The Beautiful Moldau
The longest river of the Czech Republic runs not only through the city of Prague but through the citizen's imaginations and spirits. Czech composer Smetana even wrote a symphonic poem about it. The German name of the river is the "Moldau" (hence Smetana's The Moldau), while "Vltava" is the Czech moniker for it. The river is born daily in the south of the country, 1172 m up in the Bohemian mountain range Sumava, then begins its run north through Cesky Krumlov, Ceske Budejovice, and Prague, mingling with the Elbe at Melnik. Its 430 kilometers of length drain about 28,000 square kilometers.