The Hollandse IJssel is a branch of the Rhine delta that flows westward from Nieuwegein on river Lek through IJsselstein, Gouda and Capelle aan den IJssel to Krimpen aan den IJssel, where it ends in the Nieuwe Maas. Another branch called Enge IJssel flows southwest from Nieuwegein. The name IJssel is thought to derive from the Germanic i sala, meaning "dark water". Originally, the Hollandse IJssel forked off from river Lek at Nieuwegein, but the connection was cut off with the Hollandse IJssel nowadays only draining the surrounding pastures.
The first part of the Delta Works sea protection constructions was built at the mouth of the Hollandse IJssel in 1957.
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