Meaning of VISTULA RIVER in English

Polish Wisla largest river of Poland and of the Baltic Sea's drainage basin, rising in the Beskid mountains of southern Poland. The following article summarizes information about the Vistula River. For full treatment, see Europe: Vistula River. The Vistula flows east and then north through Poland, entering the Baltic Sea through an extensive delta region east of the city of Gdansk. Its length is 651 miles (1,047 km), and it drains an area of 75,067 square miles (194,424 square km), of which more than four-fifths lies in Polish territory. The course of the Vistula may be said to consist of three principal sections. Its upper reaches extend from its source generally eastward through Krakw to where it receives the San River near Sandomierz. Along its middle reaches, the Vistula flows northward in a great curve from the mouth of the San to that of the Narew River, near Warsaw. Passing Warsaw, it flows northwestward past Torun, until, near Bydgoszcz, it turns sharply northeastward to enter the Baltic Sea; in the past there were two main branching channels to the Balticthe Nogat to the Vistula Lagoon and the Leniwka (now called the Martwa Vistula) to the Gulf of Gdanskbut the main branch is now a channel running directly to the sea from Swibino. The main right-bank tributaries of the Vistula include the Bug, Wieprz, San, Wisloka, and Dunajec rivers; the Nida, Pilica, Brda, and Wierzyca enter from the left bank. Climatic variations in the Vistula River basin cause a diversity in runoff and hence marked oscillations in the water level of the river. The Vistula is only navigable by small vessels upstream from the San River; below this point it is accessible to steamers (carrying coal, lumber, and industrial products) between the heavy-industrial centres of Poland in Silesia and the Baltic ports. Eastward the Bug and Narew rivers and the Dnieper-Bug Canal link the Vistula with the inland-waterway systems of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. The Elbe, Oder, and Vistula river basins and their drainage network. Polish Wisla, largest river of Poland and of the drainage basin of the Baltic Sea. With a length of 651 miles (1,047 kilometres) and a drainage basin of some 75,100 square miles (194,500 square kilometres), it is a waterway of great importance to the nations of eastern Europe; more than 85 percent of the river's drainage basin, however, lies in Polish territory. The Vistula is connected with the Oder drainage area by the Bydgoszcz Canal. Eastward the Narew and Bug rivers and the DnieperBug Canal link it with the vast inland waterway systems of Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia. The source of the Vistula is found about 15 miles south of Bielsko-Biala on the northern slopes of the western Beskid range, in southern Poland, at an altitude of 3,629 feet (1,106 metres). It flows generally from south to north through the mountains and foothills of southern Poland and across the lowland areas of the great North European Plain, ending in a delta estuary that enters the Baltic Sea near the port of Gdansk. The average elevation of the Vistula basin is 590 feet above sea level; the mean river gradient is 0.10 percent, and the mean velocity in the river channel amounts to 2.6 feet per second. In addition to Poland's capital city, Warsaw, a number of large towns and industrial centres lie on the banks of the Vistula. These include Krakw, which was Poland's capital from the 11th century to the close of the 16th, Nowa Huta, Sandomierz, Plock, Torun, Malbork, and Gdansk. Numerous centres of tourism and recreation as well as many health resorts flank the Vistula valley. Here and there along the river rise the ruins of medieval strongholds, some of which have been restored. Additional reading Materials in English on the Vistula River are scarce. The only substantial works providing comprehensive coverage of the Vistula, along with the Oder, are in Polish and include Juliusz Stach (ed.), Atlas Hydrologiczny Polski, 2 vol. (1987), containing maps and tables; and Zdzislaw Mikulski, Zarys hydrografii Polski (1965), which, though dated, is still considered the fundamental professional study. Surveys of the Vistula itself include Andrzej Piskozub (ed.), Wisla, monografia rzeki (1982); and Aleksander Tuszko, Wisla przyszlosci (1977). Leszek Starkel (ed.), Evolution of the Vistula River Valley During the Last 15,000 Years, trans. from Polish, 2 vol. (198287), explores the geomorphology of the area. Jan Stycznski, Vistula: The Story of a River (1973; originally published in Polish, 1973), is a descriptive pictorial work. Jan Czarnecki, The Goths in Ancient Poland: A Study on the Historical Geography of the OderVistula Region During the First Two Centuries of Our Era (1975), is a concise examination of events in relation to the geographic setting. Jerzy Pruchnicki

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