands, there is only a narrow channel (Świna) going to the Bay of Pomerania, which forms a part of the Baltic Sea.
The largest city on the Oder is Wrocław, in Lower Silesia.[ citation needed ]
The Oder is navigable over a large part of its total length, as far upstream as the town of Koźle, where the river connects to the Gliwice Canal. The upstream part of the river is canalized and permits larger barges (up to CEMT Class IV) to navigate between the industrial sites around the Wrocław area.
Further downstream the river is free-flowing, passing the towns of Eisenhüttenstadt (where the Oder–Spree Canal connects the river to the Spree in Berlin) and Frankfurt upon the Oder. Downstream of Frankfurt the river Warta forms a navigable connection with Poznań and Bydgoszcz for smaller vessels. At Hohensaaten the Oder–Havel Canal connects with the Berlin waterways again.
Near its mouth the Oder reaches the city of Szczecin, a major maritime port. The river finally reaches the Baltic Sea through the Szczecin Lagoon and the river mouth at Świnoujście.
Under Germania Magna, the river was known to the Romans as the Viadrus or Viadua in Classical Latin, as it was a branch of the Amber Road from the Baltic Sea to the Roman Empire. In Germanic languages, including English, it was and still is called the Oder, written in medieval Latin documents as Odera or Oddera. Most notably, it was mentioned in the Dagome iudex, which described territory of the Duchy of Poland under Duke Mieszko I in A.D. 990, as a part of Poland's western frontier, however, in most sections the border ran west of the river.
Before Slavs settled along its banks, the Oder was an important trade route, and towns in Germania were documented along with many tribes living between the rivers Albis (Elbe), Oder, and Vistula. Centuries later, after Germanic tribes, the Bavarian Geographer (ca. 845) specified the following West Slavic peoples: Sleenzane, Dadosesani, Opolanie, Lupiglaa, and Golensizi in Silesia and Wolinians with Pyrzycans in Western Pomerania. A document of the Bishopric of Prague (1086) mentions Zlasane, Trebovyane, Poborane, and Dedositze in Silesia.
In the 10th century, almost the entire course of the Oder River found itself within the borders of the newly formed Polish state, with the exception of the area around the source of the river, which was under Bohemian rule. Several important cities of medieval Poland developed along the Oder, including Opole which became the capital of Upper Silesia, Wrocław which became the capital of Lower Silesia and one of the main cities of the entire Kingdom of Poland (Latin: sedes regni principales), and Lubusz (now Lebus) which became the capital of the Lubusz Land, nicknamed "the key to the Kingdom of Poland" in medieval chronicles. Wrocław and Lubusz became seats of some of the oldest Catholic bishoprics of Poland, founded in 1000 (Wrocław) and 1125 (Lubusz). Located near the mouth of the river, Szczecin became one of the main cities and ports of the Pomerania region and the entire southern coast of the Baltic Sea.
From the 13th century on, the Oder valley was central to German Ostsiedlung, making the towns on its banks German-speaking over the following centuries.Over time, control over parts of the river was taken from Poland by other countries, including the Margraviate of Brandenburg and the Kingdom of Bohemia, and later also by Hungary, Sweden, Prussia and Germany.
The Finow Canal, first built in 1605, connects the Oder and Havel. After completion of the more straight Oder–Havel Canal in 1914, its economic relevance decreased.
The earliest important undertaking to modify the river to improve navigation was initiated by Frederick the Great, who recommended diverting the river into a new and straight channel in the swampy tract known as Oderbruch near Küstrin (Kostrzyn nad Odrą). The work was carried out in the years 1746–53, a large tract of marshland being brought under cultivation, a considerable detour cut off and the mainstream successfully confined to a canal.
In the late 19th century, three additional alterations were made to the waterway:
By the Treaty of Versailles, navigation on the Oder became subject to International Commission of the Oder.Following the articles 363 and 364 of the Treaty Czechoslovakia was entitled to lease in Stettin (now Szczecin) its own section in the harbor, then called Tschechoslowakische Zone im Hafen Stettin. The contract of lease between Czechoslovakia and Germany, and supervised by the United Kingdom, was signed on 16 February 1929, and would end in 2028, however, after 1945 Czechoslovakia did not regain this legal position, de facto abolished in 1938–39.
At the 1943 Tehran Conference the Allies decided that the new eastern border of Germany would run along the Oder.After World War II, the former German areas east of the Oder and the Lusatian Neisse passed to Poland by decision of the victorious Allies at the Potsdam Conference (at the insistence of the Soviets). As a result, the so-called Oder–Neisse line formed the border between the Soviet occupation zone (from 1949 East Germany) and Poland. The final border between Germany and Poland was to be determined at a future peace conference. A part of the German population east of these two rivers was evacuated by the Nazis during the war or fled from the approaching Red Army. After the war, the remaining 8 million Germans were expelled from these territories by the Polish and Soviet administrations. East Germany confirmed the border with Poland under Soviet pressure in the Treaty of Zgorzelec in 1950. West Germany, after a period of refusal, confirmed the inviolability of the border in 1970 in the Treaty of Warsaw. In 1990 newly reunified Germany and the Republic of Poland signed a treaty recognizing the Oder–Neisse line as their border.
On 11 August 2022, it was discovered that the Oder river had been contaminated and at least 135 tonnes of dead fish washed up on its shores.Water samples taken on 28 July indicated possible mesitylene contamination, although the toxin was not present in samples taken after 1 August.
east: Dziwna (German: Dievenow) branch (between Wolin Island and mainland Poland):
middle: Świna (German: Swine) branch (between Wolin and Usedom islands):
west: Peenestrom (Peene) (Polish: Piana) branch (between Usedom Island and mainland Germany):
Pomerania is a historical region on the southern shore of the Baltic Sea in Central Europe, split between Poland and Germany. The western part of Pomerania belongs to the German states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Brandenburg, while the eastern part belongs to the West Pomeranian, Pomeranian and Kuyavian-Pomeranian voivodeships of Poland. Its historical border in the west is the Mecklenburg-Western Pomeranian border valley, which now constitutes the border between the Mecklenburgian and Pomeranian part of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, while it is bounded by the Vistula River in the east. The easternmost part of Pomerania is alternatively known as Pomerelia, consisting of four sub-regions: Kashubia inhabited by ethnic Kashubians, Kociewie, Tuchola Forest and Chełmno Land.
Wolin is the name both of a Polish island in the Baltic Sea, just off the Polish coast, and a town on that island. Administratively, the island belongs to the West Pomeranian Voivodeship. Wolin is separated from the island of Usedom (Uznam) by the Strait of Świna, and from mainland Pomerania by the Strait of Dziwna. The island has an area of 265 km2 (102 sq mi) and its highest point is Mount Grzywacz at 116 m above sea level. The number of inhabitants is 30,000.
The river Warta rises in central Poland and meanders greatly north-west to flow into the Oder, against the German border. About 808.2 kilometres (502.2 mi) long, it is Poland's second-longest river within its borders after the Vistula, and third-longest including the Oder, that flows also across Czech Republic and Germany. Its drainage basin covers 54,529 square kilometers (21,054 sq mi) and it is navigable from Kostrzyn nad Odrą to Konin, approximately half of its length. It is connected to the Vistula by the Noteć and the Bydgoszcz Canal near the city of Bydgoszcz.
Usedom is a Baltic Sea island in Pomerania, divided between Germany and Poland. It is the second largest Pomeranian island after Rügen, and the most populous island in the Baltic Sea.
The West Pomeranian Voivodeship, also known as the West Pomerania Province, is a voivodeship (province) in northwestern Poland. Its capital and largest city is Szczecin. Its area equals 22 892.48 km², and in 2021, it was inhabited by 1 682 003 people.
Świnoujście is a city in Western Pomerania and seaport on the Baltic Sea and Szczecin Lagoon, located in the extreme north-west of Poland. Situated mainly on the islands of Usedom and Wolin, it also occupies smaller islands. The largest is Karsibór island, once part of Usedom, now separated by the Piast Canal, formerly the Kaiserfahrt, dug in the late 19th century to facilitate ship access to Szczecin.
Noteć is a river in central Poland with a length of 391 km (243 mi) and a basin area of 17,302 km2 (6,680 sq mi). It is the largest tributary of the Warta river and lies completely within Poland.
The Świna is a channel in northwest Poland, between 2 and 4 km from the German border. It flows from Szczecin Lagoon to the Baltic Sea between the islands of Uznam and Wolin. It is a part of the Oder estuary, and carries about 75% of that river's waterflow. It has a length of about 16 km. Świnoujście is a major town on the channel.
The Bay of Pomerania is a basin in the southwestern Baltic Sea, off the Pomeranian shores of Poland and Germany. It stretches between the northernmost tip of the island of Rugia called Gellort northwest of Cape Arkona in the west, and the Gąski Lighthouse east of Kołobrzeg in the east. In the south, it is bounded by the islands of Usedom/Uznam and Wolin, which separate it from the Szczecin Lagoon which is flown through by the Oder River, and is connected to the bay by three straits, the Dziwna, Świna, and Peenestrom.
Szczecin Lagoon is a lagoon in the Oder estuary, shared by Germany and Poland. It is separated from the Pomeranian Bay of the Baltic Sea by the islands of Usedom and Wolin. The lagoon is subdivided into the Kleines Haff in the West and the Wielki Zalew in the East. An ambiguous historical German name was Frisches Haff, which later exclusively referred to the Vistula Lagoon.
West Oder is the western arm of the lower Oder near Szczecin, Poland along the border with Germany. It flows into the Oder Lagoon.
Lower Silesia is the northwestern part of the historical and geographical region of Silesia; Upper Silesia is to the southeast.
Kostrzyn nad Odrą is a town in Gorzów County, Lubusz Voivodeship in western Poland, close to the border with Germany.
Karsibór is an island in the Szczecin Lagoon, Poland, which was created by the cutting of the Piast Canal which separated it from the island of Usedom. The island was named after its largest village.
Poland is a country that extends across the North European Plain from the Sudetes and Carpathian Mountains in the south to the sandy beaches of the Baltic Sea in the north. Poland is the fifth-most populous country of the European Union and the ninth-largest country in Europe by area. The territory of Poland covers approximately 312,696 km2 (120,733 sq mi), of which 98.52% is land and 1.48% is water. The Polish coastline was estimated at 770 km (478 mi) in length. Poland's highest point is Mount Rysy, at 2,501 m (8,205 ft).
The Germany–Poland border, the state border between Poland and Germany, is currently the Oder–Neisse line. It has a total length of 467 km (290 mi) and has been in place since 1945. It stretches from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Czech Republic in the south.
The Medal for Oder, Neisse and Baltic was a Polish commemorative medal awarded by the Polish People's Republic to commemorate those who directly participated in combat against the Nazi Germany for the liberation of Poland and the restoration of its old boundaries on the rivers the Oder, the Neisse and the coast of Baltic Sea.
The Świnoujście Tunnel is a tunnel under construction beneath the river Świna in Świnoujście, Poland, connecting the islands of Usedom and Wolin, and the city centre of Świnoujście with the rest of the country. The planned opening date of the tunnel is 17 September 2022.
During the summer of 2022, a mass mortality event involving fish, beavers, clams, crayfish and other wildlife occurred in the Oder river.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Oder". Encyclopædia Britannica . Vol. 20 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 2–3.