Drauquellen on Dobbiaco field

The Drau ( rare Drave, Italian, Slovenian and Croatian: Drava, Hungarian: Drava ) is a tributary of the Danube River, which originates in South Tyrol, Italy, then through East Tyrol and Carinthia ( Austria ) and by the Lower Styria (Slovenia ), Croatia and Hungary flows. With a length of 749 km and an average discharge of 670 m³ / s is by Tisza, Prut and Save the fourth-longest tributary of the Danube.

  • 3.1 fish stock
  • 4.1 navigability
  • 4.2 Drauradweg
  • 4.3 Draukraftwerke 4.3.1 Austria
  • 4.3.2 Slovenia
  • 4.3.3 Croatia


The name is on the Pannonian returned (Latin Dravus ); see dravati run Sanskrit for. For his part, named after the river Drava is the dravite.



The Drava rises on the northern slope of the Neunerkofels ( Haunoldgruppe ) above the field Dobbiaco in the Val Pusteria in South Tyrol (Italy ) in the municipality of San Candido (Italian San Candido ). The water of its five main sources flows a few hundred meters over steep meadows and forest soils to the valley floor, where there is only a real creek bed. Thus, the Drava overcomes already on the first ten kilometers above 430 meters in altitude. The Dobbiaco saddle forms a major watershed ( watershed ), because the springs on the western slope of the Neunerkofels flow into the Rienz and thus further into the Adriatic. The Drava but flows to the east and thus towards the Black Sea. It is one of the few rivers in Italy that do not drain into the Mediterranean. After a few kilometers, passing San Candido, they crossed the border to East Tyrol, where it is dammed for the first time in streets and in Lienz receives the Isel and thus significantly gaining in size. Especially in the early summer when the snow melt in the Venedigergruppe the Isel carries more water than the river Drava itself


Just west of Oberdrauburg the Drava finally reached Carinthia. Between the Kreuzeckgruppe the north and the Gail Valley Alps in the south it winds through the upper Drau Valley, which she leaves again after a narrow valley between Saxony castle and Moellbruecke. Here she takes on the Möll, which leads the glacier waters of the Pasterze and is very popular with white-water sports and river rafting tours. After a few kilometers on the Lurnfeld, past the ruins of Teurnia it reaches the bottom at Spittal Drau Valley. Strengthened by the waters of the Lieser she rushes to the Draustadt Villach. From Paternion the Drava is taken almost continuously in reservoirs to Croatia into it. In Villach, the Drava can be viewed from a ship of the line from the first time. This is used after a riverbed lowering of the foothills of the reservoir Roseggerhaus the excursion boat Landskron for tourism.

To the east of Villach opens the Gail in the Drava, and this leaves the Villach pool to enter the Rose Valley. Between the Sattnitz in the north and in the south and more Karawanken reservoir flow as they finally reached international market, not without taking the Gurk and the Vellach before.

In international market, the Drava river is dammed also the second largest Carinthian water surface after the Wörthersee lake and through the Draukraftwerk Edling. On this " Völkermarkter reservoir " since 2005 also operates an excursion boat, the "MS Magdalena ". After the barrage Edling the Drava flows in a 100 m deep cut the Jaunfeld. This incision in the talus of the terminal moraine of the Draugletschers has long been almost insurmountable geographical obstacle for residents on both sides of the Drau, the first through the construction of two major bridges, the 100 m high Jauntal Bridge for the railroad in 1964 and the construction of the new Lippitzbachbrücke (96 m high) was largely overcome for the national road in 2006. This incision, however, is also the oldest major Draukraftwerk, the power plant Schwabegg. This was built in the time of the Third Reich and was especially in the years immediately after the war and until the establishment of the first large Donaukraftwerke one of the main pillars of the Austrian electricity supply. " In case of failure of the power plant Schwabegg went to Vienna the lights out ," was narrated by eyewitnesses.

In Lavamünd then opens with the Lavant, the last Carinthian flow in the Drava before leaving Austria before Dravograd ( Unterdrauburg ) and flows to Slovenia. With 11,828 km ² is the third largest river Drava catchment area in Austria to the Danube and the Inn.


In Slovenia, it takes just after Dravograd on the Miess and flows through a rather sparsely populated area and several reservoirs of the first big city. Maribor ( Marburg) with approximately 120,000 inhabitants, the largest city on the river Drava and the most important economic center in northeastern Slovenia. After the Drava Ptuj is again transformed by a power plant in a reservoir.


Also, just after the border with Croatia, which they happened at Ormož, it is dammed multiple times to generate electricity. The city of Varaždin is north bathed before the river Drava at the Mur Legrad receives and then forms the border with Hungary. The Drava flows below the town of Osijek (about 110,000 inhabitants) in Dravski Kut ( Draueck ) in Croatia in the Danube.


The Drava dehydrated East Tyrol and Carinthia almost entirely. It provides for these two states is the most important lifeline that decisively contributed to their ecology. The upper reaches of the Drava and use the proceeds streams are natural over long distances. But already in Innichen she is forced to protect against floods in a narrow wall bed. Outside the towns, it is bordered by narrow floodplains and stands out as a dark green band of light green of the surrounding meadows and pastures from. Since there are at their upper reaches no incriminating industrial enterprises, it has throughout the water quality class 1 - and a correspondingly rich fauna and flora. To protect meadows, fields and villages before the often unpredictable power of the Drava and to gain arable land, but was robbed of more and more early in the second half of the 19th century, their floodplains, so that they are now in the Upper Drau Valley over long distances only bordered by narrow riparian strips, often kept by dams by meadows and fields. To restore the ecological diversity again, several projects on the restoration of the river landscape have been launched in recent years. They are for rare species such as the white clawed crayfish, which occurs within Austria only in Carinthia, again give rise to a diverse habitat. Flood protection and nature conservation are mutually by no means out, since the targeted return of former floodplains of the river are given space, thus preventing the rapid uncontrolled outflow of large water masses. These measures are so many different species such as the salmon, the Sandpiper and Ringed Plover, as well as rare plants such as the German tamarisk allow survival. Further downstream the river Drava is used energy technology intensive. Here the once wild river has become a chain of reservoirs, which are connected by relatively short flow distances. Restoration measures are very limited in this area possible. Nevertheless, in some places steps have been taken to allow for biodiversity in accordance with the quieter habits of the river. So the Wernberger Drauschleife has been transformed into an artificial oxbow lake below Villach, which now serves a wide variety of water birds as breeding and hunting grounds. On many stretches of bank artificial peninsulas, islands, bays and ponds were created to as the home of fish and amphibians spawning grounds and nurseries to offer within the levees. To maintain water quality are all central settlement areas in Carinthia since the early 1970s gradually to the sewer system and was thus connected to fully biological sewage treatment plants.

The Drava is particularly interesting in its lower reaches at the border between Hungary and Croatia for nature lovers, as it is almost unaffected; their floodplains have a wide variety of species.

Fish stock

The high water quality of the river Drava is also reflected in its rich variety of fish. In its upper reaches, with its relatively high flow rate, the high oxygen content and low nutrient content can therefore be encountered rainbow and brown trout as well nase, barbel, chub, grayling and Danube salmon. In the calmer and warmer waters of the reservoirs in the lower Drau Valley, but especially in the Rosental other species such as walleye, pike, bream, rudd, roach, carp, tench Aalrutten and brook trout as well come to that. Rarely, the fishermen go a pilgrim to the Angel. Return to the Slovenian border are then found and unknown species such as roach, nerds and bitterling.

In the reservoir of the power plant Annabrücke there are also signal crayfish.

Economy and Transport


Navigable the Drava is downstream of the Croatian Čađavica, according to other sources from Barcs. Earlier sources that relate to a lower level expansion of hydropower, Maribor specify. There are also at Villach and international market regular service to cruise ships and in the Upper Drau Valley as well as from Lavamünd rafting for tourism purposes. In Maribor there is a river boat and rafting for tourists.

To navigation of canoes of the little -regulated section of Lienz to Paternion is popular.

According to standards of 1860, the Drava river was navigable from Villach.


The Drauradweg extends almost from the source 366 km from Dobbiaco to Maribor. An extension to the Danube mouth is planned.



The top Draukraftwerk ever is Tassenbach in Tyrol.

In the years 1939 to 1943 the first power plant on the Drava was built in Carinthia in Schwabegg. Today there are ten Paternion from power plants to the Slovenian border, the dam the river Drava almost continuously. Operator is in all cases the COMPOSITE Hydro Power AG as a successor to the ÖDK. With their maximum combined capacity of 600 MW and an annual energy production of about 2600 gigawatt hours they contribute about 3 % to cover the electricity demand in Austria ( Carinthia approx. 42%).


In Slovenia there are power plants in Dravograd ( German: Unterdrauburg ) Vuzenica (balances Mayrhofen ), Vuhred ( usury ), Ožbalt (St. Oswald on the Drava ), Fala ( Faal ), Mariborski otok (Marburg Drauinsel ) Melje, Zlatoličje ( Gollendorf ) and formin. The installed capacity is given as 577 MW of electricity generated in Slovenian Draukraftwerken covers about 25% of the country's needs.


In Croatia there are two Draukraftwerke, installed capacity of 168 MW.


The Drau in Carinthia is home to song ([... ] Where the mats by gorgeous green of the Draustroms rapid flooding draw [ ...]), in the Lijepa naša ([... ] Teci Savo, Dravo TECI [... sung ]) and in the Styrian anthem "Dachstein song" ([... ] down to the vine land in the valley of the DRAV ' [ ...]).

In addition, the Croatian (later Vienna ) devoted poet Ilka Maria Ungar ( 1879-1911 ) in her poem - cycle " Feierabend " ( Lexikus Verlag 2011 ), some poems of home in rhymed " Drava Idylls ".

From 1868 to 1929 German -language newspaper published in Osijek (Croatia ) entitled " The Drava ".