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The Scheldt in Antwerp
Course of the Scheldt
|Native name||French: l'Escaut (m), Walloon: Escô, Dutch: Schelde|
|Country||France, Belgium, Netherlands|
|⁃ elevation||97 m (318 ft)|
|Length||360 km (220 mi)|
|Basin size||21,863 km2 (8,441 sq mi)|
|⁃ average||120 m3/s (4,200 cu ft/s)|
|Official name||Schorren van de Beneden Schelde|
|Designated||4 March 1986|
|Official name||Westerschelde & Saeftinghe|
|Designated||9 April 1995|
|Official name||Vallées de la Scarpe et de l'Escaut|
|Designated||2 February 2020|
The Scheldt ( // , French : Escaut [ɛsko] , Walloon : Escô, Dutch : Schelde [ˈsxɛldə] ) is a 350-kilometre (220 mi) long river in northern France, western Belgium, and the southwestern part of the Netherlands. Its name is derived from an adjective corresponding to Old English sceald ("shallow"), Modern English shoal, Low German schol, West Frisian skol, and Swedish (obsolete) skäll ("thin").[ citation needed ]
The headwaters of the Scheldt are in Gouy, in the Aisne department of northern France. It flows north through Cambrai and Valenciennes, and enters Belgium near Tournai. In Ghent, where it receives the Lys, one of its main tributaries, the Scheldt turns east. Near Antwerp, the largest city on its banks, the Scheldt flows west into the Netherlands towards the North Sea.[ citation needed ]
Originally there were two branches from that point: the Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt); and the Westerschelde (Western Scheldt). In the 19th century, however, the river was cut off from its eastern (actually: northern) branch by a dyke that connects Zuid-Beveland with the mainland (North Brabant). Today the river therefore continues into the Westerschelde estuary only, passing Terneuzen to reach the North Sea between Breskens in Zeelandic Flanders and Vlissingen (Flushing) on Walcheren.[ citation needed ]
The Scheldt is an important waterway, and has been made navigable from its mouth up to Cambrai. Above Cambrai, the Canal de Saint-Quentin follows its course. The port of Antwerp, the second largest in Europe, lies on its banks. Several canals (including the Albert Canal) connect the Scheldt with the basins of the Rhine, Meuse and Seine, and with the industrial areas around Brussels, Liège, Lille, Dunkirk, and Mons.[ citation needed ]
The Scheldt flows through the following departments of France, provinces of Belgium, provinces of the Netherlands, and towns:[ citation needed ]
The Scheldt estuary has always had considerable commercial and strategic importance. In Roman times, it was important for the shipping lanes to Roman Britain. Nehalennia was venerated at its mouth. The Franks took control over the region about the year 260 and at first interfered with the Roman supply routes as pirates. Later they became allies of the Romans. With the various divisions of the Frankish Empire in the 9th century, the Scheldt eventually became the border between the Western and Eastern parts of the Empire, which later became France and the Holy Roman Empire.[ citation needed ]
This status quo remained intact, at least on paper, until 1528, but by then, both the County of Flanders on the western bank and Zeeland and the Duchy of Brabant on the east were part of the Habsburg possessions of the Seventeen Provinces. Antwerp was the most prominent harbour in Western Europe. After this city fell back under Spanish control in 1585, the Dutch Republic took control of Zeelandic Flanders, a strip of land on the left bank, and closed the Scheldt for shipping. That shifted the trade to the ports of Amsterdam and Middelburg and seriously crippled Antwerp, an important and traumatic element in the history of relations between the Netherlands and what was to become Belgium.[ citation needed ]
Access to the river was the subject of the brief Kettle War of 1784, and during the French Revolution shortly afterwards, the river was reopened in 1792. Once Belgium had claimed its independence from the Netherlands in 1830, the treaty of the Scheldt determined that the river should remain accessible to ships heading for Belgian ports. Nevertheless, the Dutch government would demand a toll from passing vessels until 16 July 1863.[ citation needed ]
The Question of the Scheldt, a study providing "a history of the international legal arrangements governing the Western Scheldt", was prepared for the use of British negotiators at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
In the Second World War, the Scheldt estuary once again became a contested area. Despite Allied control of Antwerp, German forces still occupied fortified positions in September 1944 throughout the Scheldt estuary west and north, preventing any Allied shipping from reaching the port. In the Battle of the Scheldt, the Canadian First Army successfully cleared the area, allowing supply convoys direct access to the port of Antwerp by November 1944.
Canalisation from Cambrai down to Valenciennes was completed in 1788. Napoleon saw the benefits of linking Paris to Belgium and accelerated completion of the Canal de Saint-Quentin to the south. The locks were deepened and doubled, as coal became the essential commodity of the industrial revolution. Upgrading downstream from Bouchain was started in the 1960s in both France and Flanders, but the waterway is still not fully compliant with European standards. All the locks on the high-capacity section are being doubled by European Class Vb size locks, 185 by 12 metres (607 by 39 ft), as part of the overall European Seine-Scheldt waterway project. The Pont des Trous, a listed fortified bridge in Tournai that has already been substantially modified, will again be raised to provide the necessary dimensions, including an air draught of 7.10 metres (23.3 ft).[ citation needed ]
The 13 km section between Cambrai (connection with Canal de Saint-Quentin) and Hordain (connection with Canal de la Sensée) is only navigable for small ships (péniche) and has 5 locks.
Traditions says that Saint Amalberga of Temse crossed the river in Temse on the back of a big Sturgeon.[ citation needed ]
Zeeland is the westernmost and least populous province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, borders North Brabant to the east and South Holland to the north, consists of a number of islands and peninsulas and a strip bordering the Flemish provinces of East and West Flanders. Its capital is Middelburg with a population of 48,544 as of November 2019, the largest municipality in Zeeland is Terneuzen Zeeland has two seaports; in Vlissingen and Terneuzen. Its area is 2,934 square kilometres (1,130 sq mi), of which 1,151 square kilometres (440 sq mi) is water, and it has a population of 383,689 as of November 2019.
Antwerp Province is the northernmost province both of the Flemish Region, also called Flanders, and of Belgium. It borders on North Brabant province of the Netherlands and the Belgian provinces of Limburg, Flemish Brabant and East Flanders. Its capital is Antwerp which comprises the Port of Antwerp, which is the second largest seaport in Europe. It has an area of 2,876 km2 (1,110 sq mi) and with over 1.85 million inhabitants as of January 2019, it is the country's most populous province. The province consists of 3 arrondissements: Antwerp, Mechelen and Turnhout. The eastern part of the province comprises the main part of the Campine region.
The Western Scheldt in the province of Zeeland in the southwestern Netherlands, is the estuary of the Scheldt river. This river once had several estuaries, but the others are now disconnected from the Scheldt, leaving the Westerschelde as its only direct route to the sea. The Western Scheldt is an important shipping route to the Port of Antwerp, Belgium. Unlike the Eastern Scheldt estuary, it could not be closed off from the sea by a dam as part of the Delta Works. Instead, the dykes around it have been heightened and reinforced.
Zuid-Beveland is part of the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands north of the Western Scheldt and south of the Eastern Scheldt.
The Scheldt–Rhine Canal (Schelde-Rijnkanaal) in Belgium and the Netherlands connects Antwerp with the Volkerak, and thereby the Scheldt with the Rhine.
Vlissingen is a municipality and a city in the southwestern Netherlands on the former island of Walcheren. With its strategic location between the Scheldt river and the North Sea, Vlissingen has been an important harbour for centuries. It was granted city rights in 1315. In the 17th century Vlissingen was a main harbour for ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). It is also known as the birthplace of Admiral Michiel de Ruyter.
The Siege of Antwerp was an engagement between the German and the Belgian, British and French armies around the fortified city of Antwerp during World War I. German troops besieged a garrison of Belgian fortress troops, the Belgian field army and the British Royal Naval Division in the Antwerp area, after the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914. The city, which was ringed by forts known as the National Redoubt, was besieged to the south and east by German forces. The Belgian forces in Antwerp conducted three sorties in late September and early October, which interrupted German plans to send troops to France, where reinforcements were needed to counter the French armies and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).
The Lys or Leie is a river in France and Belgium, and a left-bank tributary of the Scheldt. Its source is in Pas-de-Calais, France, and it flows into the river Scheldt in Ghent, Belgium. Its total length is 202 kilometres (126 mi).
The Dyle is a river in central Belgium, left tributary of the Rupel. It is 86 kilometres (53 mi) long. It flows through the Belgian provinces of Walloon Brabant, Flemish Brabant and Antwerp. Its source is in Houtain-le-Val, near Nivelles in Walloon Brabant.
Escaut was a department of the French First Republic and French First Empire in present-day Belgium and Netherlands. It was named after the river Scheldt, which is called the Escaut in French. It was created on 1 October 1795, when the Austrian Netherlands and the Prince-Bishopric of Liège were officially annexed by the French Republic. Before the reunion with France, its territory was part of the County of Flanders and the Dutch Republic (Staats-Vlaanderen).
Bouches-de-l'Escaut was a department of the First French Empire in the present-day Netherlands. It was formed in 1810, when the Kingdom of Holland was annexed by France. Its territory corresponded with the present-day Dutch province of Zeeland, minus Zeelandic Flanders, which was part of the department of Escaut. Its capital was Middelburg.
The Nete is a river in northern Belgium, right tributary of the Rupel. It flows through the Belgian province of Antwerp. It is formed in Lier, at the confluence of the rivers Grote Nete and Kleine Nete. It flows through Duffel and joins the river Dijle in Rumst to form the river Rupel. It drains nearly 60% of Antwerp province.
The Port of Antwerp is the port of the City of Antwerp. It is located in Flanders (Belgium), mainly in the province of Antwerp but also partially in the province of East Flanders. It is a seaport in the heart of Europe accessible to capesize ships. It is Europe’s second-largest seaport, after Rotterdam. Antwerp stands at the upper end of the tidal estuary of the Scheldt. The estuary is navigable by ships of more than 100,000 Gross Tons as far as 80 km inland. Like Hamburg, the Port of Antwerp's inland location provides a more central location in Europe than the majority of North Sea ports. Antwerp's docks are connected to the hinterland by rail, road, and river and canal waterways. As a result, the port of Antwerp has become one of Europe's largest seaports, ranking second behind Rotterdam by total freight shipped. Its international rankings vary from 11th to 20th (AAPA). In 2012, the Port of Antwerp handled 14,220 sea trade ships, 57,044 inland barges, and offered liner services to 800 different maritime destinations.
The Scheldeprijs is a cycling race in Belgium and the Netherlands which starts in Terneuzen, crosses the Scheldt River, and finishes in Schoten. Until 2018 it was held entirely in Belgium. The event, ranked as a 1.HC race on the UCI Europe Tour, features mostly sprinters on its roll of honour, as it is held on all-flat roads over roughly 200 kilometres.
Condé-sur-l'Escaut is a commune of the Nord department in northern France.
The Seine–Nord Europe Canal is a projected high-capacity canal in France that would link the Oise River at Compiègne with the Canal Dunkerque-Escaut, east of Arleux. The objective is to expand trade flows in a fuel-efficient and ecologically friendly manner between the Seine basin and Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, while reducing saturation on the A1 motorway in France and reducing the CO2 emissions in the transport sector within this corridor.
Jozef Schils was a Belgian cyclist.
The Temse Bridge crosses the Scheldt at Temse, a small town approximately 25 km southwest of Antwerp. Between 1955 and 2009 the 365 m (1,197.5 ft) bridge was the longest in Belgium. The old bridge lost that distinction to the New Schelde Bridge which runs parallel to it, and has a length of 374 m (1,227.0 ft).
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