Elbe (the Roman Albis and the Bohemian Lobe), an important river of northern Europe. It is formed by numerous streams which rise on the southern side of the Riesengebirge, a range on the borders of Bohemia, and unite at an elevation of 2230 feet above sea-level. Thence it winds 725 miles north-westward through Bohemia, Saxony, An halt, and Hanover, passing Pirna, Dresden, Meissen, Torgau, Wittenberg, Magdeburg, Harburg, and Hamburg, until it empties itself into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, where it attains a breadth of upwards of 10 miles. Here the tide rises about 10 feet; it is felt 100 miles up the river. The Elbe is navigable for 525 miles, as far as Melnik, but for sea-vessels only up to Hamburg (84 miles); and it drains an area of 55,000 sq. m., of which two-thirds is German territory. Of its fifty and more tributaries, the most important are the Moldau, Eger, Mulde, Saale, and Havel (with the Spree); and in connection with these is a fine system of canals. The Elbe is divided into several branches between Hamburg on the north, and Harburg on the south, by the numerous islands that there interrupt its course; and between Hamburg and the sea the sandbanks and shoals leave only a very narrow channel, 4 to 5 fathoms deep. The scenery of the Elbe, although generally pleasing, is not remarkable, except in the Saxon Switzerland, above Dresden, where the river's course is between fantastic sandstone cliffs.