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Spree(shprā), river, c.250 mi (400 km) long, rising in the Lausitz Mts., E Central Germany, near the Czech Republic border. It flows N past Cottbus, then NW through the Spree Forest, and from there it meanders east, north, and west before passing through Berlin to join the Havel River at Spandau. Navigable for c.110 mi (180 km), it is connected with the Oder River by the Oder-Spree Canal and with the Havel River by the Teltow Canal, which bypasses Berlin. The Spree Forest (Ger. Spreewald) in E central Germany, is a marshy region between Cottbus and Lübben, crisscrossed by small waterways that are the chief traffic lanes connecting the region's villages. Its population consists almost entirely of Slavic-speaking Wends, whose isolation has enabled them to keep their colorful traditions and local customs through the centuries. Eel fishing is among the chief economic activities there.
a river in the German Democratic Republic and West Berlin, a left tributary of the Havel River of the Elbe River basin. The Spree is 398 km long and drains an area of 10,100 sq km. It rises in the western Sudetes, in the northern foothills of the Lusatian Mountains, and flows through the Central European Plain. High water is in the spring, and there is a low-water period in the summer. The river’s flow is strictly regulated by dams and lakes. The mean flow rate is approximately 40 eu m per sec; the river does not freeze over every year. The Spree, parts of which are ca nalized, forms part of a waterway that links the Oder with the Elbe. The city of Berlin is situated on the river.