The Baltic Sea is located in the northern part of Europe. There are many European rivers linked with it, and in ancient times they were used to carry trade goods harvested from the Baltic Sea, such as fish and amber, to other parts of Europe. Most of the rivers associated with this sea are minor. A few though, most located in Poland, are among the major waterways of Europe. They are interesting in themselves, for the varying routes which they take before they drain into the Baltic, and for the affect which they had on European history. (Pictured below: Odra River and the Old Town, Szczecin, Poland)
Odra (pictured above)
The Odra is a river in east Europe, and much of it is concentrated in Poland. The lower length of the river forms the border between Poland and Germany. Its head is in the corner of the Czech Republic. It flows on a northeastern path through Poland. Then switches to the northwest, and forms the Polish-German border before eventually ending in the Baltic Sea. The part of the river which flows along the German border has been built up for many years now, so that it includes many dikes, canals and channels.
The West Dvina is nowhere near as large a river as the Odra. It is a fairly tame European river which starts in the Valdai Hills, an area of icy plateau's south of Moscow. It runs down to the south, then to the west where it empties into the Baltic Sea. Until the 19th century, the West Dvina was the most important waterway connecting the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Before the 1800s and the advent of the train, waterways such as the West Dvina were crucial in transporting goods across Europe.
The Vistula is the longest river in Poland and one of the longest of all the European rivers. It originates in southern Poland, then flows southeast to northwest before draining in the Baltic Sea. On the northern portion of the river, there is a major town. It was originally a German settlement, and is called Krakwow. Unlike many of the other Baltic rivers, the Vistula has never been relied on as a means of transportation or of the trade. This is because the river is exceedingly difficult to navigate, and has furiously flowing waters most of the year.
Article Written By Stephen Weiner
Stephen Weiner has been writing since 1992 and his articles and reviews have appeared in: Voice of Youth, Advocates, Library Journal, School Library Journal, The Boston Globe, The Children’s Center Bulletin Newsletter, The Shy Librarian, Public Libraries, Diamond Dialogue, Comic Buyer’s Guide, The Graphic Novel Review, Bookmarks, Comic Book Artist, and The English Journal.