The Drava or Drave (German: Drau [ˈdʁaʊ]; Slovene: Drava [ˈdɾàːʋa]; Croatian: Drava [drǎːʋa]; Hungarian: Dráva [ˈdraːvɒ]) is a river in southern Central Europe. With a length of 710 kilometres (440 mi), 724 kilometres (450 mi) including the Sextner Bach source, it is the fifth or sixth longest tributary of the Danube, after the Tisza, Sava, Prut, Mureș and perhaps Siret. Its source is near the market town of Innichen (San Candido), in the Puster Valley of South Tyrol, Italy. The river flows eastwards through East Tirol and Carinthia in Austria into the Styria region of Slovenia. It then turns southeast, passing through Croatia and, after merging with its main tributary Mur, forms most of the border between Croatia and Hungary, before it joins the Danube near Osijek.
In ancient times the river was known as Latin: Dravus, cf. Sanskrit: द्रवति, dravati, "flow". The name is most likely of Celtic or Illyrian origin (see Old European hydronymy). The river gives its name to the dravite species of tourmaline.
The Drava (along with one of its tributaries, the Slizza) and the Spöl are the only two rivers originating in Italy that belong to the Danube drainage basin. Its main left tributaries (from the north) are the Isel (contributes 39 m³/s), the Möll (25 m³/s), the Lieser (22 m³/s), the Gurk (30 m³/s) and the Lavant (12 m³/s) in Austria, and the Mur (166 m³/s) near Legrad at the Croatian-Hungarian border. Its main right tributaries (from the south) are the Gail (45 m³/s) in Austria, the Meža (12 m³/s) and Dravinja (11 m³/s) in Slovenia, and the Bednja (? m³/s) in Croatia.
|Country||Length (km)||Catchment area (km²)||Mean flow (m³/s)|
Mean discharge is for the last station in the country mentioned in the source.
The Drava sources are located at the drainage divide between the market town of Innichen and neighbouring Toblach (Dobbiaco) in the west, where the Rienz River rises, a tributary of the Adige (Etsch). At Innichen itself the 16+ km Sextner Bach, originating near the Sextener Rotwand, joins the ~2 km long source creek. The river than flows eastwards and after 8 kilometres crosses into East Tyrol in Austria. At Lienz it flows into the Isel, sourced from the glaciers of the Venediger and Glockner Groups. The Isel (average discharge 39 m³/s) is almost three times larger than the Drava (14 m³/s) where they meet and, starting from the source of its tributary Schwarzach under the Rötspitze, the Isel (ca. 64 km) is also longer than the combined Drava and Sextner Bach (ca. 60 km) to that point.
The river then flows east into Carinthia at Oberdrauburg. The river separates the Kreuzeck range of the High Tauern in the north and the Gailtal Alps in the south, passes the Sachsenburg narrows and the site of the ancient city of Teurnia, before it reaches the town of Spittal an der Drau. Downstream of Villach, it runs along the northern slopes of the Karawanks to Ferlach and Lavamünd.
The Drava passes into Slovenia at Dravograd, from where it runs for 142 kilometres (88 mi) via Vuzenica, Muta, Ruše, and Maribor to Ptuj and the border with Croatia at Ormož. The river then passes Varaždin, Belišće and Osijek in Croatia, and Barcs in Hungary. It is navigable for about 90 kilometres (56 mi) from Čađavica in Croatia to its mouth.
Currently, there are 22 hydroelectric power plants on the Drava. The power plants are listed beginning at the headwaters:
|Dam||Nameplate capacity (MW)||Annual generation (Mio. kwh)|
|Villach Hydroelectric Power Plant (page does not exist)">Villach||25||100|
|Lavamünd Hydroelectric Power Plant (page does not exist)">Lavamünd||28||156|
|Dravograd Hydroelectric Power Plant">Dravograd||26.2||142|
|Vuzenica Hydroelectric Power Plant (page does not exist)">Vuzenica||55.6||247|
|Varaždin Hydroelectric Power Plant">Varaždin||86||476|
The Drava River is one of the most energetically exploited rivers in the world, whereas almost 100% of its water potential energy is exploited. As the region of the river is a place of exceptional biodiversity, this raises several ecological concerns, together with other kids of exploitation such as use of river deposits.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Drava.|