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The Scheldt
Scheldt
(/ʃɛlt/, French: l'Escaut [lɛsko], Walloon: Escô, Dutch: Schelde [ˈsxɛldə]) is a 350-kilometre (220 mi)[1] long river in northern France, western Belgium
Belgium
and the southwestern part of the Netherlands. Its name is derived from an adjective corresponding to Old English
Old English
sceald "shallow", Modern English shoal, Low German schol, West 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[edit] 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, and enters Belgium
Belgium
near Tournai. In Ghent, where it receives the Lys, one of its main tributaries, the Scheldt
Scheldt
turns east. Near Antwerp, the largest city on its banks, the Scheldt
Scheldt
flows west into the Netherlands towards the North Sea. Originally there were two branches from that point: the Oosterschelde (Eastern Scheldt) and the Westerschelde
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
Zuid-Beveland
with the mainland (North Brabant). Today the river therefore continues into the Westerschelde
Westerschelde
estuary only, passing Terneuzen
Terneuzen
to reach the North Sea between Breskens
Breskens
in Zeelandic Flanders
Zeelandic Flanders
and Vlissingen
Vlissingen
(Flushing) on 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, the second largest in Europe, lies on its banks. Several canals (including the Albert Canal) connect the Scheldt
Scheldt
with the basins of the Rhine, Meuse and Seine, and with the industrial areas around Brussels, Liège, Lille, Dunkirk
Dunkirk
and Mons. The Scheldt
Scheldt
flows through the following departments of France, provinces of Belgium, provinces of the Netherlands
Netherlands
and towns:

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

History[edit]

The Scheldt
Scheldt
at Antwerp, photochrom, ca. 1890-1900

"View of Antwerp
Antwerp
with the frozen Scheldt" (1590) by Lucas van Valckenborch.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman
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
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. Nehalennia
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
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. This status quo remained intact—at least on paper—until 1528, although by then both the County of Flanders
County of Flanders
on the western bank and Zeeland
Zeeland
and the Duchy of Brabant
Duchy of Brabant
on the east were part of the Habsburg possessions of the 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
Dutch Republic
took control of Zeelandic Flanders, a strip of land on the left bank, and closed the Scheldt
Scheldt
for shipping. This shifted the trade to the ports of Amsterdam
Amsterdam
and Middelburg
Middelburg
and seriously crippled Antwerp—an important and traumatic element in the history of relations between the Netherlands
Netherlands
and what was to become Belgium. Access to the river was the subject of the brief Kettle War
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.[2] In the Second World War, the Scheldt
Scheldt
estuary once again became a contested area. Despite Allied control of 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
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[edit]

The Scheldt
Scheldt
in Antwerp
Antwerp
at sunset

Western Scheldt
Western Scheldt
or Honte (Vlissingen)

Schijn (Antwerp) Rupel
Rupel
(Rupelmonde)

Nete (Rumst)

Kleine Nete
Kleine Nete
(Lier)

Aa (Grobbendonk) Wamp (Kasterlee)

Grote Nete
Grote Nete
(Lier)

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

Dijle
Dijle
(Rumst)

Zenne
Zenne
(Mechelen)

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

Hain (Tubize) Samme (Braine-le-Comte-Ronquières)

Thines (Nivelles)

Vrouwvliet (Mechelen) [further upstream named Grote Beek, Meerloop, Raambeek, Zwartwaterbeek, Boeimeer] Demer
Demer
(Rotselaar)

Velp (Halen) Gete
Gete
(Halen)

Herk (Halen)

Melsterbeek (Herk-de-Stad)

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

Voer (Leuven) IJse (Huldenberg-Neerijse) Nethen (Grez-Doiceau-Nethen) Laan (Huldenberg-Terlanen-Sint-Agatha-Rode)

Zilverbeek (Rixensart-Genval)

Thyle (Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve)

Durme
Durme
(Temse) Molenbeek (Wichelen) Dender
Dender
(Dendermonde)

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

Lys/Leie (Ghent)

Mandel (Wielsbeke) Heulebeek (Kuurne) Gaverbeek (Kortrijk) Douve
Douve
(Comines-Warneton) Deûle/Deule or Feule (Deûlémont)

Marque (Wasquehal) Souchez
Souchez
(Lens)

Carency
Carency
(Souchez) Saint-Nazaire (Souchez)

Laquette
Laquette
(Aire-sur-la-Lys) Lawe
Lawe
(De Gorge-Stegers)

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

Clarence (Meregem)

Nave, Grand Nocq

Becque de Steenwerk
Steenwerk
(..)

Zwalm
Zwalm
(Zwalm) Rone (Kluisbergen)

Rhosne (Ronse)

Scarpe (Mortagne-du-Nord)

Crinchon (..) Ugy (..)

Haine
Haine
(Condé-sur-l'Escaut)

Trouille (Mons-Jeumont) Hogneau of Honneau (Condé-sur-l'Escaut)

Honelle (Quiévrain)

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

Rhonelle
Rhonelle
(Valenciennes) Écaillon (Thiant) Selle (Denain) Torrent d'Esnes Sensée
Sensée
(Bouchain)

Hirondelle (..)

Erclin (Iwuy) Eauette (Marcoing)

Navigation[edit] Canalisation from Cambrai
Cambrai
down to Valenciennes
Valenciennes
was completed in 1788. Napoleon saw the benefits of linking Paris to Belgium
Belgium
and accelerated completion of the Canal de Saint-Quentin
Canal de Saint-Quentin
to the south. The locks were deepened and doubled, as coal became the essential commodity of the industrial revolution. Upgrading downstream from Bouchain
Bouchain
was started in the 1960s in both France
France
and Flanders, but the waterway is still not fully compliant with European standards. All the locks on the high-capacity section are being doubled by European Class Vb size locks, 185m by 12m, as part of the overall European Seine-Scheldt waterway project[3] The Pont des Trous, a listed fortified bridge in Tournai
Tournai
that has already been substantially modified, will again be raised to provide the necessary dimensions, including an air draught of 7.10m.

The navigable river Escaut/ Scheldt
Scheldt
from Cambrai
Cambrai
to the North Sea
North Sea
(from European Waterways Map and Directory, 5th edition)

In culture[edit] Traditions says that Saint Amalberga of Temse
Temse
crossed the river in Temse
Temse
on the back of a big Sturgeon. Louis Pulinckx's painting "View on the Schuldt", 1875 See also[edit]

Canal
Canal
de l'Escaut

Notes[edit]

^ "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.  ^ Edwards-May, David (2010). Inland Waterways of France. St Ives, Cambs., UK: Imray. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-846230-14-1. 

References[edit]

geoportail.fr The Scheldt
Scheldt
(Escaut) at the Sandre database

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Scheldt.

Water basin of the Scheldt www.scheldenet.nl ScheldeMonitor; Research studies and monitoring activities Deltaworks; Flood protection works in Scheldt
Scheldt
Delta International Scheldt
Scheldt
Commission Scaldit - Interreg IV B NWE project for a safer and cleaner Scheldt River Basin District (FR - BE (Walloon Region - Brussels
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 (Belgiu

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