Germania was the Roman term for the geographical region in north-central Europe inhabited by Germanic peoples. It extended from the Danube and Main in the south to the Baltic Sea, from the Rhine in the west to the Vistula; the Roman portions formed two provinces of the Empire, Germania Inferior to the north, Germania Superior to the south. Germania was inhabited by Germanic tribes, but Celts, Scythians and on Early Slavs; the population mix changed over time by assimilation, by migration. The ancient Greeks were the first to mention the tribes in the area. Julius Caesar wrote about warlike Germanic tribesmen and their threat to Roman Gaul, there were military clashes between the Romans and the indigenous tribes. Tacitus wrote the most complete account of Germania; the origin of the term "Germania" is uncertain, but was known by Caesar's time, may be Gaulish in origin. The ethnonym Germani is most Gallic in origin. Jacob Grimm derived it from a Celtic term for "shouting. Johann Kaspar Zeuss derived the name from the Celtic word for "neighbour".
Germani enters into Latin use following Julius Caesar. Caesar in De Bello Gallico reports hearing from his Remi allies that the term Germani was for a group that had come from across the Rhine, named Germani Cisrhenani. By extension, Germani was understood to include similar tribes still living beyond the Rhine. Tacitus, writing in AD 98, reports that the Tungri of his time, who lived in the area, home to the Germani Cisrhenani, had changed their name, but had once been the original Germani: For the rest, they affirm Germania to be a recent word bestowed. For those who first passed the Rhine and expulsed the Gauls, are now named Tungrians, were called Germani, and thus by degrees the name of a tribe prevailed, not that of the nation. Names of Germany in English and some other languages are derived from "Germania", but German speakers call it "Deutschland", Dutch speakers call it "Duitsland", both from *þeudō "people or nation". Several modern languages use the name "Germania", including Hebrew, Albanian, Maltese, Romanian, Russian and Georgian.
Germania extended from the Rhine eastward to the Vistula river, from the Danube and Main river northward to the Baltic Sea. The areas west of the Rhine were Celtic and became part of the Roman Empire in the first century BC; the Roman parts of Germania, "Lesser Germania" formed two provinces of the empire, Germania Inferior, "Lower Germania" and Germania Superior. Important cities in Lesser Germania included Besançon, Strasbourg and Mainz; the geography of Magna Germania was comprehensively described in Ptolemy's Geography of around 150 AD via geographical coordinates of the main cities. By means of a geodetic deformation analysis carried out by the Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation Science at the Technical University of Berlin as part of a project of the German Research Association under the direction of Dieter Lelgemann in 2007–2010, many historical place names have been localized and associated with place names of the present day. Germania was inhabited by different tribes, most of them Germanic but some Celtic, proto-Slavic and Scythian peoples.
The tribal and ethnic makeup changed over the centuries as a result of assimilation and, most migrations. The Germanic people spoke several different dialects. Classical records show little about the people who inhabited the north of Europe before the 2nd century BC. In the 5th century BC, the Greeks were aware of a group. Herodotus mentioned the Scythians but no other tribes. At around 320 BC, Pytheas of Massalia sailed around Britain and along the northern coast of Europe, what he found on his journeys was so strange that writers refused to believe him, he may have been the first Mediterranean to distinguish the Germanic people from the Celts. Contact between German tribes and the Roman Empire did was not always hostile. Recent excavations of the Waldgirmes Forum show signs that a civilian Roman town was established there, interpreted to mean that Romans and Germanic tribesmen were living in peace, at least for a while. Caesar described the cultural differences between the Germanic tribesmen, the Romans, the Gauls in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, where he recalls his defeat of the Suebi tribes at the Battle of Vosges.
He describes them at length at the beginning of Book IV and the middle of Book VI. He states that the Gauls, although warlike, had a functional society and could be civilized, but that the Germanic tribesmen were far more savage and were a threat to Roman Gaul and Rome itself. Caesar said the Germanic tribes were nomadic, with a primitive culture, he used this as one of his justifications for. Hi
The Cimbri were an ancient tribe. They are believed to have been a Germanic tribe originating in Jutland, but Celtic influences have been suggested. Together with the Teutones and the Ambrones, they fought the Roman Republic between 113 and 101 BC; the Cimbri were successful at the Battle of Arausio, in which a large Roman army was routed, after which they raided large areas in Gaul and Hispania. In 101 BC, during an attempted invasion of Italy, the Cimbri were decisively defeated by Gaius Marius, their king, was killed; some of the surviving captives are reported to have been among the rebelling gladiators in the Third Servile War. The origin of the name Cimbri is unknown. One etymology is PIE *tḱim-ro- "inhabitant", from tḱoi-m- "home", itself a derivation from tḱei- "live"; the name has been related to the word kimme meaning “rim”, i.e. "the people of the coast". Since Antiquity, the name has been related to that of the Cimmerians. Himmerland is thought to preserve their name. Alternatively, Latin c- represents an attempt to render the unfamiliar Proto-Germanic h = due to Celtic-speaking interpreters.
Because of the similarity of the names, the Cimbri have been at times associated with Cymry, the Welsh name for themselves. However, Welsh Cymry is derived from Brittonic *Kombrogi, meaning “compatriots”, is linguistically unrelated to Cimbri; the Cimbri are believed to have been a Germanic tribe originating in Jutland. Though Celtic origins have been suggested, this is controversial. Archaeologists have not found any clear indications of a mass migration from Jutland in the early Iron Age; the Gundestrup Cauldron, deposited in a bog in Himmerland in the 2nd or 1st century BC, shows that there was some sort of contact with southeastern Europe, but it is uncertain if this contact can be associated with the Cimbrian expedition. Advocates for a northern homeland point to Greek and Roman sources that associate the Cimbri with the Jutland peninsula. According to the Res gestae of Augustus, the Cimbri were still found in the area around the turn of the 1st century AD: My fleet sailed from the mouth of the Rhine eastward as far as the lands of the Cimbri, to which, up to that time, no Roman had penetrated either by land or by sea, the Cimbri and Charydes and Semnones and other peoples of the Germans of that same region through their envoys sought my friendship and that of the Roman people.
The contemporary Greek geographer Strabo testified that the Cimbri still existed as a Germanic tribe in the "Cimbric peninsula": As for the Cimbri, some things that are told about them are incorrect and others are improbable. For instance, one could not accept such a reason for their having become a wandering and piratical folk as this that while they were dwelling on a Peninsula they were driven out of their habitations by a great flood-tide, and the assertion that an excessive flood-tide once occurred looks like a fabrication, for when the ocean is affected in this way it is subject to increases and diminutions, but these are regulated and periodical. On the map of Ptolemy, the "Kimbroi" are placed on the northernmost part of the peninsula of Jutland. I.e. in the modern landscape of Himmerland south of Limfjorden. Some time before 100 BC many of the Cimbri, as well as the Ambrones migrated south-east. After several unsuccessful battles with the Boii and other Celtic tribes, they appeared ca 113 BC in Noricum, where they invaded the lands of one of Rome's allies, the Taurisci.
On the request of the Roman consul Gnaeus Papirius Carbo, sent to defend the Taurisci, they retreated, only to find themselves deceived and attacked at the Battle of Noreia, where they defeated the Romans. Only a storm, which separated the combatants, saved the Roman forces from complete annihilation. Now the road to Italy was open, they came into frequent conflict with the Romans, who came out the losers. In Commentarii de Bello Gallico the Aduaticii—Belgians of Cimbrian origin—repeatedly sided with Rome's enemies. In 109 BC, they defeated a Roman army under the consul Marcus Junius Silanus, the commander of Gallia Narbonensis. In 107 BC they defeated another Roman army under the consul Gaius Cassius Longinus, killed at the Battle of Burdigala against the Tigurini, who were allies of the Cimbri, it was not until 105 BC. At the Rhône, the Cimbri clashed with the Roman armies. Discord between the Roman commanders, the proconsul Quintus Servilius Caepio and the consul Gnaeus Mallius Maximus, hindered Roman coordination and so the Cimbri succeeded in first defeating
The Cherusci were a Germanic tribe that inhabited parts of the plains and forests of northwestern Germany, in the area near present-day Hanover, during the first centuries BC and AD. Ethnically, Pliny the Elder groups them with their neighbours, the Suebi and Chatti, as well as the Hermunduri, as Hermiones, one of the Germanic groupings said to descend from an ancestor named Mannus, they led an important war against the Roman Empire. Subsequently, they were absorbed into the late classical Germanic tribal groups such as the Saxons, Franks and Allemanni; the etymological origin of the name Cherusci is not known with certainty. According to the dominant opinion in scholarship, the name may derive from the ancient Germanic word *herut; the tribe may have been named after the deer because it had a totemistic significance in Germanic symbolism. A different hypothesis, proposed in the 19th century by Jacob Grimm and others, derives the name from *heru-, a word for "sword". Hans Kuhn has argued that the derivational suffix -sk-, involved in both explanations, is otherwise not common in Germanic.
He suggested that the name may therefore be a compound of non-Germanic origin, connected to the hypothesized Nordwestblock. The first historical mention of the Cherusci occurs in Book 6.10 of Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico, which recounts events of 53 BC. Caesar relates that he crossed the Rhine again to punish the Suebi for sending reinforcements to the Treveri, he mentions. In 12 BC, the Cherusci and other Germanic tribes were subjugated by the Romans, they appear to have been living in the same homeland when Tacitus wrote, 150 years describing them as living east of the Chauci and Chatti. This is interpreted to be an area between the rivers Weser and Elbe; as Rome tried to expand in northern Europe beyond the Rhine, it exploited divisions within the Cherusci, for some time the tribe was considered a Roman ally. At this time, the tribe was split between Segestes. Arminius advocated breaking allegiance to Rome and declaring independence, while Segestes wanted to remain loyal. By about 8 AD, Arminius began planning rebellion.
Segestes warned Publius Quinctilius Varus, the governor of Gaul, that rebellion was being planned, but Varus declined to act until the rebellion had broken out. In 9 AD, in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, an army of allied Germanic tribes under the command of Arminius annihilated three Roman legions commanded by Varus; the legions' eagle standards, of great symbolic importance to the Romans, were lost. The numbers of these three legions, Legio XVII, Legio XVIII, Legio XIX, were never used again. After the mutinies of the German legions in 14 AD, Germanicus decided, at the urging of his men, to march into Germany to restore their lost honor. In 15 AD, after a quick raid on the Chatti, they invaded the lands of the Marsi in 14 AD with 12,000 legionnaires, 26 cohorts of auxiliaries, eight cavalry squadrons. According to Tacitus, an area 50 Roman miles wide was laid to waste with fire and sword: "No sex, no age found pity." A legion from the XVII or XVIII, was recovered. He began a campaign against the Cherusci.
He received an appeal to rescue Segestes, besieged by Arminius. Segestes was rescued, along with a group of relatives and dependents, including Thusnelda, Segestes' daughter and the wife of Arminius. Germanicus gave them land in Gaul, he found the site of the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. His men built a funeral mound. A series of battles followed. After major casualties on the Romans, Tiberius forbid further campaigns; this led to the withdrawal of the Roman troops until the collapse of the Roman Empire. After Arminius' death, the Romans left the Cherusci less to their own devices. In 47 AD, the Cherusci asked Rome to send Italicus, the nephew of Arminius, to become king, as civil war had destroyed their nobility, he was well liked, but since he was raised in Rome as a Roman citizen, he soon fell out of favor. Tacitus writes of the Cherusci of his time:Dwelling on one side of the Chauci and Chatti, the Cherusci long cherished, unassailed, an excessive and enervating love of peace; this was more pleasant than safe, for to be peaceful is self-deception among lawless and powerful neighbours.
Where the strong hand decides and justice are terms applied only to the more powerful. The downfall of the Cherusci brought with it that of the Fosi, a neighbouring tribe, which shared in their disasters, though they had been inferior to them in prosperous days. Claudius Ptolemy in his Geography, describes the Χαιρουσκοὶ and Καμαυοὶ as living near each other and near to "Mount Melibocus" and to the Calucones, who lived on both banks of the Elbe; the history of the Cherusci is unknown. In the fourth century AD, they contributed to the formation of the Saxon people. List of Germanic peoples Battle of Arbalo Tacitus and Michael Grant, The Annals of Imperial Rome. New York: Penguin Books, 1989. Caesar, Julius et al; the Battle for
The Visigoths were the western branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes flourished and spread throughout the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, or what is known as the Migration Period; the Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another and making treaties when convenient; the Visigoths invaded Italy under Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410. After the Visigoths sacked Rome, they began settling down, first in southern Gaul and in Hispania, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom and maintained a presence from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD; the Visigoths first settled in southern Gaul as foederati to the Romans – a relationship established in 418. However, they soon fell out with their Roman hosts and established their own kingdom with its capital at Toulouse.
They next extended their authority into Hispania at the expense of the Vandals. In 507, their rule in Gaul was ended by the Franks under Clovis I, who defeated them in the Battle of Vouillé. After that, the Visigoth kingdom was limited to Hispania, they never again held territory north of the Pyrenees other than Septimania. A small, elite group of Visigoths came to dominate the governance of that region at the expense of those who had ruled there in the Byzantine province of Spania and the Kingdom of the Suebi. In or around 589, the Visigoths under Reccared I converted from Arianism to Nicene Christianity adopting the culture of their Hispano-Roman subjects, their legal code, the Visigothic Code abolished the longstanding practice of applying different laws for Romans and Visigoths. Once legal distinctions were no longer being made between Romani and Gothi, they became known collectively as Hispani. In the century that followed, the region was dominated by the Councils of the episcopacy. In 711 or 712, an invading force of Arabs and Berbers defeated the Visigoths in the Battle of Guadalete.
Their king and many members of their governing elite were killed, their kingdom collapsed. During their governance of Hispania, the Visigoths built several churches, they left many artifacts, which have been discovered in increasing numbers by archaeologists in recent times. The Treasure of Guarrazar of votive crowns and crosses is the most spectacular, they founded the only new cities in western Europe from the fall of the Western half of the Roman Empire until the rise of the Carolingian dynasty. Many Visigothic names are still in use in modern Portuguese, their most notable legacy, was the Visigothic Code, which served, among other things, as the basis for court procedure in most of Christian Iberia until the Late Middle Ages, centuries after the demise of the kingdom. Contemporaneous references to the Gothic tribes use the terms "Vesi", "Ostrogothi", "Thervingi", "Greuthungi". Most scholars have concluded that the terms "Vesi" and "Tervingi" were both used to refer to one particular tribe, while the terms "Ostrogothi" and "Greuthungi" were used to refer to another.
Herwig Wolfram points out that while primary sources list all four names, whenever they mention two different tribes, they always refer either to "the Vesi and the Ostrogothi" or to "the Tervingi and the Greuthungi", they never pair them up in any other combination. This conclusion is supported by Jordanes, who identified the Visigoth kings from Alaric I to Alaric II as the heirs of the 4th century Tervingian king Athanaric, the Ostrogoth kings from Theoderic the Great to Theodahad as the heirs of the Greuthungi king Ermanaric. In addition, the Notitia Dignitatum equates the Vesi with the Tervingi in a reference to the years 388–391; the earliest sources for each of the four names are contemporaneous. The first recorded reference to "the Tervingi" is in a eulogy of the emperor Maximian, delivered in or shortly after 291 and traditionally ascribed to Claudius Mamertinus, it says that the "Tervingi, another division of the Goths", joined with the Taifali to attack the Vandals and Gepidae. The first recorded reference to "the Greuthungi" is by Ammianus Marcellinus, writing no earlier than 392 and later than 395, recounting the words of a Tervingian chieftain, attested as early as 376.
The first known use of the term "Ostrogoths" is in a document dated September 392 from Milan. Wolfram notes that "Vesi" and "Ostrogothi" were terms each tribe used to boastfully describe itself and argues that "Tervingi" and "Greuthungi" were geographical identifiers each tribe used to describe the other; this would explain why the latter terms dropped out of use shortly after 400, when the Goths were displaced by the Hunnic invasions. As an example of this geographical naming practice, Wolfram cites an account by Zosimus of a group of people living north of the Danube who called themselves "the Scythians" but were called "the Greutungi" by members of a different tribe living
The Suebi were a large group of related Germanic tribes, which included the Marcomanni, Hermunduri, Semnones and others, sometimes including sub-groups referred to as Suebi. In the broadest sense, the Suebi are associated with the early Germanic tribal group Irminones mentioned by classical authors. Beginning in the 1st century BC, various Suebian tribes moved south-westwards from the Baltic Sea and the Elbe and came into conflict with Ancient Rome, they are first mentioned by Julius Caesar in connection with the invasion of Gaul by the Suebian chieftain Ariovistus during the Gallic Wars. During the reign of Augustus, the Suebi expanded southwards at the expense of Gallic tribes, establishing a Germanic presence in the immediate areas north of the Danube. During this time, Maroboduus of the Marcomanni established the first confederation of Germanic tribes in Bohemia. Under the reign of Marcus Aurelius in the 2nd century AD, the Marcomanni, under pressure from East Germanic tribes, invaded Italy.
By the Crisis of the Third Century, new Suebian groups had emerged, Italy was invaded again by the Juthungi, while the Alamanni ravaged Gaul and settled the Agri Decumates. The Alamanni continued exerting pressure on Gaul, while the Alamannic chieftain Chrocus played an important role in elevating Constantine the Great to Roman Emperor. By the late 4th century AD, many Suebi were migrating westwards under Hunnic pressure, in 406 AD, Suebian tribes led by Hermeric crossed the Rhine and overran Hispania, where they established the Kingdom of the Suebi. During the last years of the decline of the Western Roman Empire, the Suebian general Ricimer was its de facto ruler; the Lombards settled Italy and established the Kingdom of the Lombards. The Alammani and Thuringii who remained in Germania gave their name to the German regions of Swabia and Thuringia respectively; the Suebi are thought to encompass the High German cultures and dialects predominant in Southern Germany and Austria. Etymologists trace the name from Proto-Germanic *swēbaz, either based on the Proto-Germanic root *swē- meaning "one's own" people or on the third-person reflexive pronoun.
The etymological sources list the following ethnic names as being from the same root: Suiones, Samnites and Sabines, indicating the possibility of a prior more extended and common Indo-European ethnic name, "our own people". Notably, the Semnones, known to classical authors as one of the largest Suebian groups seem to have a name with this same meaning, but recorded with a different pronunciation by the Romans. Alternatively, it may be borrowed from a Celtic word for "vagabond". Caesar placed the Suebi east of the Ubii near modern Hesse, in the position where writers mention the Chatti, he distinguished them from their allies the Marcomanni; some commentators believe that Caesar's Suebi were the Chatti or the Hermunduri, or Semnones. Authors use the term Suebi more broadly, "to cover a large number of tribes in central Germany". While Caesar treated them as one Germanic tribe within an alliance, albeit the largest and most warlike one authors, such as Tacitus, Pliny the Elder and Strabo, specified that the Suevi "do not, like the Chatti or Tencteri, constitute a single nation.
They occupy more than half of Germania, are divided into a number of distinct tribes under distinct names, though all are called Suebi". Although no classical authors explicitly call the Chatti Suevic, Pliny the Elder, reported in his Natural History that the Irminones were a large grouping of related Germanic gentes or "tribes" including not only the Suebi, but the Hermunduri and Cherusci. Whether or not the Chatti were considered Suevi, both Tacitus and Strabo distinguish the two because the Chatti were more settled in one territory, whereas Suevi remained less settled; the definitions of the greater ethnic groupings within Germania were not always consistent and clear in the case of mobile groups such as the Suevi. Whereas Tacitus reported three main kinds of German peoples, Irminones and Ingaevones, Pliny adds two more genera or "kinds", the Bastarnae and the Vandili; the Vandals were tribes east of the Elbe, including the well-known Silingi and Burgundians, an area that Tacitus treated as Suebic.
That the Vandals might be a separate type of Germanic people, corresponding to the modern concept of East Germanic, is a possibility that Tacitus noted, but for example the Varini are named as Vandilic by Pliny, Suebic by Tacitus. At one time, classical ethnography had applied the name Suevi to so many Germanic tribes that it appeared as if, in the first centuries AD, that native name would replace the foreign name "Germans"; the modern term "Elbe Germanic" covers a large grouping of Germanic peoples that at least overlaps with the classical terms "Suevi" and "Irminones". However, this term was developed as an attempt to define the ancient peoples who must have spoken the Germanic dialects that led to modern Upper German dialects spoken in Austria, Thuringia, Baden-Württemberg and German speaking Switzerland; this was proposed by Friedrich Maurer as one of five major Kulturkreise or "culture-groups" whose dialects developed in the southern German area from the first century BC through to the fourth century AD.
Apart from his own linguistic work with modern dialects, he referred to the archaeological and literary analysis of Germanic tribes done earlier by Gustaf Kossinna In terms of these pr
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg, its total length is 1,094 kilometres. The Elbe's major tributaries include the rivers Vltava, Havel, Schwarze Elster, Ohře; the Elbe river basin, comprising the Elbe and its tributaries, has a catchment area of 148,268 square kilometres, the fourth largest in Europe. The basin spans four countries, with its largest parts in the Czech Republic. Much smaller parts lie in Poland; the basin is inhabited by 24.4 million people. The Elbe rises at an elevation of about 1,400 metres in the Krkonoše on the northwest borders of the Czech Republic near Labská bouda. Of the numerous small streams whose waters compose the infant river, the most important is the Bílé Labe, or White Elbe. After plunging down the 60 metres of the Labský vodopád, or Elbe Falls, the latter stream unites with the steeply torrential Malé Labe, thereafter the united stream of the Elbe pursues a southerly course, emerging from the mountain glens at Jaroměř, where it receives Úpa and Metuje.
Here the Elbe enters the vast vale named Polabí, continues on southwards through Hradec Králové and to Pardubice, where it turns to the west. At Kolín some 43 kilometres further on, it bends towards the north-west. At the village of Káraný, a little above Brandýs nad Labem, it picks up the Jizera. At Mělník its stream is more than doubled in volume by the Vltava, or Moldau, a major river which winds northwards through Bohemia. Upstream from the confluence the Vltava is in fact much longer, has a greater discharge and a larger drainage basin. Nonetheless, for historical reasons the river retains the name Elbe because at the confluence point it is the Elbe that flows through the main, wider valley while the Vltava flows into the valley to meet the Elbe at a right angle, thus appears to be the tributary river; some distance lower down, at Litoměřice, the waters of the Elbe are tinted by the reddish Ohře. Thus augmented, swollen into a stream 140 metres wide, the Elbe carves a path through the basaltic mass of the České Středohoří, churning its way through a picturesque, deep and curved rocky gorge.
Shortly after crossing the Czech-German frontier, passing through the sandstone defiles of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, the stream assumes a north-westerly direction, which on the whole it preserves right to the North Sea. The river rolls through Dresden and beyond Meißen, enters on its long journey across the North German Plain passing along the former western border of East Germany, touching Torgau, Dessau, Magdeburg and Hamburg on the way, taking on the waters of the Mulde and Saale from the west, those of the Schwarze Elster and Elde from the east. In its northern section both banks of the Elbe are characterised by flat fertile marshlands, former flood plains of the Elbe now diked. At Magdeburg there is a viaduct, the Magdeburg Water Bridge, that carries a canal and its shipping traffic over the Elbe and its banks, allowing shipping traffic to pass under it unhindered. From the sluice of Geesthacht on downstream the Elbe is subject to the tides, the tidal Elbe section is called the Low Elbe.
Soon the Elbe reaches Hamburg. Within the city-state the Unterelbe has a number of branch streams, such as Dove Elbe, Gose Elbe, Köhlbrand, Northern Elbe, Southern Elbe; some of which have been disconnected for vessels from the main stream by dikes. In 1390 the Gose Elbe was separated from the main stream by a dike connecting the two then-islands of Kirchwerder and Neuengamme; the Dove Elbe was diked off in 1437/38 at Gammer Ort. These hydraulic engineering works were carried out to protect marshlands from inundation, to improve the water supply of the Port of Hamburg. After the heavy inundation by the North Sea flood of 1962 the western section of the Southern Elbe was separated, becoming the Old Southern Elbe, while the waters of the eastern Southern Elbe now merge into the Köhlbrand, bridged by the Köhlbrandbrücke, the last bridge over the Elbe before the North Sea; the Northern Elbe passes the Elbe Philharmonic Hall and is crossed under by the old Elbe Tunnel, both in Hamburg's city centre.
A bit more downstream the Low Elbe's two main anabranches Northern Elbe and the Köhlbrand reunite south of Altona-Altstadt, a locality of Hamburg. Right after both anabranches reunited the Low Elbe is passed under by the New Elbe Tunnel, the last structural road link crossing the river before the North Sea. At the bay Mühlenberger Loch in Hamburg at kilometre 634, the Northern Elbe and the Southern Elbe used to reunite, why the bay is seen as the starting point of the Lower Elbe. Leaving the city-state the Lower Elbe passes between Holstein and the Elbe-Weser Triangle with Stade until it flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven. Near its mouth it passes the entrance to the Kiel Canal at Brunsbüttel before it debouches into the North Sea; the Elbe has been navigable by commercial ve