The Vltava is the most famous river in the Czech Republic. It is 433km long which makes it the longest river in the country. The river’s spring is situated in Šumava in Southern Bohemia, the Vltava then runs through Český Krumlov, České Budějovice, through Prague and it merges with the Laber river at the town of Mělník.
There are altogether 9 dams on the river, the first ones were built in the 1930s. The largest one is the Lipno Dam though most water is being held in the Orlík Dam. The main reason why the chain of dams was built was production of electricity, naturally other advantates were protection against flooding, stabilizing the river so the water could be used for industry, creating several holiday resorts and others.
There are 107 bridges over the Vltava river, in Prague it is 17. By far the most famous and beautiful one is Charles Bridge though there are many others that are worth seeing, such as Čechův Bridge or Mánes Bridge.
Vltava is also part of the set of six symphonic poems called My Country (in Czech Má Vlast) composed by Bedřich Smetana. This particular piece of music is probably his most successful composition ever. Bedřich Smetana’s Museum is situated right by the Vltava river in the immediate vicinity of Charles Bridge.
The Vltava is being used as river for sightseeing cruises all along, whether it’s the rafts in Český Krumlov or boats on the Orlík Dam, however by far the biggest attraction is cruising the Vltava river in Prague and admiring its beauty from the deck of a boat or steamboat.
There are two places in Prague from where you can take a river cruise, the first one is at Čechův Bridge and the second one by the Palacký Bridge.