Spree (German: [ˈʃpʁeː] ( listen); Sorbian:
Sprjewja, Czech: Spréva) is a river that flows through the Saxony,
Berlin states of Germany, and in the Ústí nad Labem
region of the Czech Republic. Approximately 400 kilometres
(250 mi) in length, it is a left bank tributary of the River
Havel, which itself flows into the
Elbe and then the North Sea. It is
the river on which the original centre of
Berlin was built.
The reach of the river between the
Müggelsee to the
Berlin is known as the Müggelspree
( listen (help·info)).
7 External links
River with its natural and artificial affluents and
branches. in addition the canals joining the
The source of the
Spree is located in Neugersdorf, Germany, in the
Lusatian Highlands (Lausitzer Bergland) near the Czech border. It runs
on the border for a short distance at two points (near Ebersbach and
Oppach) before leaving the hills and passing through the old city of
Bautzen/Budyšin, the center of the
Sorbs in Upper Lusatia. Just to
the north of
Bautzen the river flows through the
Further north the river passes through the city of
Spremberg and the
Spremberg Reservoir before reaching the city of Cottbus. To the north
Cottbus the river enters the Spreewald, a large wetlands area in
Lower Lusatia.
Spreewald the river passes through the towns of Lübbenau,
Lübben and Leibsch. Just below Leibsch, the Dahme Flood Relief Canal
diverts water from the
Spree to run into the
River Dahme at Märkisch
Spree continues north from
Leibsch before flowing into
the Neuendorfer See at the northern edge of the Spreewald. From the
Neundorfer See it then flows in an easterly direction to the
Schwielochsee, and then in a northerly and westerly direction to the
town of Fürstenwalde. From
Fürstenwalde the river continues to flow
westwards, through the
Dämeritzsee and Müggelsee, to
the southeastern part of Berlin, where it is joined by its tributary,
The final reach of the
Spree is where it is best known. It flows
through the city centre of
Berlin to join the
Havel in Spandau,
one of Berlin’s western boroughs, which itself ultimately merges
Elbe to enter the sea in Cuxhaven, after flowing through
Hamburg. On its route through Berlin, the river passes Berlin
Cathedral (Berliner Dom), the Reichstag and the Schloss
Charlottenburg. The renowned
Museum Island (Museumsinsel), with its
collection of five major museums, is actually an island in the Spree.
Badeschiff is a floating swimming pool moored in the Spree.
Small craft, such as punts, are widely used in wetlands of the
Spreewald. Larger craft can reach as far upstream as Leibsch, although
the upper reaches are relatively shallow and are generally only used
by leisure craft. Some intermediate reaches are unnavigable and
by-passed by canals.
For a stretch of about 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of and flowing
through Fürstenwalde, the river forms part of the
On this reach, and on the reach west of the confluence with the River
Dahme at Köpenick, the river forms part of secondary commercially
Berlin and the
Oder and hence Poland. The canal
diverges from the
Spree just east of
Fürstenwalde and later joins the
River Dahme at the (lake) Seddinsee.
In Berlin, the
Spree forms part of a dense network of navigable
waterways, many of which are artificial, and which provide a wide
choice of routes. Several important commercial harbours can be found
on this network, and tugs and barges move sand, grain, bricks, and
beer. Tour boats tour the central section of the
Spree and its
adjoining waterways on a frequent basis.
The name of the river
Spree was recorded by
Thietmar of Merseburg
Thietmar of Merseburg as
Sprewa (either from Middle German sprejen, sprewen, High German
sprühen meaning to spray water, or rather from spreizen meaning to
spread, referring to the numerous bifurcations). People living at the
Spree river (Anwohner) were in old German language (and are still)
called Spreewaner.
The river gives its name to several German districts:
Further information: Deaths at the
Many people died in the
Spree during the Cold War while trying to
Berlin Wall, including children who drowned with rescuers
not allowed to enter the river to save them.
Spree in Bautzen
Spree north of Bautzen
Spree in the Spreewald
Spree in central Berlin, with Oberbaum Bridge
Museum at the tip of
Museum Island in the Spree
Berlin Hauptbahnhof & the entrance of a canal
^ a b c d e Sheffield, Barry (1995). Inland Waterways of Germany. St
Ives: Imray Laurie Norie & Wilson. pp. 113–122.
^ James, Kyle. "A Pool with a View". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved
^ Gawthrop, John; Williams, Christian (2008). The Rough Guide to
London - New York - Delhi: Rough Guides. pp. 28–29.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spree.
Berlin Referendum Animation - Short article on the Mediaspree
Spree - Panoramic view of the river in Berlin
"Spree". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.