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The Weser ( ) is a river in north-western Germanymarker. Formed at Hann.marker Mündenmarker by the (confluence) of the Fuldamarker and Werramarker, it flows through Lower Saxony, then reaching the historic (Hanseatic League) port city of Bremenmarker before emptying into the North Seamarker 50 km further north at Bremerhavenmarker, which is also a seaport. On the opposite (west) bank is the town of Nordenhammarker at the foot of the Butjadingen Peninsulamarker; thus, the mouth of the river is located in Lower Saxonymarker. The Weser has an overall length of 452 km. Together with its Werra tributarymarker, which originates in Thuringiamarker, its length is 744 km.

Etymology

Linguistically, the name of both rivers, Weser and Werra, goes back to the same source, the differentiation being caused by the old linguistic border between Upper und Lower German, which touched the region of Hannoversch Münden.

The name Weser is linked to other rivers such as the Wear in England and the Vistula in Poland, all of which are ultimately derived from the root *weis- "to flow", which gave Old English/Old Frisian wāse "mud, ooze", Old Norse veisa "slime, stagnant pool", Dutch waas "lawn", Old Saxon waso "wet ground, mire", and Old High German wasal "rain".

Course

The Weser river is the longest German river to reach the sea the course of which lies entirely within the national territory.

The top section of its course leads through a hilly region called the Weserberglandmarker. It extends from the confluence of the Fulda and the Werra to the Porta Westfalica, where it runs through a gorge between two mountain chains, the Wiehengebirgemarker in the west and the Weserberglandmarker in the east.

Between Mindenmarker and the North Sea, it has largely been canalised, permitting ships of up to 1,200 tons to navigate it. Eight hydroelectric dams are located along its length. It is linked to the Dortmund-Ems Canalmarker via the Küstenkanal, and another canal links it at Bremerhavenmarker to the Elbe River. A large reservoir on the Eder river, the main tributary of the Fulda, is used to regulate water levels on the Weser so as to ensure adequate depth for shipping throughout the year. The dam, built in 1914, was bombed and destroyed by British planes in February 1943, causing massive destruction and approximately 70 deaths downstream, but was rebuilt within four months. Today, the Ederseemarker reservoir is a major summer resort area and provides substantial hydroelectricity.

Image:Minden_Weser-Mittleland_Kanal_Lock_01.jpg|Mittelland Canal/ River Weser Lock in Minden, Germany taken in 1977Image:MI-16 River Weser (Minden) North (RLH).jpg| View north of the River Weser and the road bridge at Mindenmarker in GermanyImage:River_Weser_(Minden)_South_To_Porta_West_Falica_(RLH).jpg| Southern view of the River Weser from the road bridge at Minden in Germany in 1977

The Weser enters the North Seamarker in the southernmost part of the German Bightmarker. In the North Sea it splits up into two arms representing the ancient riverbed at the end of the last ice age. These sea-arms are called Alte Weser (old Weser) and Neue Weser (new Weser). They represent the major waterways for ships heading for the harbors of Bremerhavenmarker, Nordenhammarker and Bremenmarker. The northernmost point of the Weser is marked by the Alte Weser lighthousemarker. This lighthouse replaced the historic and famous Roter Sand lighthouse in 1964.

Tributaries

The largest tributary of the Weser is the Aller, which joins south of Bremen. The tributaries of the Weser and the Werra (from source to mouth) are:

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Right



Notable towns

Towns along the Weser, from the confluence of Werra and Fulda to the mouth, include: Hann. Münden, Beverungenmarker, Höxtermarker, Holzmindenmarker, Bodenwerdermarker, Hamelnmarker, Hessisch Oldendorfmarker, Rintelnmarker, Vlothomarker, Bad Oeynhausenmarker, Porta Westfalicamarker, Minden, Petershagenmarker, Nienburg, Achimmarker, Bremenmarker, Brakemarker, Nordenham, Bremerhavenmarker.


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