The Tisza, Tysa or Tisa, is one of the main rivers of Central
and Eastern Europe
. Once, it was called "the most Hungarian river" because it flowed entirely within the Kingdom of Hungary
. Today, it crosses several national borders.
The Tisza begins near Rakhiv
, at the confluence of the White Tisa and Black Tisa (the former springs in the Chornohora mountains
; the latter in the Gorgany
range). From there, the Tisza flows west, roughly following Ukraine
's borders with Romania
, then shortly as border between Slovakia
and Hungary, later into Hungary, and finally into Serbia
. It enters Hungary
. It traverses Hungary from north to south. A few kilometers south of the Hungarian city of Szeged
, it enters Serbia
. Finally, it joins the Danube
near the village of Stari Slankamen
The Tisza drains
an area of about
and has a length of Its mean annual discharge
is . It contributes about 13% of the Danube's total runoff
Attila the Hun is said to have been buried under a diverted section of the river Tisza.
The river was known as the ''Tisia'' in antiquity; other ancient names for it included ''Tissus'' (in Latin) and ''Pathissus'' ( in Ancient Greek), (Pliny, ''Naturalis historia'', 4.25). It may be referred to as the ''Theiss'' in older English references, after the German name for the river, '. It is known as the ''Tibisco'' in Italian, and in older French references (as for instance in relation to the naval battles on the Danube between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries) it is often referred to as the ''Tibisque''.
Modern names for the Tisza in the languages of the countries it flows through include:
* ro|Tisa, ;
* uk|Тиса|Tysa, ;
* sk|Tisa, ;
* hu|Tisza, ;
* sr| / , .
The length of the Tisza in Hungary used to be . It flowed through the Great Hungarian Plain, which is one of the largest flat areas in central Europe. Since plains can cause a river to flow very slowly, the Tisza used to follow a path with many curves and turns, which led to many large floods in the area.
After several small-scale attempts, István Széchenyi organised the "regulation of the Tisza" ( hu|a Tisza szabályozása) which started on August 27 1846, and substantially ended in 1880. The new length of the river in Hungary was reduced to in total, with of dead channels and of new riverbed.
In the 1970s, the building of the Tisza Dam at Kisköre started with the purpose of helping to control floods as well as storing water for drought seasons. However, the resulting Lake Tisza became one of the most popular tourist destinations in Hungary since it had similar features to Lake Balaton at drastically cheaper prices and was not crowded.
The Tisza is navigable over much of its course. The river opened up for international navigation only recently; before, Hungary distinguished "national rivers" and "international rivers", indicating whether non-Hungarian vessels were allowed or not. After Hungary joined the European Union, this distinction was lifted and vessels were allowed on the Tisza.
Conditions of navigation differ with the circumstances: when the river is in flood, it is often unnavigable, just as it is at times of extreme drought.
The Tisza has a rich and varied wildlife. Over 200 species of birds reside in the bird reserve of Tiszafüred. The flood plains along the river boast large amounts of diverse plant and animal life. In particular, the yearly "flowering" of the Tisza is considered a local natural wonder. The flowering attracts vast numbers of mayflies which is a well known spectacle.
In September 2020, colonies of magnificent bryozoans were discovered in the river.
In early 2000, there was a sequence of serious pollution incidents originating from accidental industrial discharges in Romania. The first, in January 2000, occurred when there was a release of sludge containing cyanide from a Romanian mine and killed of fish. The second, from a mine pond at Baia Borsa, northern Romania, resulted in the release of of sludge containing zinc, lead and copper occurred in early March 2000. A week later, the third spill occurred at the same mining site at Baia Borsa, staining the river black, possibly including heavy metals.
This series of incidents were described at the time as the most serious environmental disaster to hit central Europe since the Chernobyl disaster. Use of river water for any purpose was temporarily banned and the Hungarian government pressed the Romanians and the European Union to close all installations that could lead to further pollution.
Examination of river sediments indicates that pollution incidents from mines have occurred for over a century.
The following rivers are tributaries to the river Tisza:
*Vișeu (entering at Valea Vișeului)
*Kosivska (entering at Luh)
*Shopurka (entering at Velykyi Bychkiv)
*Iza (entering at Sighetu Marmației)
*Teresva (entering near Teresva)
*Valea lui Francisc
*Tereblia (entering at Bushtyno)
*Rika (entering near Khust)
*Someș (entering near Vásárosnamény)
**Someșul Mare (in Dej)
***Șieu (in Beclean)
****Bistrița (near Bistrița)
**Someșul Mic (in Dej)
***Someșul Cald (in Gilău)
***Someșul Rece (in Gilău)
*Crasna (entering in Vásárosnamény)
*Bodrog (entering in Tokaj)
**Ondava (near Cejkov)
**Latorica (near Cejkov)
***Laborec (near Oborín)
****Uzh (near Pavlovce nad Uhom)
****Cirocha (in Humenné)
*Sajó (entering near Tiszaújváros)
**Hornád (near Kesznyéten)
*Eger (entering in Poroszló)
*Zagyva (entering in Szolnok)
*Körös (entering near Csongrád)
**Sebes-Körös (near Gyoma)
***Berettyó (Barcău) (in Szeghalom)
**Crișul Alb (near Gyula)
**Crișul Negru (near Gyula)
*Mureș (entering near Szeged)
**Arieș (near Gura Arieșului)
**Târnava (near Teiuș)
***Târnava Mare (in Blaj)
***Târnava Mică (in Blaj)
*Aranca (entering near Padej)
*Čik (entering near Bačko Petrovo Selo)
*Jegrička (entering near Žabalj)
*Bega (entering near Titel)
Cities and towns
The Tisza (''Tisa'') flows through the following countries and cities (ordered from the source to mouth):
**Bačko Petrovo Selo
* Tice (wetlands)
* Ečka fish pond
the Living Tisza
*River Basin Report: Tisza Rive
Awarded "EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence" non traditional tourist destination 2010
Category:Rivers of Romania
Category:Rivers of Maramureș County
Category:Rivers of Hungary
Category:Rivers of Zakarpattia Oblast
Category:Rivers of Slovakia
Category:Rivers of Serbia
Category:International rivers of Europe
Category:Geography of Vojvodina
Category:Tributaries of the Danube
Category:Geography of Bács-Kiskun County
Category:Ramsar sites in Slovakia
Category:Braided rivers in Ukraine