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Vistula with catchment area and tributaries

Vistula with catchment area and tributaries

location Poland
River system Vistula
source Silesian Beskids near Wisła
49 ° 36 ′ 42 ″  N , 19 ° 0 ′ 38 ″  E
Source height approx.  1100  m above sea level NN
muzzle in the Baltic Sea near Danzig Coordinates: 54 ° 21 ′ 37 "  N , 18 ° 57 ′ 10"  E 54 ° 21 ′ 37 "  N , 18 ° 57 ′ 10"  E
Mouth height m above sea level NN
Height difference approx. 1100 m
Bottom slope approx. 1 ‰
length 1048 km
Catchment area 194,424 km²
Drain MQ
1080 m³ / s
Big cities Krakow , Warsaw , Bydgoszcz , Toruń , Gdansk
Navigable 914 km, from Zabrzeg
Location of the Vistula in the Polish water network
Source river Czarna Wisełka
Confluence of the Narew (left) and Vistula (right) near Modlin
From Mewe Castle in Gniew
Malbork in the Vistula Delta
Elbing in the Vistula Delta
Gdansk in the Vistula Delta
Estuary at Mikoszewo
Port in Gdansk
Estuary at Danzig

The Vistula ( Polish Wisła (  [ ˈvʲiswa ] ), Czech Visla , Latin Vistula ) is a 1048 kilometer long and by European standards largely unregulated and natural river and the longest river in Poland . The catchment area also includes parts of Slovakia , Belarus and Ukraine . The longest course of water in their river system is the 1213 kilometers from the source of the Western Bug to the Baltic Sea. Please click to listen!Play

The spelling W (e) ixel or Wissel can also be found on old maps .


There is disagreement as to whether the name Vistula is of Indo-European or pre-Indo-European origin. The Polish name Wisła is derived from the Latin Vistla . The letter pair -tl- was simply replaced by the Polish -ł-. This is also the name of the first city through which the Vistula flows.


Upper course

Silesian Beskids and Silesian Foothills

The river has its source in the municipality of the town of the same name in the Silesian Beskids at an altitude of 1107 m above sea level. NN or 1080 m. ü. NN on the south-western slope of the Barania Góra from the streams Czarna Wisełka and Biała Wisełka , which flow into the Jezioro Czerniańskie reservoir after nine and seven kilometers, respectively . The outflowing mountain stream is called Wisełka and only becomes the Vistula when the Malinka flows into it. In Ustroń it leaves the Silesian Beskids and flows through the densely populated Silesian foothills around Skoczów , where it takes up the Brennica , which also rises in the Silesian Beskids .

Auschwitz Basin and Krakow Gate

After leaving the mountains, the Vistula flows into the Auschwitz basin and turns to the east, where it forms part of the historical border between Upper Silesia and Lesser Poland . Shortly after Strumień it flows into the Goczałkowice Reservoir . It is navigable below the dam. Behind Auschwitz and the inclusion of the Soła , the wide Auschwitz basin narrows to the Krakauer Tor between the Gross Salzer Mountains in the south and the Tenczyner Ridge , part of the Krakow-Czestochowa Jura , in the north. About 70 km after the reservoir, the Vistula flows through the old royal city of Krakow (Kraków).

Sandomir Basin

In Krakow , the Vistula leaves the narrow Krakow Basin and flows into the large tectonic depression of the Sandomir Basin , where it receives from the right the water of numerous Carpathian rivers that drain the Beskids , Pieninen and Tatras . In the Sandomir Basin, the Vistula flows eastward, on the southern edge of the Kraków-Czestochowa Jura and the Holy Cross Mountains . South of the basin joins the Subcarpathian Mountains and then the Roztocze to the east . From Niepołomice 25 km east of Kraków to a little below the mouth of the San , the Vistula was the border between the Habsburg Galicia and the Russian Empire from 1815 to 1916 . 70 km behind Niepołomice, the Dunajec , which has its origins in the High Tatras , flows into the Vistula. Soon after Sandomierz , the Bieszczady flows into the San, the easternmost Carpathian river, which drains into the Vistula. The upper course of the Vistula ends with the confluence of the two rivers south of Zawichost .

Middle course

Lesser Poland Vistula Gorge

From Zawichost onwards, the Vistula Gorge begins to break through the Polish Plateau between the Lublin highlands in the east and the Kielc highlands in the west. Here it flows past old trading towns such as Kazimierz Dolny and Janowiec .

Mazovian Plain

Further north near Puławy the Vistula reaches the Polish Plain , specifically the Mazovian Plain . Its poorly regulated middle course is characterized by numerous meanders and sandbanks that make shipping difficult. On the northern edge of its central reaches, the Vistula flows through the Polish capital in the Warsaw Basin .

Lower course

Glacial valleys

The lower course begins at the confluence of the Narew in the Vistula. Shortly after Warsaw it reaches the area of ​​predominantly east-west oriented glacial valleys through which it flows from the east, shortly before united, the Bug and Narew. Here it turns strongly to the west in the Warsaw-Berlin glacial valley , to which the Thorn-Eberswalder glacial valley closes, and passes Płock , Dobrzyń nad Wisłą , Włocławek and Thorn . A large dam with a hydroelectric power station has existed near Włocławek since 1970 .

In Bydgoszcz , the city center is not on power, it leaves the great east-west glacial valley and breaks in the Unterer Vistula in Fordon breakthrough the Baltic country back . This includes the Pomeranian Lake District between the Vistula and the Oder , and the Masurian Lake District between the Vistula and Nyemen . In the last two decades of the 20th century, extensive regulatory measures were carried out on the middle reaches to improve navigability .


The flow of the river into the Baltic Sea was naturally blocked by the dune ridge of the Danzig Inland Spit , the western part of the Fresh Spit (Mierzeja Wiślana). A delta has formed between the ridge and the dune ridge. Shortly after Gniew ( Gniew ) which branches off to the east Nogat from, which was only in 1371 by a flood of self-flow (again) for Weichselarm and in the area of Elblag lowland into the Vistula Lagoon (Polish Zalew Wiślany so Vistula ) opens. Shortly before the dunes killing time naturally the main stream of the Vistula in the branched Elbinger or Konigsberg Vistula ( Szkarpawa ) , which also empties into the Vistula Lagoon and until the early 19th century was the main stream, as well as in the Gdansk Vistula, which near the town of Gdansk to The dune ridge broke through and which flowed into the Gdańsk Bay (Polish: Zatoka Gdańska ). During a flood in 1840, a new Vistula breakthrough emerged halfway between the fork and Danzig, whereupon the lower western part of the old estuary silted up. In the years 1889 to 1895, the dune ridge was pierced at the fork in order to reduce the risk of flooding in the Vistula Delta. Since most of the Vistula water flows through this Vistula breakthrough , in Polish Przekop Wisły , into the Baltic Sea, the Gdańsk Vistula as a whole has silted up and has increasingly been called Dead Vistula, in Polish Martwa Wisła .

The eastern arm of the Vistula, Szkarpawa, has in turn formed a delta. Its northernmost arm is still called Wisła Królewiecka ( Königsberg Vistula) .


The first written mention of the Vistula is a little more than 2000 years old and comes from Roman-ancient authors. During antiquity, the amber route ran from the Roman Empire over the Moravian Gate and along the Vistula, at whose confluence with the Baltic Sea was the Turso amber trading center .

Pomponius Mela named in 44 AD in the third book of the Chorographia (3.27) the visula as the border between Germania and Sarmatia . Pliny explicitly mentioned two names in his natural history (4.52, 4.89) in AD 77 : " Visculus sive Vistla ". The Vistla River therefore flowed into the Mare Suebicum , which is now known as the Baltic Sea.

Pliny also referred to the Vistula as the border river between the Germanic and Sarmatic areas of influence. Pliny referred to the East Germans living in the Vistula region as Vandili (Vandals) and named the sub-tribes Burgodiones ( Burgundians ) , Varinnae , Charini and Gutones (Goths) . The Goths only settled in the lower and middle Vistula in the last century before the turn of the times, but began to migrate again as early as 200 AD and can no longer be detected there from the 5th century.

Apart from the migratory movements, the names also changed: In his Germania, Tacitus called the Aesti or Aisti (probably synonymous with today's name Balten ) living east of the mouth of the Vistula as Germanic, but indicated that they were a language similar to British (Celtic) speak and distinguish them from the Suebi .

From the 5th / 6th Century AD. Slavic settlements on the Vistula are proven. Between the Germanic and Slavic settlement periods, there was a considerable loss of emigration in these areas. In the Germanic written tradition of the Vistula forests ( Widsith , verse 121) - "the people who live on the Vistula" (in the area of ​​the Przeworsk culture ) - the homeland of the Saxons and other Teutons are:

Wulfhere sohte ic ond Wyrmhere; ful oft þær wig ne alæg, þonne Hræda here heardum sweordum ymb Wistlawudu wergan sceoldon ealdne eþelstol ætlan leodum.

When Jordanes wrote a chronicle of the Goths, Getica , in the 6th century , he named the river Vistula. He also described two other rivers with the name Viscla. This name refers to the Wisłoka tributary and the San , Wisłok tributary .

Around 850 AD, the Prussians , who mostly live east of the mouth of the Vistula, were mentioned by the Bavarian geographer as "Bruz".

One of the first Polish chroniclers, Wincenty Kadłubek, described the Vistula as the hometown of the Vandals , from whom he derived the Polish legend of Wanda .

In the High Middle Ages, the Vistula gained an important role as a trade route from Krakow to Gdansk . However, the Vistula trade was affected by the occupation of Danzig by the Teutonic Order in 1308. After the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466, the Vistula was again completely on Polish territory. The more than 300 years between the Peace of Thorne and the First Partition of Poland in 1772 are considered to be the heyday of the Vistula trade and Gdańsk as a trading center that connected Poland-Lithuania with the Western European trading nations of the English and Dutch. Polish grain was exported to Western Europe via the Vistula and Danzig, when Poland-Lithuania was the breadbasket of the continent, and colonial goods were imported from Western Europe.

At the end of the 18th century, after the third partition of Poland , the Vistula and Warta found their way into the Polish national anthem Mazurek Dąbrowskiego as symbols of freedom .

High and low tide

Since the Vistula is only partially regulated, there are often high and low water levels. Floods usually occur on the upper reaches in early summer when the Carpathian rivers bring a lot of rainwater from the mountains into the valley. Floods in the middle and lower reaches usually occur after the snowmelt in spring. Three reservoirs were built on the Vistula for flood protection:

Reservoir German name location image
Jezioro Czerniańskie Czerna reservoir Silesian Beskids
POL Wisła Czarne Jezioro i Zameczek Prezydencki.JPG
Jezioro Goczałkowickie Goczałkowice Reservoir Auschwitz basin
Goczalkowickie Lake.jpg
Jezioro Włocławskie Włocławek Reservoir Lower Vistula Valley
Wloclawek Dam - photo 01.jpg

A fourth barrage is planned in Siarzewo . In addition, there are numerous reservoirs on the tributaries of the Vistula in the Beskids and Pienines , which are supposed to protect against flooding after heavy rain or snowmelt in the mountains:

Reservoir German name flow Drained mountains image
Jezioro Wielka Łąka Large meadow reservoir Wapienica Silesian Beskids
Wapienica (rzeka) -zbiornik Wielka Laka2.jpg
Jezioro Żywiec Żywiec reservoir Soła Saybuscher Basin , Silesian , Saybuscher , Little Beskids
Valley of Żywieci.jpg
Jezioro Międzybrodzkie Międzybrodzie reservoir Soła Little Beskids
Miedzybrodzie Bialskie widok na Zar.JPG
Jezioro Czanieckie Czaniec reservoir Soła Little Beskids
Czanieckie Lake 4.jpg
Zbiornik Świnna Poręba Świnna Poręba reservoir Skawa Little Beskids , Makov Beskids
Jezioro Dobczyckie Dobczyce reservoir Raba Makov Beskids
Jezioro Dobczyckie.jpg
Jezioro Czorsztyńskie Czorsztyn reservoir Dunajec , Białka Tatras , Pienines , Gorce , Saybuscher Beskids
Zapora nad zalewem Czorsztynskim - panoramio.jpg
Jezioro Sromowskie Sromowce reservoir Dunajec Middle pienins
Niedzica a1.jpg
Jezioro Rożnowskie Rożnów Reservoir Dunajec Sandets Beskids
20170814 Jezioro Rożnowskie z Tabaszowej 5398 DxO.jpg
Jezioro Czchowskie Czchów Reservoir Dunajec Island Beskids
20170814 Jezioro Czchowskie w Tropiu 5479.jpg
Jezioro Klimkowskie Klimkówka Reservoir Ropa Lower Beskids
Jezioro Klimkowskie 20150704 8701.jpg
Jezioro Sieniawskie Sieniawa Reservoir Wisłok Jasło-Krosno basin
Jezioro Solińskie Solina reservoir San Forest Carpathians , Bieszczady
00861 Solina reservoir 2013;  Northern Subcarpathians.JPG
Jezioro Myczkowskie Myczkowce reservoir San Forest Carpathians , Bieszczady
Jezioro Myczkowskie - panoramio.jpg

Other reservoirs for flood protection in the Vistula river system are:

Reservoir German name flow image
Jezioro Chechelskie Chechło Reservoir Chechło
Jezioro Brodzkie Brody Reservoir Kamienna
BrodyIlzeckie 20051007 1312.jpg
Jezioro Chańcza Chańcza Reservoir Czarna Staszowska
Zalew Chanca w Korytnicy.jpg
Jezioro Nielisz Nielisz reservoir Wieprz
Zalewnielisz 067.jpg
Jezioro Zemborzyckie Zemborzycki reservoir Bystrzyca
Zalew Zemborzycki - panoramio (2) .jpg
Jezioro Domaniowskie Domaniów Reservoir Radomka
Wólka Domaniowska, Zbiornik vodny "Domaniów" - (215050) .jpg
Jezioro Sulejowski Sulejów reservoir Pilica
Zalew Sulejowski, widok od strony Tomaszowa Mazowieckiego, May 2018 r.jpg
Jezioro Niewiadoma Niewiadoma reservoir Cetynia
Zbiornik Niewiadoma Gmina Sabnie widok z zapory.jpg
Jezioro Siczki Siczki reservoir Gzówka
Zalew w Jedlni Letnisko2.JPG
Jezioro Zygmunta Augusta Sigismund August reservoir Nereśl
Podlaskie - Knyszyn - Jezioro Zygmunta Augusta - WSW - Czechowizna.JPG
Jezioro Siemianówka Siemianówka Reservoir Narew
Poland Siemianówka.jpg
Jezioro Zegrzyńskie Zegrze reservoir Narew
Jezioro Zegrzyńskie - w oddali widoczny most (trasa na Wyszków) - panoramio.jpg
Jezioro Koronowskie Polish Crown Reservoir Brda
Zalew Koronowski 2.jpg
Jezioro Smukalskie Smukała reservoir Brda
Zapora w Smukale.jpg
Jezioro Żurskie Żur reservoir Wda
Zbiornik Zurski.JPG

Between Oświęcim and Nowa Huta in Krakow , the Vistula is regulated to keep the water level stable for shipping and to protect Krakow from floods.

The years 1813, 1844, 1888, 1934, 1960, 1997, 2001, 2010 were particularly severe in the Vistula. In May 2010 there were major floods in Poland (and in other Central European countries) .

In September 2012 the water level in the Vistula was historically low and was 58 cm. During this time, centuries-old artifacts were found on the river floor . In August 2015, a new all-time low of only 41 cm was measured.

Administrative units


Eight voivodeships are part of the Vistula, which makes up half of all 16 Polish voivodships.

Downstream sequence:

coat of arms Voivodeship German name
POL województwo śląskie COA.svg
Województwo śląskie Silesian Voivodeship
POL województwo małopolskie COA.svg
Województwo małopolskie Lesser Poland Voivodeship
POL województwo świętokrzyskie COA.svg
Województwo świętokrzyskie Holy Cross Voivodeship
POL województwo podkarpackie COA.svg
Województwo podkarpackie Subcarpathian Voivodeship
POL województwo lubelskie COA.svg
Województwo lubelskie Lublin Voivodeship
POL województwo mazowieckie COA.svg
Województwo mazowieckie Masovian Voivodeship
POL województwo kujawsko-pomorskie COA.svg
Województwo kujawsko-pomorskie Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship
POL województwo pomorskie COA.svg
Województwo pomorskie Pomeranian Voivodeship

cities and communes

Downriver sequence, major cities in bold, population figures of cities as of December 31, 2016, municipalities that are not cities, in italics:

local community German name circle Residents image
Wisła Vistula Powiat Cieszyński 11,048
POL Wisła Hotel Gołębiewski i Wisła 2.JPG
Ustroń Ustron Powiat Cieszyński 16,065
Czantoria, Ustroń, .jpg
Harbutowice Harbutowitz Powiat Cieszyński 883
Brennica i Wisła.jpg
Górki Wielkie Great Gurek Powiat Cieszyński 3950
POL Górki Wielkie Centrum ze Spacerowej.JPG
Skoczów Skotschau Powiat Cieszyński 14,502
POL Skoczów Rynek z pn.wsch.jpg
Strumień Black water Powiat Cieszyński 3643
Strumień Rynek z ratuszem.jpg
Zabrzeg Powiat Bielski 3107
POL Zabrzeg Kościół św.  Józefa 2.JPG
Goczałkowice-Zdrój Bad Gottschalkowitz Powiat Pszczyński 6689
Goczałkowice-Zdrój, Staw Maciek 1.jpg
Czechowice-Dziedzice Czechowitz-Dzieditz Powiat Bielski 35,725
"DROGA" DO KOŚCIOŁA.  - panoramio.jpg
Brzeszcze Powiat Oświęcimski 11,430
Czerwony poranek.jpg
Oświęcim Auschwitz Powiat Oświęcimski 38,972
Oświęcim - Układ urbanistyczny AL05.JPG
Skawina Konradshof Powiat Krakowski 24,317
Rynek w Skawinie.JPG
Kraków Krakow 765.320
Niepołomice Niepolomitz Powiat Wielicki 12 507
Zamek niepolomice tomasz2706-2.JPG
Szczucin Powiat Dąbrowski 4170
Szczucin rynek 2.jpg
Baranów Sandomierski Powiat Tarnobrzeski 1478
Baranów Sandomierski zamek (P1360189) .JPG
Tarnobrzeg 47,595
Дворец Тарновских.jpg
Sandomierz Sandomir Powiat Sandomierski 23,993
Zavichost Powiat Sandomierski 1,817
Zawichost - widok z powietrza.jpg
Annopol Powiat Kraśnicki 2606
Małopolski przełom wisly.jpg
Józefów nad Wisłą Powiat Opolski 921
Józefów nad Wisłą widok z powietrza.jpg
Janowiec Powiat Puławski 1000
Wisła w okolicach Kazimierza Dolnego, widok na Zamek w Janowcu.jpg
Kazimierz Dolny Powiat Puławski 2,594
Kazimierz Dolny 045.jpg
Puławy Powiat Puławski 48,408
Puławy, Pałac Czartoryskich (02) .jpg
Dęblin Demblin Powiat Rycki 16,526
Deb palace4.JPG
Góra Kalwaria Calvary Powiat Piaseczyński 11,868
Otwock Powiat Otwocki 44 873
Palac otwock wielki.jpg
Warszawa Warsaw 1,753,977
Panorama of Warsaw by night (cropped) .jpg
Czerwińsk nad Wisłą Powiat Płoński 1089
Plock Plotzk 121,295
Płock, Tumskie Hill.jpg
Dobrzyń nad Wisłą Dobrin Powiat Lipnowski 2,221
Dobrzyń nad Wisłą - Góra Zamkowa.jpg
Włocławek Leslau 112,483
Nieszawa Nessau Powiat Aleksandrowski 1,950
Nieszawa Wisla 01.jpg
Ciechocinek Hermannsbad Powiat Aleksandrowski 10,526
The public garden in Ciechocinek.JPG
Toruń Thorn 202,521
Toruń, Kościół Św.  Ducha.jpg
Solec Kujawski Schulitz Powiat Bydgoski 15,660
SolecKuj Vistula5 7-2015.jpg
Bydgoszcz Bromberg 353.938
Bdg StrFordonzmostu 3 07-2013.jpg
Chełmno Kulm Powiat Chełmiński 19,991
Chelmno town hall (ratusz miejski) 03.jpg
Świecie Schwetz Powiat Świecki 25,974
Market Square in Swiecie.jpg
Grudziądz Graudenz 95,964
Water gate in Grudziadz.jpg
Nowe Neuchâtel Powiat Świecki 5,994
Nowe, Rynek 10.jpg
Gniew Mewe Powiat Tczewski 6,840
Gniew (js) .jpg
Malbork Marienburg Powiat Malborski 38,848
05/12/2012 MALBORK (4) .JPG
Tczew Dirschau Powiat Tczewski 60,276
Most tczew.jpg
Gdańsk Danzig 463.754
Ayuntamiento Principal, Gdansk, Polonia, 2013-05-20, DD 02.jpg
Mikoszewo Nickelswalde Powiat Nowodworski 710
Widok na rezerwat Mewia Łacha.jpg


Sequence downstream with length information (from 300 km bold), runoff and size of the catchment area; indented tributaries of the tributaries near the mouth

main power

flow German name direction length Catchment area Headwaters image
Biała Wisełka Little White Vistula right 7 km Silesian Beskids
POL Wisła Czarne Ujście Białej Wisełki do Jeziora Czerniańskiego 1.JPG
Malinka right 8 kilometers Silesian Beskids
POL Wisła Potok Malink k.  skoczni 1.JPG
Gościejów right 4.3 km Silesian Beskids
POL Wisła Potok Gościejów 2.JPG
Kopydło Left 7.6 km Silesian Beskids
POL Wisła Potok Kopydło 2.jpg
Dziechcinka Left 5.3 km Silesian Beskids
POL Wisła Oaza Ujście Dziechcinki do Wisły.jpg
Jawornik Left 4.8 km Silesian Beskids
POL Wisła Potok Jawornik i 2 dopływy 2.JPG
Dobka right 5.7 km Silesian Beskids
POL Ustroń Potok Dobka 2.jpg
Gościeradowiec right 2.8 km Silesian Beskids
B & p 076.jpg
Brennica Brennitz right 16.8 km Silesian Beskids
Brennica, Brenna, Beskid Śląski, Polska, Poland..jpg
Bładnica Left 12.5 km 42.1 km² Silesian promontory
POL Skoczów Bładnica Harcerska.JPG
Knajka Left 19 km 68.8 km² Silesian promontory
Iłownica right 27.88 km 201.1 km² Silesian promontory
POL Czechowice-Dziedzice Iłownica niedaleko ujścia i most kolejowy.JPG
Biała Bialka right 28.6 km 139 km² Silesian Beskids
Biała River13.JPG
Pszczynka Left 45.26 km Silesian plateau
Gostynia Left 32.1 km 349 km² Silesian plateau
MOs810 WG 23 2016 (Zaglebiowskie Zakamarki) (Gostynia, Tychy Paprocany) .jpg
Przemsza Perzemsa Left 28 km 2121 km² Silesian plateau
Park sielecki mewa017.jpg
Soła Sola right 80 km 1400 km² Saybuscher Beskids
GoraZar WidokNaJezioroZywieckie.jpg
Chechło Left 26 km 116 km² Krakow-Czestochowa Jura
Skawa Look right 78 km 1160 km² Saybuscher Beskids
Skawa - panoramio.jpg
Skawinka right 34 km 365 km² Makov Beskids
Skawina-mostek na starej Skawince.jpg
Sanka Left 18.3 km 94 km² Krakow-Czestochowa Jura
Dolina Mnikowska a1.jpg
Rudawa Left 35.8 km 318.3 km² Krakow-Czestochowa Jura
Rudawa na Salwatorze.jpg
Wilga right 26.7 km 101.1 km² Pogórze Wielickie
Wilga river mouth.jpg
Prądnik Left 34.5 km 195.8 km² Krakow-Czestochowa Jura
Dolina Prądnika, widok z Góry Okopy.jpg
Dłubnia Left 50.76 km 272 km² Krakow-Czestochowa Jura
Dlubnia maszkow.jpg
Raba right 132 km 1537 km² Gorce
Adamczykowa G28.jpg
Szreniawa Left 80 km 706 km² Krakow-Czestochowa Jura
Szreniawa 2.jpg
Uszwica right 61.2 km 323 km² Island Beskids
Uszwica BW37.jpg
Nidzica Left 66 km 708 km² Krakow-Czestochowa Jura
Nidzica river 20060624 1434.jpg
Dunajec Dohnst right 247 km 6804 km² High Tatras , Western Tatras
Sokolica Dunajec IMG 0493.jpg
Nida Left 151 km 3865 km² Heiligkreuzgebirge
Pinczow-nida Piotr Walczak.jpg
Breń right 52 km Tarnow plateau
Czarna Staszowska Left 61 km 1358 km² Heiligkreuzgebirge
Wisłoka Wittewater right 164 km 4110 km² Lower Beskids
Babulówka right 32 km Sandomir Basin
Koprzywianka Left 66 km 707 km² Heiligkreuzgebirge
Gmina Samborzec, Poland - panoramio (7) .jpg
Trześniówka right 57 km 570 km² Sandomir Basin
Trzesniowka 09 2007.JPG
Łęg right 81 km 960 km² Sandomir Basin
Łęg 09 2007.jpg
San Saan right 433 km 16,861 km² Bieszczady
03 Santhal from Sobien castle ruins.JPG
Opatówka Left 51 km 282 km² Heiligkreuzgebirge
Opatowka w opatowie001.jpg
Sanna right 51 km 606 km² Lublin highlands
Zaklików przyroda 01.JPG
Wyżnica right 42.5 km 508 km² Lublin highlands
Wyżnica (rzeka) -gorny bieg.jpg
Kamienna Left 138 km 2008 km² Kielc highlands
Kamienna w okolicach Bałtowa.jpg
Iłżanka Left 77 km 1127 km² Kielc highlands
Iłżanka w Ciepielowie.jpg
Zwoleńka Left 37 km 230.2 km² Central Mazovian Plain
Staroczecze zwolenki borowiec.jpg
Chodelka right 49.3 km 566 km² Lublin highlands
Pejzaż - panoramio (2) .jpg
Plewka Left 27.88 km Central Mazovian Plain
Rzeka Plewka w Janowicach.JPG
Kurówka right 50 km 395.4 km² Lublin highlands
Kurówka River 03 Poland.JPG
Wieprz right 303 km 10,400 km² Roztocze
Zamglony Wieprz.JPG
Zagożdżonka Left 46.21 km 568.5 km² Central Mazovian Plain
Zagozdzonka Puszcza Kozienicka.jpg
Radomka Left 100 km 2000 km² South Mazovian hill country
Radomka w Brodzie.JPG
Wilga right 67 km 569 km² Żelechów ridge
Wilga przepływająca przez wieś Kamionka.jpg
Pilica Pilitza Left 319 km 9245 km² Krakow-Czestochowa Jura
Nad Pilicą - panoramio (3) .jpg
Świder right 85 km Żelechów ridge
Jeziorka Left 66.3 km 975.3 km² Central Mazovian Plain
Narew Nare right 484 km 75,200 km² Białowieża Primeval Forest
Narew River at Strękowa Góra 03 (js), Poland.jpg
Bzura Left 166 km 7660 km² Central Mazovian Plain
Skrwa Lewa Left Skrwa Left 51.7 km Central Mazovian Plain
Lucień Skrwa.JPG
Skrwa Prawa Right Skrwa right 114 km 1704 km² Kulm-Dobrzyner Lake District
Zgłowiączka Left 79 km 1496 km² Kuyavian Lake District
Park miejski im.  H. Sienkiewicza we Włocławku2 N. Chylińska.JPG
Mień Meinbach right 53.5 km Kulmsee-Dobrzyner Seenplatte
Tążyna Tonzyna right 49.8 km Greater Poland Lake District
Drwęca Drewenz right 253 km Masurian Lake District
Rezerwat przyrody Rzeka Drwęca.jpg
Zielona Struga Green flow Left 34.3 km Greater Poland Lake District
Bydg pusz Zielona struga12.JPG
Struga Toruńska Bostoltz right 51.5 km 371 km Kulmsee Lake District
Struga Toruńska7.jpg
Brda Brahe Left 238 km 4634 km² Bytower Lake District
Bdg Brda naturalna 1.jpg
Struga Niewieścińska Left 11 km South Pomeranian Lake District
Struga Niewiescinska.jpg
Fryba Fribbe right 39.6 km Kulmsee Lake District
Wda Black water Left 210 km 2345 km² Bytower Lake District
Rzeka Wda i trawa wodna - widok z kładki.jpg
Osa Ossa right 96 km 1600 km² Eylauer Seenplatte
POL Rzeka Osa.JPG
Wierzyca heel Left 112 km 1600 km² Kashubian Lake District
Wierzyca river in Owidz.JPG



flow German name direction length Catchment area Headwaters image
Canal Młyński Mills digging Left 8.2 km Vistula Delta
Przekop Wisły Vistula puncture muzzle 7.1 km Vistula Delta


flow German name direction length Catchment area Headwaters image
Liwa love right 111.4 km 990.8 km² Eylauer Seenplatte
Liwa w Starym Mlynie.jpg
Młynówka Malborska right 29.3 km Eylauer Seenplatte
Can.  Juranda.jpg
Canal Jagielloński Jagiellonian Canal right 5.7 km Vistula Delta


flow German name direction length Catchment area Headwaters image
Szkarpawa muzzle 25.4 km 780 km² Vistula Delta
Rzeka Szkarpawa zimą.jpg
Wisla Królewiecka Konigsberg Vistula muzzle 11.5 km Vistula Delta
Pozostałości dawnego pomostu na Wiśle Królewieckiej.JPG

Wisła Śmiała

flow German name direction length Catchment area Headwaters image
Wisła Śmiała muzzle 2.5 km Vistula Delta
Wyspa Sobieszewska, Gdańsk, Poland - panoramio (140) .jpg

Martwa Wisła

flow German name direction length Catchment area Headwaters image
Czarna Łacha Left 7 km Danzig Werder
Krępiec ujście po lewej kanału Czara Łacha w środku rzeki Raduni do Motławy.jpg
Opływ Motławy Left 7 km Danzig Werder
Bastion Żubr w Gdańsku (1623) ubt.jpeg
Motława Motlawa Left 65 km 1511.3 km² Starogard Lake District
Sołdek i Żuraw, Gdańsk 2006 A ubt.jpeg
Strzyża Strießbach Left 9.4 km 22 km² Kashubian Lake District
Gdansk Dolina Strzyzy 1.jpg

Channel connections

channel German name connection image
Kanał Augustowski Augustów Canal Narew - Biebrza - Kanał Augustowski - Czarna Hańcza - Nyemen
Śluza Paniewo, dolna komora.jpg
Canal Dniepr-Bug Dnieper Bug Canal Narew - Western Bug - Dnieper Bug Canal - Dnieper
Селішча.  Дняпроўска-Бугскі канал.  Водападзел (15) .jpg
Channel Bachorze Bachorze Canal Zgłowiączka - Bachorze Canal - Jezioro Gopło
Canal Bydgoski Bromberger Canal Brda - Kanał Bydgoski - Noteć - Warta - Oder
Bydgoszcz Pradolina Noteci 8.jpg
Kanał Notecki Networks channel Brda - Bydgoski - Kanał Notecki - Gopło - Kanał Ślesiński - Warta
Kanał Górnonotecki wypływający z lasu w Łochowie 1.jpg
Ślesiński Canal Ślesiński Canal Brda - Bydgoski - Kanał Notecki - Gopło - Ślesiński Channel - Warta
Śluza Pątnów.jpg
Canal Jagielloński Kraffohlkanal Nogat - Jagielloński Canal - Elbląg - Ostródzko-Elbląski Canal - Ostróda
Canal Ostródzko-Elbląski Oberland Canal Nogat - Jagielloński Canal - Elbląg - Ostródzko-Elbląski Canal - Ostróda
Statek na trawie - pochylnia Buczyniec na Kanale Elbląskim - panoramio.jpg



The Vistula is navigable from just before Oświęcim to Gdansk , although in the upper reaches only the section Oświęcim to Nowa Huta in Krakow is developed as the Upper Vistula waterway with locks and canals. Below Krakow, the river meanders back to its original state, which makes more intensive navigation outside of tourist use by small pleasure boats and kayaks impossible. From Warsaw to Gdansk, the Vistula is navigable again for larger ships. It is part of the international waterways E40 from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and E70 from Antwerp to Klaipėda .


Already in its headwaters in the Silesian Beskids , the upper reaches of the Vistula is accompanied by the Goleszów – Wisła Głębce railway line . All major cities on the Vistula are connected to the Polish railway network.


Voivodeship road 941 runs below the Vistula springs . Voivodeship roads accompany the Vistula on its course, only in its lower reaches it is accompanied by the A1 motorway from Włocławek to Toruń and from Grudziądz to Gdańsk .


The 1200 km long Vistula long-distance cycle path along the river from Wisła to Gdansk has been completed in sections and will be expanded further. The sections from the springs to Szczucin in the Silesian and Lesser Poland Voivodeships and from Dobrzyń nad Wisłą to Kwidzyn in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship are currently finished, which together makes up about half of the route.

natural reserve

The Vistula flows through numerous forests, for example through the Sandomir Primeval Forest , as well as through numerous nature reserves (or there are nature reserves in the Vistula Valley, for example the Zbocza Płutowskie nature reserve and nature protection areas 2000, such as the Wiśliska ).

Nature reserves directly on the Vistula:

Bird sanctuary

Bird sanctuary German name Identifier image
Dolina Górnej Wisły Upper Vistula Valley PLB240001
Goczalkowice zachod.jpg
Stawy w Brzeszczach Brzeszczy ponds PLB120009
Brzeszcze - Nycticorax nycticorax.JPG
Dolina Dolnej Skawy Lower Skawatal PLB120005
Małopolski Przełom Wisły Lesser Poland Vistula Gorge PLB140006
Panorama ze Skarpy Dobrskiej.jpg
Dolina Środkowej Wisły Middle Vistula Valley PLB140004
Stara Wisła Kępa Wieloryb Warszawa 006.jpg
Dolina Dolnej Wisły Lower Vistula Valley PLB040003
Bydgoszcz Przełom Fordoński.jpg
Ujście Wisły Vistula estuary PLB220004
Zalew wiślany 052.jpg

Habitat reserves

Habitat reserves German name Identifier image
Beskid Śląski Silesian Beskids PLH240005
Barania Góra - view from tower.jpg
Jezioro Goczałkowickie Goczałkowice Reservoir PLH240039
Jezioro Goczałkowickie skute lodem.jpg
Tarnobrzeska Dolina Wisły Tarnobrzeg Vistula Valley PLH180049
Łąka nad wisłą.jpg
Dolina Dolnego Sanu Lower Santal PLH180020
Dolina starego sanu 01.jpg
Przełom Wisły w Małopolsce Lesser Poland Vistula Gorge PLH060045
Kazimierski park krajobrazowy 024.jpg
Kampinoska Dolina Wisły Kampinos Vistula Valley PLH140029
Poland Kampinos April 1.jpg
Włocławska Dolina Wisły Włocławek Vistula Valley PLH040039
Przypust - Wisła.jpg
Nieszawska Dolina Wisły Nessauer Weichseltal PLH040012
Nieszawa - Wisła.jpg
Dybowska Dolina Wisły Dybower Weichseltal PLH040011
Starorzecze Wisły jesień.jpg
Solecka Dolina Wisły Solec Vistula Valley PLH040003
Bdg Wisła ptactwo jesień.jpg
Dolna Wisla Lower Vistula PLH220033
Bdg Wisła zima 8.jpg
Ostoja w Ujściu Wisły Vistula estuary PLH220044
Ostoja w ujściu Wisły-widok wybrzeża na wys.  Ptasiego Raju.jpg
Twierdza Wisłoujście Weichselmünde fortress PLH220030
Weichselmünde Fortress Gdansk.jpg

Nature reserves

Nature reserves German name image
Rezerwat przyrody Barania Góra Barania Góra Nature Reserve
Beskid Śląski - Panorama to Baraniej Góry.jpg
Rezerwat przyrody Wisła Vistula nature reserve
Czarna Wisełka.JPG
Rezerwat przyrody Wisła pod Zawichostem Vistula nature reserve near Zawichost
Wisła w Zawichoście - panoramio.jpg
Rezerwat przyrody Krowia Wyspa Krowia Wyspa nature reserve
Rezerwat przyrody Krowia Wyspa.jpg
Rezerwat przyrody Łachy Brzeskie Łachy Brzeskie nature reserve
Lachy brzeskie.JPG
Rezerwat przyrody Wyspy Świderskie Wyspy Świderskie nature reserve
Wyspy świderskie odsyp drewno.jpg
Rezerwat przyrody Ławice Kiełpińskie Ławice Kiełpińskie Nature Reserve
Widok na rezerwat od strony Białołęki.JPG
Rezerwat przyrody Kępy Kazuńskie Kępy Kazuńskie Nature Reserve
Rezerwat przyrody Zakole Zakroczymskie Zakole Zakroczymskie Nature Reserve
Rezerwat przyrody Wikliny Wiślane Wikliny Wiślane nature reserve
Image-Poland Wikliny Wiślane 1.jpg
Rezerwat przyrody Kępa Rakowska Kępa Rakowska Nature Reserve
Rezerwat przyrody Kępa Antonińska Kępa Antonińska Nature Reserve
Rezerwat przyrody Wyspy Zakrzewskie Wyspy Zakrzewskie Nature Reserve
Rezerwat przyrody Wyspy Białobrzeskie Wyspy Białobrzeskie Nature Reserve
Rezerwat przyrody Kępa Wykowska Kępa Wykowska Nature Reserve
Rezerwat przyrody Ławice Troszyńskie Ławice Troszyńskie Nature Reserve

Landscape protection parks

Landscape protection park German name Homepage image
Park Krajobrazowy Beskidu Śląskiego Silesian Beskids Landscape Protection Park Homepage
Wisla 010.jpg
Bielańsko-Tyniecki Park Krajobrazowy Bielany-Tyniec landscape protection park Homepage
Bielańsko Tyniecki Park Krajobrazowy - panorama.jpg
Kazimierski Park Krajobrazowy Kazimierz Landscape Protection Park Homepage
Nadwiślański Park Krajobrazowy Vistula Landscape Park Homepage
MG 3155 strzelce dolne 2.JPG
Nadwiślański Park Krajobrazowy Chełmino Landscape Protection Park Homepage
Bydgoszcz grodzisko Strzelce Dolne 4.jpg

Nature parks

Nature parks German name
Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Doliny Wisły Vistula Valley Nature Park
Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Solec nad Wisłą Solec nad Wisłą Nature Park
Chodelsky Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Chodelsky Nature Park
Nadwiślański Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Vistula Natural Park
Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu rzeki Pilicy i Drzewiczki Pilica and Drzewiczk Valleys Natural Park
Warszawski Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Warsaw Nature Park
Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Niziny Ciechocińskiej Ciechocinek plain
Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Doliny Kwidzyńskiej Kwidzyn Valley
Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Białej Góry Biała Góra Natural Park
Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Rzeki Nogat Nogat Nature Park
Środkowożuławski Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Mittlere Werder Nature Park
Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Żuław Gdańskich Danziger Werder Nature Park
Obszar Chronionego Krajobrazu Wyspy Sobieszewskiej Sobieszewska Island Nature Park

National park

The Kampinos National Park in Mazovia extends from the south to the Vistula.

See also


  • Ernst Bahr: Vistula . In: Handbook of historical sites , East and West Prussia . Alfred Kröner Verlag, Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-520-31701-X , pp. 238-239.
  • Franz Brandstäter: The Vistula. Historic, topographical, picturesque. Marienwerder 1855 ( online ).
  • Heinrich Girard: The north German plain, especially between the Elbe and the Vistula, is shown geologically . Berlin 1855, pp. 251-262 ( online ).
  • Andrzej Piskozub (editor / editor): Wisła. Monografia rzeki. Warsaw, 1982 (Polish standard work in Poland)
  • Jürgen Udolph : Vistula. Namely. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde , Volume 33, De Gruyter, Berlin-New York 2006, pp. 356–358.
  • Szymon Brzeski: Wisła. Królowa polskich rzek. Warszawa 2017, Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowo-Wydawnicze "Arystoteles" (publisher), ISBN 978-83-8038-141-4

Web links

Commons : Vistula  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Vistula  - travel guide


  1. ^ Szymon Brzeski: Wisła. Królowa polskich rzek . 1st edition. Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowo-Wydawnicze "Arystoteles", Warszawa 2017, ISBN 978-83-8038-141-4 , p. 5 .
  2. Gdansk inland spit and Vistula puncture
  3. MAPSTER: Topographical Map 1679 Nickelswalde ( Memento from January 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (1940)
  4. ^ Szymon Brzeski: Wisła. Królowa polskich rzek . 1st edition. Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowo-Wydawnicze "Arystoteles", Warszawa 2017, ISBN 978-83-8038-141-4 , p. 9 .