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a river in the German Democratic Republic, a left tributary of the Saale River of the Elbe River basin. The Unstrut is 188 km long and drains an area of approximately 6,400 sq km. It flows for most of its course through the plains of Thuringia. High water occurs in the spring. The mean flow rate near the mouth is 25 cu m per sec. The cities of Mühlhausen and Sömmerda are on the Unstrut, and the city of Naumburg is situated near its mouth, at the point where the Saale becomes navigable.