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RIVER PROFILE

The Nogat is the eastern estuary branch of the Vistula, 62 km (38.5 mi) long. It starts its course at km 886.6 of the queen of Polish rivers and flows into the Vistula Lagoon forming a small delta. The width of the river varies between 80 and 200 m (260-650 ft), but the navigable channel is about 30 m (98.5 ft) wide. Slow current and the wild nature of Żuławy attract more and more groups of kayakers to these waters. Weak current is what distinguishes the Nogat from the Vistula, and starting from August the water surface in some places here becomes covered with a tight carpet of water vegetation. Riverside areas densely covered with trees as well as beautiful beaches guarantee plenty of picturesque spots for stopping and camping. The waters of the Nogat irrigate the fertile areas of Żuławy Wiślane (Vistula Fenland), and a long stretch of the river is surrounded by flood-banks. Approaching Malbork, from a distance, we will see the red walls of the medieval castle of the Teutonic Knights – a monument of Gothic architecture unique in Europe. From 1309, for nearly 150 years, Malbork was the capital of the Teutonic Order’s State and the castle was its major fortress. You absolutely have to make a longer stop here in order to visit these old walls and feel the medieval atmosphere. It is also worthwhile taking part in one of the numerous open-air events organised in summer, e.g. a knights’ battle reconstruction. In the 15th c. the Nogat gained a connection with the Elbląg River thanks to the construction of the Jagiellonian Canal, the oldest structure of this kind in Poland. To this day, the canal considerably shortens the inland water route from Gdańsk to Elbląg, making it unnecessary to enter the Vistula Lagoon on the way.

NAVIGATIONAL INFORMATION

DEPTH
The Nogat is recognised as a class II navigable waterway and can be divided into two sections. On the first, canalised section – from the Biała Góra Lock (km 0.4) to the barrage in Michałowo (km 38) – depth is 1.6 m (5.25 ft). On the second section – from Michałowo to the outlet of the Nogat into the Vistula Lagoon (km 62) – the maximum draught is 1.4 m (4.6 ft).

POWER LINE AND BRIDGES
The lowest power line runs at the height of c. 12 m (39.4 ft), and the lowest bridge is located in Kępki (km 50.8) – its clearance at high water is c. 3.3 m (10.8 ft).

VEGETATION
The lazy current of the Nogat favours the overgrowing of water surface with vegetation. The thickly growing floating salvinia (water fern) may, from August until September, form tight green carpets on the river. Navigate along the middle of the channel to prevent plants from getting entangled in the motor’s propeller

LOCKS
We pass through 4 consecutive locks on the Nogat: Biała Góra, Szonowo, Rakowiec and Michałowo. All the locks on the Nogat have similar dimensions: c. 57 m (187 ft) in length and c. 9.5 m (31.2 ft) in width. With only one gate usually open, the real entrance width is less than 5 m (16.4 ft). You can save time by phoning the lock staff and notifying them in advance about your arrival – the gate will be waiting open.

MOORING
Apart from a few wooden piers, sandy beaches fit for stopping at can be found on the rushy banks of the Nogat.
 
HYDROTECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS

THE BIAŁA GÓRA LOCK
A complex of hydrotechnical structures separating the waters of the Vistula and the Nogat. The history of the locks goes back to the 16th c., when the residents of Gdańsk and Elbląg dug canals in order to regulate the channels of both rivers. This caused frequent changes in water levels and even problems with navigability. The system of locks consists of the so-called Wielki Upust (Great Relief) Lock (regulating the water level in the Nogat), a pound lock (regulating the flow of water from the Vistula to the Nogat), a small lock at the confluence of the Liwa and the Nogat (not used at present), as well as weirs. Locks are a first-rate attraction due to the craftsmanship and precision of their construction.


When heading for the Vistula Lagoon, boaters encounter three other locks after Biała Góra: Rakowiec, Szonowo (in the outskirts of Malbork) and the lock in Michałowo. These were built at the beginning of the 20th c. as part of the “canalisation of the Nogat” project, aimed at facilitating navigation and shipping. All of the locks are typical of the Nogat cascade, each consisting of an earthen dam, a pound lock and a weir with a fish pass; their gates are operated manually. In recent years, ecological water power plants have been built at each of the locks.



TOURIST HIGHLIGHTS

THE TEUTONIC KNIGHTS’ CASTLE IN MALBORK
A treat not only for history lovers, who arrive here in July for the annual Siege of Malbork, commemorating the events of 1410, but also for medieval architecture enthusiasts. The history of the castle goes back to XIII century, when Malbork became the new seat of the Teutonic Order’s master. In 1457-1772 it was one of the seats of Polish kings. It is worthwhile beginning your exploration of the castle from the north wing, where there used to be private apartments of the Order’s masters, as well as dormitories and a chapel. It is also worthwhile visiting the defence tower that used to serve sanitary purposes. The castle is open for visitors all the year round.


THE LAS MĄTAWSKI NATURE RESERVE
The reserve protects forest complexes at the bifurcation of the Vistula and the Nogat. It is the largest forest community in this area. There is an ash and oak forest there, with over 180-year-old white poplars called “The Twelve Apostles.”


POLISH PIEKŁO
The school in Piekło was opened in 1937 and was managed by Jan Hinz, an opponent of the Germanisation of Powiśle. German authorities treated this as an act of provocation, which led to the persecution of students, the murder of Jan Hinz and the closing of the school.


 

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INTRODUCTION

1

IW E70 – THE EAST-WEST (E-W) STRETCH

2

THE BRDA

3

THE BYDGOSZCZ CANAL

6

THE NOTEĆ

9

THE WARTA

15

THE ODRA

19

IW E70 – THE SOUTH-NORTH (S-N) STRETCH

21

THE VISTULA

22

THE NOGAT

31

THE SZKARPAWA

36

THE VISTULA LAGOON

39

THE ELBLĄG RIVER AND THE JAGIELLONIAN CANAL

50

THE MARTWA WISŁA, THE ŚMIAŁA WISŁA, THE GDAŃSK MOTŁAWA

52

INFORMATOR

56

WATERWAY SIGNS AND MARKING

57

LEGEND

58

SCHEMES OF LOCKS AND HARBOURS

59

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