Lek RiverThe Lek is a river in the western Netherlands of some 60 km in length. It is the name of a distributary of the Rhine river that is called the Nether Rhine prior to the town of Wijk bij Duurstede, where the name "Rhine" is transferred to a much smaller stream called the Kromme Rijn ("Crooked Rhine"), but the main stream becomes the Lek. A short distance past Wijk the river intersects with the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal that continues on towards the Waal. A branch of this canal, the Lek Canal is connected to the river at the town of Nieuwegein.
Other major towns along its banks are Culemborg, Vianen, Schoonhoven, Nieuw-Lekkerland and Lekkerkerk. The bed of the river lies slightly higher than the surrounding lands and dikes are therefore essential to containing the Lek. At the village of Kinderdijk the Lek meets the Noord river and the combined stream is thereafter known as the Nieuwe Maas as it flows down towards the North Sea.