Meuse River

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The Meuse (English pronunciation: /ˈmjuːz/; French: [møz]; Dutch: Maas; IPA: [ˈmaːs]; Walloon Mouze /muːs/) is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea. It has a total length of 925 km (575 miles).

The Meuse marked the Western border of the Holy Roman Empire from its creation in the 9th century until the annexation of most of Alsace and Lorraine by France through the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), and to some extent until 1792 when the Prince-Bishopric of Liège was also annexed to France. Its Belgian (accurately its Walloon) portion, part of the sillon industriel, was the first fully industrialized area in continental Europe.[1] The Meuse is mentioned nostalgically in Das Lied der Deutschen.

Contents

Geography

The Meuse rises in Pouilly-en-Bassigny, commune of Le Châtelet-sur-Meuse on the Langres plateau in France from where it flows northwards past Sedan (the head of navigation) and Charleville-Mézières into Belgium. At Namur it is joined by the River Sambre. Beyond Namur the Meuse winds eastwards, skirting the Ardennes, and passes Liège before turning north. The river then forms part of the Belgian-Dutch border, except that at Maastricht the border lies further to the west. In the Netherlands it continues northwards through Venlo closely along the border to Germany, then turns towards the west, where it joins the Waal river and forms part of the extensive Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta, together with the Scheldt river in its south and the Rhine river in the north. The river has divided near Heusden into the Afgedamde Maas on the right and the Bergse Maas on the left. The Bergse Maas continues under the name of Amer, which is part of the Biesbosch, and is joined by the Nieuwe Merwede, after which it flows on under the name of Hollands Diep, before finally flowing into the North Sea as Haringvliet.

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