Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Scheldt

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SCHELDT (skĕlt; Dutch, Schelde — shel'-duh), one of the most important rivers of Belgium and the Netherlands. It rises in the French department of the Aisne; flows circuitously through Belgium; reaches Ghent, where it receives the Lys; at Antwerp attains a breadth of about 1,600 feet, and forms a capacious and secure harbor. About 15 miles below Antwerp, shortly after reaching the Dutch frontier, it divides into the East and West Scheldt, thus forming a double estuary. The whole course is 267 miles, about 210 of which are navigable. Until 1863, when navigation was made free by the Treaty of Brussels, the Dutch monopolized it and levied tolls on foreign vessels. As a result of the World War and the Peace Treaty of Versailles, control of the Scheldt became again a subject of controversy between Holland and Belgium.