|• elevation||97 m (318 ft)|
|51°25′51″N 3°31′44″E / 51.43083°N 3.52889°ECoordinates: 51°25′51″N 3°31′44″E / 51.43083°N 3.52889°E|
|Length||360 km (220 mi)|
|Basin size||21,863 km2 (8,441 sq mi)|
|• average||104 m3/s (3,700 cu ft/s)|
|Official name||Schorren van de Beneden Schelde|
|Designated||4 March 1986|
|Official name||Westerschelde & Saeftinghe|
|Designated||9 April 1995|
|Official name||Vallées de la Scarpe et de l'Escaut|
|Designated||2 February 2020|
This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2018)
The Scheldt (/ʃɛlt, skɛlt/ SHELT, SKELT; French: Escaut [ɛsko]; Dutch: Schelde [ˈsxɛldə] (listen)) is a 435-kilometre-long (270 mi) river that flows through northern France, western Belgium, and the southwestern part of the Netherlands, with its mouth at the North Sea. Its name is derived from an adjective corresponding to Old English sceald ("shallow"), Modern English shoal, Low German schol, West Frisian skol, and obsolete Swedish skäll ("thin").
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The headwaters of the Scheldt are in Gouy, in the Aisne department of northern France. It flows north through Cambrai and Valenciennes, and enters Belgium near Tournai. Ghent developed at the confluence of the Lys, one of its main tributaries, and the Scheldt, which then turns east. Near Antwerp, the largest city on its banks, the Scheldt flows west into the Netherlands toward the North Sea.
Originally there were two branches from that point: the Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt); and the Westerschelde (Western Scheldt). In the 19th century, however, the Dutch built a dyke that cuts the river off from its eastern (northern) branch and connects Zuid-Beveland with the mainland (North Brabant). Today the river continues into the Westerschelde estuary only, passing Terneuzen to reach the North Sea between Breskens in Zeelandic Flanders and Vlissingen (Flushing) on Walcheren.
The Scheldt is an important waterway, and has been made navigable from its mouth up to Cambrai. Above Cambrai, the Canal de Saint-Quentin follows its course. The port of Antwerp, the second-largest in Europe, developed on its banks. Several canals (including the Albert Canal) connect the Scheldt with the basins of the Rhine, Meuse, and Seine rivers, and with the industrial areas around Brussels, Liège, Lille, Dunkirk, and Mons.
The Scheldt flows through the following departments of France, provinces of Belgium, provinces of the Netherlands, and towns:
- Aisne (F): Gouy
- Nord (F): Cambrai, Denain, Valenciennes
- Hainaut (B): Tournai
- West Flanders (B): Avelgem
- East Flanders (B): Oudenaarde, Ghent, Dendermonde, Temse
- Antwerp (B): Antwerp
- Zeeland (NL): Hulst, Terneuzen, Sluis, Vlissingen
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The Scheldt estuary has always had considerable commercial and strategic importance. Called Scaldis in Roman times, it was important for the shipping lanes to Roman Britain. Nehalennia was venerated at its mouth. The Franks took control over the region about the year 260 and at first interfered with the Roman supply routes as pirates. Later they became allies of the Romans. With the various divisions of the Frankish Empire in the 9th century, the Scheldt eventually became the border between the Western and Eastern parts of the Empire, which later became France and the Holy Roman Empire.
This status quo remained intact, at least on paper, until 1528, but by then, both the County of Flanders on the western bank and Zeeland and the Duchy of Brabant on the east were part of the Habsburg possessions of the Seventeen Provinces. Antwerp was the most prominent harbour in Western Europe. After this city fell back under Spanish control in 1585, the Dutch Republic took control of Zeelandic Flanders, a strip of land on the left bank, and closed the Scheldt for shipping. That shifted the trade to the ports of Amsterdam and Middelburg and seriously crippled Antwerp, an important and traumatic element in the history of relations between the Netherlands and what was to become Belgium.
Access to the river was the subject of the brief Kettle War of 1784, and during the French Revolution shortly afterwards, the river was reopened in 1792. Once Belgium had claimed its independence from the Netherlands in 1830, the treaty of the Scheldt determined that the river should remain accessible to ships heading for Belgian ports. Nevertheless, the Dutch government would demand a toll from passing vessels until 16 July 1863.
The Question of the Scheldt, a study providing "a history of the international legal arrangements governing the Western Scheldt", was prepared for the use of British negotiators at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
In the Second World War, the Scheldt estuary once again became a contested area. Despite Allied control of Antwerp, German forces still occupied fortified positions in September 1944 throughout the Scheldt estuary west and north, preventing any Allied shipping from reaching the port. In the Battle of the Scheldt, the Canadian First Army successfully cleared the area, allowing supply convoys direct access to the port of Antwerp by November 1944.
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Tributaries and sub-tributaries
- Western Scheldt or Honte (Vlissingen)
- Schijn (Antwerp)
- Rupel (Rupelmonde)
- Nete (Rumst)
- Kleine Nete (Lier)
- Aa (Grobbendonk)
- Wamp (Kasterlee)
- Grote Nete (Lier)
- Wimp (Herenthout)
- Molse Nete (Geel)
- Laak (Westerlo)
- Kleine Nete (Lier)
- Dijle (Rumst)
- Zenne (Mechelen)
- Maalbeek (Grimbergen)
- Woluwe (Vilvoorde)
- Maalbeek (Schaerbeek)
- Molenbeek (Brussels-Laeken)
- Neerpedebeek (Anderlecht-Neerpede)
- Zuun (Sint-Pieters-Leeuw-Zuun)
- Geleytsbeek (Drogenbos)
- Linkebeek (Drogenbos)
- Molenbeek (Lot)
- Senette (Tubize)
- Vrouwvliet (Mechelen) [further upstream named Grote Beek, Meerloop, Raambeek, Zwartwaterbeek, Boeimeer]
- Demer (Rotselaar)
- Velp (Halen)
- Gete (Halen)
- Voer (Leuven)
- IJse (Huldenberg-Neerijse)
- Nethen (Grez-Doiceau-Nethen)
- Laan (Huldenberg-Terlanen-Sint-Agatha-Rode)
- Zilverbeek (Rixensart-Genval)
- Thyle (Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve)
- Zenne (Mechelen)
- Nete (Rumst)
- Durme (Temse)
- Molenbeek (Wichelen)
- Dender (Dendermonde)
- Mark (Lessines-Twee-Akren)
- Ruisseau d'Ancre (Lessines)
- Zulle (Ath)
- Eastern Dender (Ath)
- Western Dender (Ath)
- Molenbeek-Ter Erpenbeek (Hofstade)
- Lys/Leie (Ghent)
- Mandel (Wielsbeke)
- Heulebeek (Kuurne)
- Gaverbeek (Kortrijk)
- Douve (Comines-Warneton)
- Deûle/Deule or Feule (Deûlémont)
- Laquette (Aire-sur-la-Lys)
- Lawe (De Gorge-Stegers)
- Brette, (Biette), Blanche, ruisseau de Caucourt, fossé d'Avesnes (Loisne)
- Clarence (Meregem)
- Becque de Steenwerk (..)
- Zwalm (Zwalm)
- Rone (Kluisbergen)
- Scarpe (Mortagne-du-Nord)
- Haine (Condé-sur-l'Escaut)
- Trouille (Mons-Jeumont)
- Hogneau of Honneau (Condé-sur-l'Escaut)
- Honelle (Quiévrain)
- Aunelle (..)
- Grande Honelle (..)
- Petite Honelle (..)
- Honelle (Quiévrain)
- Rhonelle (Valenciennes)
- Écaillon (Thiant)
- Selle (Denain)
- Torrent d'Esnes
- Sensée (Bouchain)
- Hirondelle (..)
- Erclin (Iwuy)
- Eauette (Marcoing)
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Traditions says that Saint Amalberga of Temse crossed the river in Temse on the back of a big Sturgeon.
Source: "Scheldt", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, February 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheldt.
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- Scheldt–Rhine Canal
- Striene which was the main stem of the river until 1421, it flowed northwards.
- ^ "Schorren van de Beneden Schelde". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- ^ "Westerschelde & Saeftinghe". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
- ^ "Vallées de la Scarpe et de l'Escaut". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
- ^ "VNSC Communicatie : vraagbaak voor alles op, rond en in de Schelde" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- ^ Prothero, G W (1920). Question of the Scheldt. Peace handbooks. London: H.M. Stationery Office. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
- ^ Zuehlke, Mark (2009). Terrible Victory: First Canadian Army and the Scheldt Estuary Campaign: September 13 - November 6, 1944. Douglas & McIntyre. p. 460. ISBN 978-1771620307.
- ^ a b c d Sandre. "Fiche cours d'eau - L'Escaut Canalisée (E---004-)".
- ^ Edwards-May, David (2010). Inland Waterways of France. St Ives, Cambs., UK: Imray. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-846230-14-1.
- ^ Fluviacarte, Escaut (à petit gabarit)
- Water basin of the Scheldt
- ScheldeMonitor; Research studies and monitoring activities
- Deltaworks; Flood protection works in Scheldt Delta
- International Scheldt Commission
- Scaldit - Interreg IV B NWE project for a safer and cleaner Scheldt River Basin District (FR - BE (Walloon Region - Brussels Cap. Region - Flemish Region) - NL)
- Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law Peace Palace Library
- River Escaut with maps and details of places, ports and moorings, by the author of Inland Waterways of France, Imray
- Navigation details for 80 French rivers and canals (French waterways website section)
- Texts on Wikisource:
- "Scheldt". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.
- "Scheldt". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
- "Scheldt". The Nuttall Encyclopædia. 1907.
- Paget-Tyrell Memorandum of August 7, 1916, Section 6 (Belgium and the Scheldt)
- 1520s disestablishments in the Holy Roman Empire
- 1528 disestablishments in Europe
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- Commons category link is on Wikidata
- Coordinates on Wikidata
- International rivers of Europe
- Ramsar sites in Belgium
- Ramsar sites in Metropolitan France
- Ramsar sites in the Netherlands
- Rivers of Aisne
- Rivers of Antwerp Province
- Rivers of Belgium
- Rivers of East Flanders
- Rivers of Flanders
- Rivers of France
- Rivers of Hainaut (province)
- Rivers of Hauts-de-France
- Rivers of Nord (French department)
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- Scheldt basin
- Short description matches Wikidata
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