The Oude IJssel (Dutch, pronounced [ˌʌudə ˈʔɛisəl], literally old IJssel) or Issel (German, pronounced [ˈɪsl̩]) is a river in Germany and the Netherlands approximately 82 km (51 mi) long. It is a right tributary of the river IJssel. Oude IJssel is Dutch for "Old IJssel"; the Oude IJssel was the upper course of the IJssel until the connection with the Rhine was dug, possibly in the Roman era.

Oude IJssel
Isselbrücke Doetinchem.jpg
Bridge near Doetinchem
CountriesNetherlands and Germany
Physical characteristics
 • locationnear Raesfeld, Westphalia, Germany
 • coordinates51°47′40.6″N 6°49′49.8″E / 51.794611°N 6.830500°E / 51.794611; 6.830500
 • elevation55.5[1] m (182 ft)
 • location
near Doesburg, in the IJssel, Gelderland, Netherlands
 • coordinates
52°0′45.9″N 6°7′40.9″E / 52.012750°N 6.128028°E / 52.012750; 6.128028Coordinates: 52°0′45.9″N 6°7′40.9″E / 52.012750°N 6.128028°E / 52.012750; 6.128028
 • elevation
5[1] m (16 ft)
Length81.7 km (50.8 mi)
Basin size1,214[1] km2 (469 sq mi)
 • locationDoesburg
 • average10.5[1] m3/s (370 cu ft/s)
Basin features
 • leftWaalse Water [nl]
 • rightBocholter Aa → Aa Strang, Schlinge (river)Bielheimerbeek [nl]

This connection made the Rhine the largest contributor to the flow of the IJssel, although only a relatively small amount of the total flow of the Rhine made its way into the system. Various tributaries can sometimes add water to the total flow of the river, for example the Berkel and the Schipbeek. The IJssel river is the only branch of the Rhine delta that consumes tributary rivers instead of giving birth to distributary rivers. The latter only happens at the last part of the river, where the small IJssel Delta is created.

The Oude IJssel begins near Borken in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It flows southwest until it nearly reaches the Rhine near Wesel, then it turns northwest. After Isselburg it crosses the border with the Netherlands and enters the province of Gelderland. It flows through Doetinchem and joins the IJssel in Doesburg.


  1. ^ a b c d Beheersgebied Oude IJssel, Waterschap Rijn en IJssel (in Dutch)