This article is about the tributary of the Aller. For other rivers with the same name, see Leine (disambiguation).
The Leine near Sarstedt-Ruthe
Location Thuringia, Lower Saxony;  Germany
Reference no. DE: 488
Length 281 km (175 mi)dep1
Source In Leinefelde in the Eichsfeld
Source height 340 m above sea level (NN)
Mouth Near Schwarmstedt into the Aller at km 52.26[1]
52°43′22″N 9°35′38″E / 52.72278°N 9.59389°E / 52.72278; 9.59389Coordinates: 52°43′22″N 9°35′38″E / 52.72278°N 9.59389°E / 52.72278; 9.59389
Mouth height 25 m above sea level (NN)
Descent 315 m
Basin Weser
Progression Aller Weser North Sea
Catchment 6,512 km2 (2,514 sq mi)dep1
Discharge Average mid:   5.3 m³/s at Göttingen gauge
32.0 m³/s Greene
52.3 m³/s Herrenhausen
61.7 m³/s Schwarmstedtdep1
Right tributaries Garte, Rhume, Aue, Gande, Innerste, Auter
Left tributaries Espolde, Ilme, Saale, Haller, Westaue
Cities Göttingen, Hanover
Large towns Leinefelde, Northeim, Einbeck, Alfeld,
Laatzen, Seelze, Garbsen, Neustadt am Rübenberge
Small towns Heilbad Heiligenstadt, Gronau, Elze, Pattensen
Villages Freden, Burgstemmen, Bordenau, Bothmer (Schwarmstedt)

The Leine (Old Saxon Lagina) is a river in Thuringia and Lower Saxony, Germany. It is a left tributary of the River Aller (and so of the River Weser as well) and 281 kilometres (175 mi) long.

Leine near Nordstemmen

The river's source is located close to the town of Leinefelde in Thuringia. About 40 kilometres (25 mi) downriver, the river enters Lower Saxony and runs northwards.

Important towns upstream to down along its course are Göttingen, Einbeck, Alfeld and Gronau, before the river enters Hanover, the largest city on its banks. Downstream some 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Hanover, near Schwarmstedt, the river joins the Aller and reaches the North Sea via the Weser. Only in its northern (lower) reaches is it navigable by today's smallest commercial carriers, though in the past it served as an important pre-railway barge transport artery as far upriver as Göttingen.

The river is somewhat polluted from industries and so not used for drinking water but the pollution was never severe enough to prevent fish from living in it. Like many western rivers since the 1960s, it has enjoyed successively cleaner waters since the implementation of environmental controls. People enjoy sport fishing from small boats and from along the banks, although yields are normally low.

At at least one point (Göttingen) the river is partially diverted into a canal that runs more or less parallel to the river.

In his 1986 bestseller Red Storm Rising, author Tom Clancy uses the Leine as a major obstacle to the Soviet Union's Red Army in its drive to the River Rhine and the North Sea ports of the Netherlands and Belgium through West Germany.

References and footnotes


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