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The SCHELDT (/ʃɛlt/ , French : l'Escaut , Walloon : Escô, Dutch : Schelde ) is a 350-kilometre (220 mi) long river in northern France , western Belgium
Belgium
and the southwestern part of the Netherlands
Netherlands
. Its name is derived from an adjective corresponding to Old English
Old English
sceald "shallow", Modern English shoal, Low German schol, Frisian skol, and Swedish (obsolete) skäll "thin".

CONTENTS

* 1 Course * 2 History * 3 Tributaries and sub-tributaries * 4 Navigation * 5 In culture * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References * 9 External links

COURSE

The headwaters of the Scheldt
Scheldt
are in Gouy , in the Aisne
Aisne
department of northern France. It flows north through Cambrai
Cambrai
and Valenciennes
Valenciennes
, and enters Belgium
Belgium
near Tournai
Tournai
. In Ghent , where it receives the Lys , one of its main tributaries, the Scheldt
Scheldt
turns east. Near Antwerp
Antwerp
, the largest city on its banks, the Scheldt
Scheldt
flows west into the Netherlands
Netherlands
towards the North Sea
North Sea
.

Originally there were two branches from that point: the Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt) and the Westerschelde (Western Scheldt) but in the 19th century the river was cut off from its eastern (actually: northern) branch by a dyke that connects Zuid-Beveland with the mainland ( North Brabant
North Brabant
). Today the river therefore continues into the Westerschelde estuary only, passing Terneuzen
Terneuzen
to reach the North Sea between Breskens in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and Vlissingen
Vlissingen
(Flushing) on Walcheren
Walcheren
.

The Scheldt
Scheldt
is an important waterway , and has been made navigable from its mouth up to Cambrai. Above Cambrai, the Canal
Canal
de Saint-Quentin follows its course. The port of Antwerp
Antwerp
, the second largest in Europe, lies on its banks. Several canals (including the Albert Canal
Canal
) connect the Scheldt
Scheldt
with the basins of the Rhine , Meuse and Seine , and with the industrial areas around Brussels
Brussels
, Liège , Lille
Lille
, Dunkirk
Dunkirk
and Mons
Mons
.

The Scheldt
Scheldt
flows through the following departments of France
France
, provinces of Belgium
Belgium
, provinces of the Netherlands
Netherlands
and towns:

* Aisne
Aisne
(F): Gouy * Nord (F): Cambrai
Cambrai
, Denain
Denain
, Valenciennes
Valenciennes
* Hainaut (B): Tournai
Tournai
* West Flanders (B): Avelgem * East Flanders
East Flanders
(B): Oudenaarde
Oudenaarde
, Ghent , Dendermonde , Temse * Antwerp
Antwerp
(B): Antwerp
Antwerp
* Zeeland (NL): Hulst
Hulst
, Terneuzen
Terneuzen
, Sluis
Sluis
, Vlissingen
Vlissingen

HISTORY

The Scheldt
Scheldt
at Antwerp, photochrom, ca. 1890-1900 "View of Antwerp
Antwerp
with the frozen Scheldt" (1590) by Lucas van Valckenborch
Lucas van Valckenborch
. U.S. President Harry S. Truman and Secretary of State James F. Byrnes wave at HMS Hambledon while on board the USS Augusta on the river Scheldt
Scheldt
as they head to the Potsdam Conference on 15 July 1945

The Scheldt
Scheldt
estuary has always had considerable commercial and strategic importance. In Roman times, it was important for the shipping lanes to Roman Britain
Roman Britain
. Nehalennia was venerated at its mouth. The Franks
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
Scheldt
eventually became the border between the Western and Eastern parts of the Empire, which later became France
France
and the Holy Roman Empire
Roman Empire
.

This status quo remained intact—at least on paper—until 1528, although by then both the County of Flanders on the western bank and Zeeland and the Duchy of Brabant
Duchy of Brabant
on the east were part of the Habsburg possessions of the Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
. Antwerp
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 Zeeuws-Vlaanderen , a strip of land on the left bank, and closed the Scheldt
Scheldt
for shipping. This shifted the trade to the ports of Amsterdam and Middelburg
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—in the French Revolutionary era shortly afterwards—the river was reopened in 1792. Once Belgium
Belgium
had claimed its independence from the Netherlands
Netherlands
in 1830, the treaty of the Scheldt
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
Scheldt
estuary once again became a contested area. Despite Allied control of Antwerp
Antwerp
, in September 1944 German forces still occupied fortified positions throughout the Scheldt
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
Antwerp
by November 1944.

TRIBUTARIES AND SUB-TRIBUTARIES

The Scheldt
Scheldt
in Antwerp
Antwerp
at sunset

* Western Scheldt
Western Scheldt
or Honte ( Vlissingen
Vlissingen
)

* Schijn ( Antwerp
Antwerp
)

* Rupel ( Rupelmonde )

* Nete ( Rumst
Rumst
)

* Kleine Nete (Lier )

* Aa ( Grobbendonk ) * Wamp ( Kasterlee )

* Grote Nete (Lier )

* Wimp ( Herenthout ) * Molse Nete ( Geel ) * Laak ( Westerlo )

* Dijle ( Rumst
Rumst
)

* Zenne
Zenne
( Mechelen )

* Maalbeek ( Grimbergen
Grimbergen
) * Woluwe ( Vilvoorde
Vilvoorde
) * Maalbeek ( Schaarbeek
Schaarbeek
) * Molenbeek ( Brussels
Brussels
-Laken) * Neerpedebeek ( Anderlecht
Anderlecht
-Neerpede) * Zuun ( Sint-Pieters-Leeuw
Sint-Pieters-Leeuw
-Zuun) * Geleytsbeek ( Drogenbos ) * Linkebeek ( Drogenbos ) * Molenbeek (Lot )

* Senette ( Tubize )

* Hain ( Tubize )

* Samme ( Braine-le-Comte -Ronquières)

* Thines ( Nivelles
Nivelles
)

* Vrouwvliet ( Mechelen )

* Demer ( Rotselaar )

* Velp ( Halen )

* Gete ( Halen )

* Herk ( Halen )

* Melsterbeek ( Herk-de-Stad )

* Grote Gete ( Zoutleeuw ) * Kleine Gete ( Zoutleeuw )

* Voer ( Leuven
Leuven
) * IJse ( Huldenberg
Huldenberg
-Neerijse) * Nethen ( Grez-Doiceau -Nethen)

* Laan ( Huldenberg
Huldenberg
-Terlanen- Sint-Agatha-Rode )

* Zilverbeek ( Rixensart -Genval)

* Thyle ( Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve )

* Durme ( Temse ) * Molenbeek ( Wichelen )

* Dender ( Dendermonde )

* Mark ( Lessines
Lessines
-Twee-Akren) * Ruisseau d\'Ancre ( Lessines
Lessines
) * Zulle ( Ath
Ath
) * Eastern Dender ( Ath
Ath
) * Western Dender ( Ath
Ath
) * Molenbeek-Ter Erpenbeek (Hofstade )

* Lys/Leie ( Ghent )

* Mandel ( Wielsbeke
Wielsbeke
) * Heulebeek ( Kuurne
Kuurne
) * Gaverbeek ( Kortrijk
Kortrijk
) * Douve
Douve
( Comines-Warneton
Comines-Warneton
)

* Deûle
Deûle
/Deule or Feule ( Deûlémont
Deûlémont
)

* Marque ( Wasquehal )

* Souchez (Lens )

* Carency ( Souchez ) * Saint-Nazaire ( Souchez )

* Laquette ( Aire-sur-la-Lys )

* Lawe (De Gorge -Stegers )

* Brette, (Biette), Blanche, ruisseau de Caucourt, fossé d'Avesnes (Loisne)

* Clarence (Meregem )

* Nave , Grand Nocq

* Becque de Steenwerk (..)

* Zwalm ( Zwalm )

* Rone ( Kluisbergen )

* Rhosne ( Ronse
Ronse
)

* Scarpe ( Mortagne-du-Nord )

* Crinchon (..) * Ugy (..)

* Haine (Condé-sur-l\'Escaut )

* Trouille ( Mons
Mons
- Jeumont )

* Hogneau of Honneau (Condé-sur-l\'Escaut )

* Honelle ( Quiévrain )

* Aunelle (..) * Grande Honelle (..) * Petite Honelle (..)

* Rhonelle ( Valenciennes
Valenciennes
) * Écaillon ( Thiant
Thiant
) * Selle ( Denain
Denain
) * Torrent d\'Esnes

* Sensée ( Bouchain )

* Hirondelle (..)

* Erclin ( Iwuy ) * Eauette ( Marcoing )

NAVIGATION

Canalisation from Cambrai
Cambrai
down to Valenciennes