The Moldau is the longest river within the Czech Republic, running over 267 miles across Bohemia and through Prague, where it is crossed by 18 bridges (including the Charles Bridge), before merging with the Elbe. The name, which is known in the Czech language as The Vltava, actually comes from German; however, both names are believed to originate from the old Germanic words *wilt ahwa, meaning “wild water”.
In popular culture, one of Czech composer Bedřich Smetana’s best-known classical works is Vltava, better known in English as The Moldau. Written during the Romantic era, the piece is a musical description of the river’s course through Bohemia. Smetana’s symphonic poem also inspired a song by Bertolt Brecht of the same name.
Also, after its discovery in 1973, the minor planet 2123 Vltava was named after the river.
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