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The Neckar is a long river, mainly flowing through the southwestern state of Baden-Württembergmarker, but also a short section through Hessemarker in Germanymarker. The Neckar is a major right tributary of the River Rhinemarker. Rising in the Black Forestmarker near Villingen-Schwenningenmarker in the conservation area Schwenninger Moos at a height of above sea level, it passes through Rottweilmarker, Rottenburg am Neckarmarker, Kilchberg, Tübingenmarker, Nürtingenmarker, Plochingenmarker, Esslingenmarker, Stuttgartmarker, Ludwigsburgmarker, Marbachmarker, Heilbronnmarker and Heidelbergmarker, before discharging into the Rhine at Mannheimmarker (at above sea level).

From Plochingen to Stuttgart, the Neckar valley is densely populated and covered with industrial areas, including several well-known companies, e.g. Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes Benz cars, and Mahle GmbH. Between Stuttgart and Lauffen, the Neckar cuts a scenic meandering and in many places steep-sided valley into fossiliferous Triassic limestones and Pleistocene travertine. Along the Neckar's valley in the Odenwaldmarker hills, many castles can be found, like Burg Hornberg and Burg Guttenberg in Haßmersheimmarker, but also the closed Obrigheim Nuclear Power Plantmarker and the active Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plantmarker. After passing Heidelberg, the Neckar discharges on average of water into the Rhine, which makes the Neckar its 4th largest tributary, and the 10th largest river in Germany.

The name Neckar was derived from Nicarus and Neccarus from Celtic Nikros, meaning wild water or wild fellow. Since about 1100, Black Forest wood was transported by timber rafting, e.g. to Holland for the use in shipyards.

During the 19th century, traditional horse-drawn boats were replaced by steam boats that used a long chain in the river to pull themselves upstream. The railway made it possible to transport timber to the port of Heilbronn, limiting timber rafting to the lower part of the Neckar after 1899. Thanks to the construction of 11 locks, ships up to 1500t could travel to Heilbronn in 1935.

By 1968, the last of 27 locks, at Deizisaumarker, was completed, making the Neckar navigable for cargo ships about 200 km upstream from Mannheim up to the river port of Plochingenmarker, where the Filsmarker joins, and where the Neckar bends, taking a Northwestern instead of a Northeastern direction. Other important ports include Stuttgartmarker, Heilbronnmarker and Mannheimmarker.

The river's course provides a popular route for cyclists, especially during the summer months. Its steep valley sides are used as vineyards, to cultivate mainly Trollinger.

Towns along the Neckar

From its source to its confluence with the Rhine:

Main tributaries

ImageSize = width:400 height:750PlotArea = left:50 right:0 bottom:10 top:10AlignBars = early

DateFormat = yyyyPeriod = from:0 till:200000TimeAxis = orientation:verticalScaleMajor = unit:year increment:50000 start:0ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:10000 start:0

  1. there is no automatic collision detection,
  2. so shift texts up or down manually to avoid overlap

Define $dx = 15 # shift text to right side of barDefine $dy = -3 # shift text down

Colors =
id:wasser   value:blue   legend:Neckar
id:schleuse value:yellow legend:Lock

Legend = orientation:vertical position:bottom

bar:Schleusen color:wasser width:25 mark:(line,schleuse) align:left fontsize:M

from:0 till:200000
at:6200   shift:($dx,$dy) color:wasser text:  6.2 km Feudenheim Lock
at:17700  shift:($dx,$dy) text: 17.7 km Schwabenheim Lock
at:26100  shift:($dx,$dy) text: 26.1 km Heidelberg Lock
at:30800  shift:($dx,$dy) text: 30.8 km Neckargemünd Lock
at:39300  shift:($dx,$dy) text: 39.3 km Neckarsteinach Lock
at:47700  shift:($dx,$dy) text: 47.7 km Hirschhorn Lock
at:61400  shift:($dx,$dy) text: 61.4 km Rockenau Lock
at:72200  shift:($dx,$dy) text: 72.2 km Guttenbach Lock
at:85900  shift:($dx,$dy) text: 85.9 km Neckarzimmern Lock
at:93800  shift:($dx,$dy) text: 93.8 km Gundelsheim Lock
at:103900 shift:($dx,$dy) text:103.9 km Kochendorf Lock
at:113600 shift:($dx,$dy) text:113.6 km Heilbronn Lock
at:117500 shift:($dx,$dy) text:117.5 km Horkheim Lock
at:125100 shift:($dx,$dy) text:125.1 km Lauffen Lock
at:136200 shift:($dx,$dy) text:136.2 km Besigheim Lock
at:143000 shift:($dx,$dy) text:143.0 km Hessigheim Lock
at:150100 shift:($dx,$dy) text:150.1 km Pleidelsheim Lock
at:157600 shift:($dx,$dy) text:157.6 km Marbach Lock
at:165000 shift:($dx,$dy) text:165.0 km Poppenweiler Lock
at:171400 shift:($dx,$dy) text:171.4 km Aldingen Lock
at:176200 shift:($dx,$dy) text:176.2 km Hofen Lock
at:182700 shift:($dx,$dy) text:182.7 km Cannstatt Lock
at:186700 shift:($dx,-5) text:186.7 km Untertürkheim Lock
at:189500 shift:($dx,$dy) text:189.5 km Obertürkheim Lock
at:194000 shift:($dx,-8) text:194.0 km Esslingen Lock
at:194800 shift:($dx,1) text:194.8 km Oberesslingen Lock
at:199500 shift:($dx,$dy) text:199.5 km Deizisau Lock


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