Black Elster

Black Elster
Jessen-Schweinitz an der Schwarzen Elster - - 9904.jpg
The Black Elster in Schweinitz.
Native nameSchwarze Elster
Physical characteristics
Main sourceUpper Lusatia
317 m (1,040 ft)
River mouthElbe
51°48′59″N 12°49′57″E / 51°48′59″N 12°49′57″E / 51.81639; 12.83250
Length179 km (111 mi)
Basin features
ProgressionElbeNorth Sea
Basin size5,541 km2 (2,139 sq mi)

The Black Elster[1][2][3] or Schwarze Elster is a 179-kilometre (111 mi) long river in eastern Germany, in the states Saxony, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt, right tributary of the Elbe. Its source is in the Upper Lusatia region, near Elstra.

The Black Elster flows through the cities Kamenz, Hoyerswerda, Senftenberg, Lauchhammer, Elsterwerda, Bad Liebenwerda, Herzberg and Jessen. It flows into the river Elbe at Elster (Elbe), upstream from Wittenberg.


The river rises in the Lusatian Highlands (Upper Lusatia) about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 mi) south of the village Kindisch in the borough of Elstra on the eastern flank of the 396-metre (1,299 ft) high Kuppe, a subpeak of the Hochstein. From here the Black Elster flows initially in a northerly direction through Elstra, Kamenz, Milstrich and Wittichenau, from Hoyerswerda it flows in a westwards to Elsterheide. Further downstream, after 63 kilometres (39 mi), it crosses the Saxon-Brandenburg border and flows though Senftenberg, Ruhland and Lauchhammer to Elsterwerda. From here it heads in a northwesterly direction through Bad Liebenwerda, Herzberg and Jessen before emptying into the Elbe in the municipality of Elster (Elbe) (river kilometre 198.5).

The most important tributaries of the Black Elster are the Hoyerswerdaer Schwarzwasser, the Pulsnitz, the Große Röder, the Kleine Elster and the Schweinitzer Fließ.


Left tributaries Right tributaries
  • Kesselwasser, before Elstra at 197 m
  • Langes Wasser, in Kamenz at 177 m
  • Schwosdorfer Wasser, near Schiedel at 144 m
  • Rocknitzgraben, near Skaska at 138 m
  • Kossacksgraben, near Neuwiese at 114 m
  • Schleichgraben, near Großkoschen at 103 m
  • Ruhlander Schwarzwasser, near Ruhland at 95 m
  • Sieggraben, after Ruhland at 94 m
  • Pulsnitz, near Elsterwerda at 88,5 m
  • Große Röder, near Haida at 87 m
  • Alte Röder, near Prieschka at 86,7 m
  • Kleine Röder, near Bad Liebenwerda at 86,3 m
  • Neugraben, near Grabo at 71 m
  • Jauer, near Deutschbaselitz at 148 m
  • Klosterwasser, near Kotten at 128 m
  • Ralbitzer Teichwasser, before Hoske at 127 m
  • Hoyerswerdaer Schwarzwasser, near Hoyerswerda at 118 m
  • Sornoer Elster, near Kleinkoschen at 102 m
  • Rainitza, near Buchwalde (Senftenberg) at 100 m
  • Pößnitz, near Schwarzheide at 97 m
  • Hammergraben, near Plessa at 90 m
  • Kleine Elster, near Wahrenbrück at 84 m
  • Schweinitzer Fließ, near Schweinitz at 71,3 m
Other Languages
العربية: إلستر الأسود
dolnoserbski: Carny Halšter
Esperanto: Nigra Elster
فارسی: بلک الستر
français: Elster Noire
hornjoserbsce: Čorny Halštrow
Latina: Elstra nigra
latviešu: Švarce Elstere
македонски: Шварце Елстер
Nederlands: Schwarze Elster
norsk nynorsk: Schwarze Elster
українська: Шварце-Ельстер