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The Dâmboviţa River is a river in Romaniamarker. It starts at the junction of headwaters Valea Vladului and Boarcăşu, having its source in the Făgăraş Mountains, and flowing southward. It passes through Bucharestmarker and flows into the Argeş River 286 kilometres from its source, near Budeştimarker, in Călăraşi County. Dâmboviţa County is named after the river.

Dâmboviţa in Bucharest

For centuries, Dâmboviţa River was the main source of drinking water for the city of Bucharest. While there were a few dozen water wells, most of the water in Bucharest was distributed by water-carriers.

Bucharest folkore mentions the waters of Dâmboviţa as "sweet", and even at the beginning of the 18th century, Anton Maria del Chiaro considered it "light and clean". However, toward the end of the century, as the population of Bucharest increased, the river ceased to be as clean, and hence the need of the aqueducts. The earliest aqueducts with public fountains (cişmele) were built during the rule of Prince Alexander Ypsilantis.

Many watermills were built on the Dâmboviţa, most of them owned by the prince, the monasteries or boyars.

Dâmboviţa used to have two tributaries in Bucharest:

Additionally, there was a branch, Gârliţa, which formed an island, Ostrovu.

The Dâmboviţa often flooded Bucharest, especially the lower left bank, which was lower. After the great 1775 flood, Ypsilantis ordered a branch canal to be built, in order to prevent, or at least diminish the effects of such flooding; in 1813, Prince Jean Georges Caradja decided to clean up the river bed. The portion of the river flowing through the capital was channel twice: in 1883 (to combat regular floods), and in the late 1970s, to aid in the replanning of the Central areamarker and the construction of the Bucharest Metro.

Dâmboviţa has never been navigable, but there has been an unsuccessful attempt in 1902 to introduce boats on the river.

Early in its history, Bucharest had few bridges over the Dâmboviţa, as the right bank was only sparsely populated. The estates of some boyars used to extend on both banks of the river and they had footbridges. Currently, there are about a dozen bridges over Dâmboviţa River in Bucharest.


Dâmboviţa is one of the most polluted rivers in Romania and the most important source of pollution of the Danube, into which its waters flow. When entering Bucharest, the river's water quality is already rather bad and below the recommended standards, but after exiting Bucharest its water are in the worst category, due to the hundreds of millions of cubic metres of raw sewage which are dumped every year directly in the river.

The river contains very high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, and as such, it has only forms of life found typically in toxic environments: larvae, insects and microorganisms.

The quality of the waters is expected to improve after the first sewage treatment plant of Bucharest will start working toward the end of 2009 (with a capacity of 10 m³/sec), while a second one should be ready by 2012.


The following rivers are tributaries to the river Dâmboviţa:

Left: Valea Vladului, Berevoescu, Luţele Mari, Luţele Mici, Valea lui Aron, Valea Comisului, Valea Nemţoaicelor, Răchita, Valea lui Stanciu, Valea Turcilor, Tămaşul, Valea Dragoslăvenilor, Valea lui Ivan, Valea Largă, Valea Seacă, Valea Speriatei, Valea Gruiului, Berila, Dâmbovicioara, Valea Orăţiilor, Cheia, Ghimbav, Valea Luncii, Valea Caselor, Valea Hotarului, Olăneasca, Valea Runcului, Valea Jocii, Bădeni, Valea Grecului, Pârâul lui Coman, Valea Chiliilor, Valea Pleşei, Valea Măgurii, Valea Vlazilor, Valea Ulmului, Valea Largă, Râul Alb, Valea Satului, Ilfov, Colentina, Pasărea

Right: Boarcăşu, Colţii lui Andrei, Izvorul Foişorului, Valea Barbului, Izvorul Hotarului, Valea lui Aron, Bălţatul, Dracsin, Cascue, Râul Căciulelor, Valea Şaului, Clăbucet, Oncioaia, Valea Jugii, Valea Arşiţei, Râuşorul, Frasinu, Stoeneasca, Valea Cheii, Muscel, Aninoasa, Grui


The river flows through the following communes, towns and cities: Rucăr, Dragoslavelemarker, Stoeneştimarker, Malu cu Florimarker, Cândeştimarker, Vulcana-Băimarker, Voineştimarker, Măneştimarker, Dragomireştimarker, Lucienimarker, Nucetmarker, Conţeştimarker, Lunguleţumarker, Chiajnamarker, Bucharestmarker (city), Plătăreştimarker,Vasilaţimarker, Budeştimarker (town).


Image:Sistematizare Dâmboviţa 1881-1886.jpg|Sistematization of Dâmboviţa in Bucharest (1880s)Image:Preziosi - Dâmboviţa la Bucureşti, 1868.jpg|Dâmboviţa in Bucharest, an aquarelle by Amedeo PreziosiImage:Bancorex building bgiu.jpg|The Dâmboviţa in BucharestImage:Bucuresti punte 1837.jpg|The Dâmboviţa watermills on the outskirts of Bucharest (1837), in the background: Dealul SpiriimarkerImage:Bucuresti Dambovita2.jpg|Lock on the Dâmboviţa in BucharestFile:Dambovita by night.jpg|Dâmboviţa by night in Bucharest


  1. Ionescu p. 28-29
  2. Georgescu et al., p.392
  3. Ionescu, p. 29-30
  4. "Dâmboviţa, râul ucis de deversările Capitalei", Evenimentul Zilei, April 8, 2009
  5. "Râul Dâmboviţa, pricipala sursă de poluare a Dunării", Realitatea TV, April 10, 2009


  • Ştefan Ionescu, Bucureştii în vremea fanarioţilor, Editura Dacia, Cluj, 1974. p. 28-30
  • Florian Georgescu et al. Istoria Oraşului Bucureşti, Muzeul de Istorie a Oraşului Bucureşti, 1965.

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