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The Danube ( ; ) is the second-longest river in Europe, after the
Volga The Volga (; russian: Во́лга, a=Ru-Волга.ogg, p=ˈvoɫɡə) is the longest river in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention ra ...

Volga
in
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
. It flows through much of
Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions and generalised locations * Central Africa, a region in the centre of Africa ...

Central
and
Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the ...

Southeastern Europe
, from the
Black Forest The Black Forest (german: italic=no, Schwarzwald ) is a large forest A forest is an area of land dominated by tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting ...

Black Forest
into the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
. Its longest headstream Breg rises in
Furtwangen im SchwarzwaldFurtwangen im Schwarzwald is a small city located in the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany. Together with Villingen-Schwenningen, Furtwangen is part of the district (German: Districts of Germany, Kreis) of Schwarzwald-Baar. Geography Fur ...
, while the river carries its name from its source confluence in
Donaueschingen Donaueschingen is a Germany, German town in the Black Forest in the southwest of the States of Germany, federal state of Baden-Württemberg in the Schwarzwald-Baar Districts of Germany, ''Kreis''. It stands near the confluence of the two sources ...

Donaueschingen
onwards. The Danube was once a long-standing frontier of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
and today is the river running through the largest number of countries in the world (10; the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
is second with 9). Originating in
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
, the Danube flows southeast for , passing through or bordering
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
,
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...

Slovakia
,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
,
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
,
Moldova Moldova (, ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to ...

Moldova
and
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
before draining into the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
. Its
drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet, such as into a river, bay, or other body of water. The drainage basin includes all the surface water from surface runoff, rain runoff, snowm ...

drainage basin
extends into nine more countries. The largest cities on the river are
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
,
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
,
Belgrade Belgrade ( ; sr-cyr, Београд, Beograd, lit='White City', ; Names of European cities in different languages: B, names in other languages) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Serbia, largest city of Serbia. It is located ...

Belgrade
and
Bratislava Bratislava (, also ; ; formerly ; hu, Pozsony) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Slovakia. Officially, the population of the city is about 430,000; however, it is estimated to be more than 660,000 - approximately 150% of the off ...

Bratislava
, all of which are the capitals of their respective countries. Six more capital cities lie in the Danube's basin:
Bucharest Bucharest ( , ; ro, București ) is the capital and largest city of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), cente ...

Bucharest
,
Sofia Sofia ( ; bg, София, Sofiya, ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities and towns in Bulgaria, largest city of Bulgaria. It is situated in the Sofia Valley at the foot of the Vitosha mountain in the western parts of the country ...

Sofia
,
Zagreb Zagreb ( , , , ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Zagreb
,
Ljubljana Ljubljana (also known by other historical names) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more for ...

Ljubljana
,
Sarajevo Sarajevo ( ; cyrl, Сарајево, ; ''see names in other languages'') is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase ...

Sarajevo
and
Pristina Pristina ; sr, / (, ) is the capital of Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () ...

Pristina
. The fourth-largest city in its basin is
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the List of cities in Germany by population, third-largest city in Germany, ...

Munich
, the capital of
Bavaria Bavaria (; German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language ...

Bavaria
, standing on the
Isar The Isar is a river in , and , , which is not navigable for watercraft above raft size. Its source is in the range of the in Tyrol; it enters Germany near and flows through , , and before reaching the near . At in length, it is the fourth ...

Isar
River. The Danube river basin is home to fish species such as
pike
pike
,
zander The zander (''Sander lucioperca''), sander or pikeperch, is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is ...

zander
,
huchen The huchen () or Danube salmon (''Hucho hucho'') is a large species of freshwater fish are common freshwater fish throughout temperate Eurasia. Freshwater fish are those that spend some or all of their lives in fresh water, such as river ...
,
Wels catfish The wels catfish ( or ; ''Silurus glanis''), also called sheatfish, is a large species of catfish native to wide areas of central, southern, and eastern Europe, in the basins of the Baltic Sea, Baltic, Black Sea, Black, and Caspian Seas. It has be ...
,
burbot The burbot (''Lota lota'') is the only gadiform (cod-like) freshwater fish are common freshwater fish throughout temperate Eurasia. Freshwater fish are those that spend some or all of their lives in fresh water, such as river A river ...

burbot
and
tench The tench or doctor fish (''Tinca tinca'') is a fresh- and brackish-water fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct related groups. Around ...
. It is also home to a large diversity of
carp Carp are various species of oily fish, oily freshwater fish from the family Cyprinidae, a very large group of fish native to Europe and Asia. While carp is consumed in many parts of the world, they are generally considered an invasive species in ...

carp
and
sturgeon Sturgeon is the common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is s ...

sturgeon
, as well as
salmon Salmon is the common name for several species of ray-finned fish Actinopterygii ( New Latin ('having rays') + Greek ( 'wing, fins')), members of which are known as ray-finned fishes, is a clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', ...

salmon
and
trout Trout are species of freshwater fish belonging to the genera ''Oncorhynchus'', ''Salmo'' and ''Salvelinus'', all of the subfamily (biology), subfamily Salmoninae of the family Salmonidae. The word ''trout'' is also used as part of the name o ...

trout
. A few species of
euryhaline Euryhaline organisms are able to adapt to a wide range of salinities. An example of a euryhaline fish Fish are , , -bearing animals that lack with . Included in this definition are the living , s, and and as well as various extinct relat ...
fish, such as European
seabass Sea bass is a common name for a variety of different species of Saltwater fish, marine fish. Many fish species of various families have been called sea bass. In Republic of Ireland, Ireland and the United Kingdom, the fish sold and consumed as sea ...
, mullet, and
eel Eels are ray-finned fish Actinopterygii ( New Latin ('having rays') + Greek ( 'wing, fins')), members of which are known as ray-finned fishes, is a clade A clade (; from grc, , ''klados'', "branch"), also known as a monophyletic gro ...
, inhabit the
Danube Delta The Danube Delta ( ro, Delta Dunării, ; uk, Дельта Дунаю, Deľta Dunaju, ) is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in R ...
and the lower portion of the river. Since ancient times, the Danube has been a traditional trade route in Europe. Today, of its total length are navigable. The Danube is linked to the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
via the
Rhine–Main–Danube Canal The Rhine–Main–Danube Canal (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citi ...
, connecting the Danube at
Kelheim Kelheim () is a town and municipality in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the Kelheim (district), district Kelheim and is situated at the confluence of the rivers Altmühl and Danube. Kelheim has a population of around 15,750. History K ...

Kelheim
with the
Main Main may refer to: Geography *Main River (disambiguation)Main River, more commonly simply ''Main'', is a river in Germany. Main River may also refer to: *Main River (Chukotka), a river in Far Eastern Siberia *Main River (Newfoundland), a river ...
at
Bamberg Bamberg (, , ) is a town in Upper Franconia Upper Franconia (german: Oberfranken) is a ''Regierungsbezirk A ' () means "governmental district" and is a type of administrative division in Germany. Four of sixteen ' (states of Germany) are s ...

Bamberg
. The river is also an important source of
hydropower Hydropower (from el, ὕδωρ, "water"), also known as water power, is the use of falling or fast-running water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and th ...
and
drinking water Drinking water, also known as potable water, is water that is safe to drinking, drink or use for food preparation. The amount of drinking water required to maintain good health varies, and depends on physical activity level, age, health-related ...

drinking water
. Many European borders, especially in the Balkans, are also drawn by the Danube's stream


Names and etymology


Other names

The river was known to the
ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
as the () a borrowing from a
Daco-Thracian The linguistic classification of the ancient Thracian language has long been a matter of contention and uncertainty, and there are widely varying hypotheses regarding its position among other Paleo-Balkan languages. It is not contested, however, tha ...
name meaning 'strong, swift', from a root possibly also encountered in the ancient name of the Dniester ( in Latin, in Greek) and akin to
Iranic The Iranian peoples or Iranic peoples are a diverse Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (S ...
'swift' and
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
() 'swift', from the
PIE A pie is a baked Baking is a method of preparing food that uses dry heat, typically in an oven, but can also be done in hot ashes, or on hot stones. The most common baked item is bread but many other types of foods are baked. Heat is grad ...
, 'to flow'. In the Middle Ages, the Greek was borrowed into Italian as and into Turkic languages as ; the latter was further borrowed into Romanian as a regionalism (). The Thraco- Phrygian name was , "the bringer of luck". The
Middle Mongolian Middle Mongol or Middle Mongolian, was a Mongolic languages, Mongolic koiné language spoken in the Mongol Empire. Originating from Genghis Khan's home region of Northeastern Mongolia, it diversified into several Mongolic languages after the collap ...
name for the Danube was transliterated as ''Tho-na'' in 1829 by Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat. The modern languages spoken in the Danube basin all use names related to : german: link=no, Donau (); ro, Dunărea (via German) ; ; ; cz, Dunaj (); sk, Dunaj (); pl, Dunaj (); hu, Duna (); sl, Donava (); sh, Dunav / (); bg, Дунав, Dunav (); russian: Дунай, Dunaj (); uk, Дунай, Dunaj (); gr, Δούναβης (); it, Danubio (); es, Danubio; (); ; rm, Danubi; sq, Tunë, .


Etymology

''Danube'' is an Old European river name derived from the
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...
' danu' or '
don Don, don or DON and variants may refer to: Places *Don, BeninDon is a town in Benin, Africa. It has a population of 696,969. Nearest large airports are Cadjehoun Airport, Cotonou Cadjehoun in Cotonou and Lomé-Tokoin Airport, Lomé-Tokoin in Lom ...
'Triad 35. Bromwich, ''Trioedd Ynys Prydein'', pp. 280–285. (both Celtic gods), which itself derived from the
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( ...
. Other European river names from the same root include the Dunaj, Dzvina/
Daugava Daugava ( ltg, Daugova) or Western Dvina (russian: Западная Двина (Západnaya Dviná); be, Заходняя Дзвіна) is a large river rising in the Valdai Hills of Russia that flows through Belarus then Latvia into the Gulf of R ...

Daugava
,
Don Don, don or DON and variants may refer to: Places *Don, BeninDon is a town in Benin, Africa. It has a population of 696,969. Nearest large airports are Cadjehoun Airport, Cotonou Cadjehoun in Cotonou and Lomé-Tokoin Airport, Lomé-Tokoin in Lom ...
,
Donets The Seversky Donets (), Siverskyi Donets (), usually simply called the Donets, is a river on the south of the East European Plain. It originates in the Central Russian Upland, north of Belgorod, flows south-east through Ukraine (Kharkiv Oblast, ...
,
Dnieper } The Dnieper or Dnipro () is one of the major list of rivers of Europe, rivers of Europe, rising in the Valdai Hills near Smolensk, Russia, before flowing through Belarus and Ukraine to the Black Sea. It is the longest river of Ukraine and ...

Dnieper
,
Dniestr The Dniester ( ) is a river in Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because the term has a wide range of ...

Dniestr
,
Dysna The Dysna ( be, Дзісна ''Dzisna''; russian: Дисна ''Disna'') is a river that flows through Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Balt ...
and Tana/Deatnu. In
Rigvedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit, or Vedic, is the name given by modern scholarship to the oldest, attested form of the Proto-Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language f ...
, ''dānu'' means "fluid, dewdrop" and ''dānuja'' means "born from ''dānu''" or "born from dew-drops". In
Avestan Avestan , also known historically as Zend, comprises two languages: Old Avestan (spoken in the 2nd millennium BCE) and Younger Avestan (spoken in the 1st millennium BCE). The languages are known only from their use as the language of Zoroastrian ...
, the same word means "river". The
Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish people * Finnish cuisine See also

...
word for Danube is , which is most likely derived from the word for the river in
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
, . Its name means "Great River". It is possible that in
Scythian The Scythians (from grc, Σκύθης , ) or Scyths, also known as Saka and Sakae ( ; egy, 𓋴𓎝𓎡𓈉 The ancient Egyptian Hill-country or "Foreign land" hieroglyph (𓈉) is a member of the sky, earth, and water hieroglyphs. A ...
as in Avestan was a generic word for "river": ''Dnieper'' and ''Dniestr'', from ''Danapris'' and ''Danastius'', are presumed to continue Scythian "far river" and "near river", respectively.. In Latin, the Danube was variously known as , , or ''Hister''. The Latin name is masculine, as are all its names, except
Slovene Slovene or Slovenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Slovenia, a country in Central Europe * Slovene language, a South Slavic language mainly spoken in Slovenia * Slovenes, an ethno-linguistic group mainly living in Slovenia * Sla ...
(the name of the
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

Rhine
is also masculine in Latin, most of the Slavic languages, as well as in German). The German (
Early Modern German Early New High German (ENHG) is a term for the period in the history of the German language The German language (, ) is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official lang ...
, ,
Middle High German Middle High German (MHG; german: Mittelhochdeutsch (Mhd.)) is the term for the form of German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * ...
) is feminine, as it has been re-interpreted as containing the suffix '' -ouwe'' "wetland".
Romanian Romanian may refer to: *anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Europe, Central, Eastern Europe, Eastern and Southeast Europe, Southeastern Euro ...
differs from other surrounding languages in designating the river with a feminine term, (). This form was not inherited from Latin, although Romanian is a Romance language. To explain the loss of the Latin name, scholars who suppose that Romanian developed near the large river propose that the Romanian name descends from a hypothetical
Thracian The Thracians (; grc, Θρᾷκες ''Thrāikes''; la, Thraci) were an Indo-European speaking people who inhabited large parts of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in ancient history.. "The Thracians were an Indo-European people who occupied ...
. The Proto-Indo-European root of this presumed name is related to the Iranic word ""/"", while the supposed suffix is encountered in the ancient name of the Ialomița River, ''Naparis'', and in the unidentified ''Miliare'' river mentioned by
Jordanes Jordanes (), also written as Jordanis or Jornandes, was a 6th-century bureaucrat widely believed to be of who became a historian later in life. Late in life he wrote two works, one on Roman history and the other on the Goths. The latter, alon ...
in his
Getica ''De origine actibusque Getarum'' (''The Origin and Deeds of the Getae oths'), commonly abbreviated ''Getica'', written in Late Latin Late Latin ( la, Latinitas serior) is the scholarly name for the written Latin Latin (, or , ) is a ...
. Gábor Vékony says that this hypothesis is not plausible, because the Greeks borrowed the ''Istros'' form from the native Thracians. He proposes that the Romanian name is a loanword from a Turkic language (Cuman or Pecheneg).


Geography

Classified as an international waterway, it originates in the town of
Donaueschingen Donaueschingen is a Germany, German town in the Black Forest in the southwest of the States of Germany, federal state of Baden-Württemberg in the Schwarzwald-Baar Districts of Germany, ''Kreis''. It stands near the confluence of the two sources ...

Donaueschingen
, in the
Black Forest The Black Forest (german: italic=no, Schwarzwald ) is a large forest A forest is an area of land dominated by tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting ...

Black Forest
of
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
, at the
confluence In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ...

confluence
of the rivers Brigach and Breg. The Danube then flows southeast for about , passing through four capital cities (
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
,
Bratislava Bratislava (, also ; ; formerly ; hu, Pozsony) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Slovakia. Officially, the population of the city is about 430,000; however, it is estimated to be more than 660,000 - approximately 150% of the off ...

Bratislava
,
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
, and
Belgrade Belgrade ( ; sr-cyr, Београд, Beograd, lit='White City', ; Names of European cities in different languages: B, names in other languages) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Serbia, largest city of Serbia. It is located ...

Belgrade
) before emptying into the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
via the
Danube Delta The Danube Delta ( ro, Delta Dunării, ; uk, Дельта Дунаю, Deľta Dunaju, ) is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in R ...
in
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
and Once a long-standing frontier of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, the river passes through or touches the borders of 10 countries:
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
(29.0% of basin area),
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
(11.6%),
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
(10.2%),
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
(10.0%),
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
(7.0%),
Bulgaria Bulgaria (; bg, България, Bǎlgariya), officially the Republic of Bulgaria ( bg, Република България, links=no, Republika Bǎlgariya, ), is a country in Southeast Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia ...

Bulgaria
(5.9%),
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...

Slovakia
(5.9%),
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
(4.4%),
Ukraine Ukraine ( uk, Україна, Ukraïna, ) is a country in . It is the in Europe after , which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with to the north; , , and to the west; and to the south; and has a coastli ...

Ukraine
(3.8%), and
Moldova Moldova (, ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to ...

Moldova
(1.6%). Its
drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet, such as into a river, bay, or other body of water. The drainage basin includes all the surface water from surface runoff, rain runoff, snowm ...

drainage basin
extends into nine more (ten if
Kosovo Kosovo, or ; sr-Cyrl, Косово officially the Republic of Kosovo,; sr, / is a partially recognised state in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a ...

Kosovo
is included).


Drainage basin

In addition to the bordering countries (see above), the
drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation collects and drains off into a common outlet, such as into a river, bay, or other body of water. The drainage basin includes all the surface water from surface runoff, rain runoff, snowm ...

drainage basin
includes parts of nine more countries:
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina,, abbreviated BiH or B&H, sometimes called Bosnia–Herzegovina and often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north a ...

Bosnia and Herzegovina
(4.6% of the basin area), the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to ...
(2.9%),
Slovenia Slovenia ( ; sl, Slovenija ), officially the Republic of Slovenia (Slovene: , abbr.: ''RS''), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, l ...

Slovenia
(2.0%),
Montenegro Montenegro (; cnr, Crna Gora, , , ; sq, Mali i zi) is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (fro ...

Montenegro
(0.9%),
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
(0.2%),
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
(<0.15%),
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
(<0.1%),
North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia before February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A sub ...
(<0.1%) and
Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a par ...

Albania
(<0.1%). The total drainage basin is in area, and is home to 83 million people. The highest point of the drainage basin is the summit of ''
Piz Bernina Piz Bernina ( Romansh, it, Pizzo Bernina, ) is the highest mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a li ...

Piz Bernina
'' at the
Italy–Switzerland border The border between the modern states of Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party assembly-independe ...
, at . The Danube River Basin is divided into three main parts, separated by "gates" where the river is forced to cut through mountainous sections: * Upper Basin, from the
headwaters The headwaters of a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course witho ...
to the
Devín Gate Devín Gate, Hainburger Gate or Hungarian Gates ( sk, Devínska brána, ; german: Hainburger Pforte) is a natural gate in the Danube valley at the border of Slovakia and Austria. It is one out of four geomorphological areas of the Devín Carpathian ...
. * Middle Basin, usually called the Pannonian basin or Carpathian Basin, between the
Devín Gate Devín Gate, Hainburger Gate or Hungarian Gates ( sk, Devínska brána, ; german: Hainburger Pforte) is a natural gate in the Danube valley at the border of Slovakia and Austria. It is one out of four geomorphological areas of the Devín Carpathian ...
and the Iron Gates. It includes the Hungarian plains Kisalföld and Alföld. * Lower Basin, from the Iron Gates to the river mouth, including the
Danube Delta The Danube Delta ( ro, Delta Dunării, ; uk, Дельта Дунаю, Deľta Dunaju, ) is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in R ...
.


Discharge

References:
The Danube River in the pontic sector-Hidrologycal regime
'
Hydromorphological balance of the Danube River Channel on the Sector between Bazias (km 1072,2) and Danube Delta Inlet (km 80,5)
'


Tributaries

The land drained by the Danube extends into many other countries. Many Danubian tributaries are important rivers in their own right, navigable by barges and other shallow-draught boats. From its source to its outlet into the Black Sea, its main tributaries are (as they enter):


Cities and towns

The Danube flows through many cities, including four national capitals (shown below in bold), more than any other river in the world. Ordered from the source to the mouth they are: * **
Donaueschingen Donaueschingen is a Germany, German town in the Black Forest in the southwest of the States of Germany, federal state of Baden-Württemberg in the Schwarzwald-Baar Districts of Germany, ''Kreis''. It stands near the confluence of the two sources ...

Donaueschingen
in the States of Germany, State of Baden-Württemberg – rivers Brigach and Breg join to form the Danube **Tuttlingen, Möhringen an der Donau in Baden-Württemberg **Tuttlingen in Baden-Württemberg **Sigmaringen in Baden-Württemberg **Riedlingen in Baden-Württemberg **Munderkingen in Baden-Württemberg **Ehingen in Baden-Württemberg **Ulm in Baden-Württemberg **Neu-Ulm in Bavaria **Günzburg in Bavaria **Dillingen an der Donau in Bavaria **Donauwörth in Bavaria **Neuburg an der Donau in Bavaria **Ingolstadt in Bavaria **
Kelheim Kelheim () is a town and municipality in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the Kelheim (district), district Kelheim and is situated at the confluence of the rivers Altmühl and Danube. Kelheim has a population of around 15,750. History K ...

Kelheim
in Bavaria **Regensburg in Bavaria **Straubing in Bavaria **Deggendorf in Bavaria **Passau in Bavaria * **Linz, capital of Upper Austria **Krems an der Donau, Krems in Lower Austria **Tulln an der Donau, Tulln in Lower Austria **
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
 – capital of Austria and the most populous city on the Danube, where the Danube floodplain is called the ''Lobau'', though the ''Innere Stadt'' is situated away from the main flow of the Danube (it is bounded by the Donaukanal – 'Danube canal'). * **
Bratislava Bratislava (, also ; ; formerly ; hu, Pozsony) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Slovakia. Officially, the population of the city is about 430,000; however, it is estimated to be more than 660,000 - approximately 150% of the off ...

Bratislava
 – capital of
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...

Slovakia
**Komárno **Štúrovo * **Mosonmagyaróvár **Győr **Komárom **Esztergom **Visegrád **Vác **Szentendre **Göd **Dunakeszi **
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
 – capital of
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
, the largest city and the largest agglomeration on Danube (about 3,300,000 people). This section of the river is also called Danube Bend. **Szigetszentmiklós **Százhalombatta **Ráckeve **Adony **Dunaújváros **Dunaföldvár **Paks **Kalocsa **Baja, Hungary, Baja **Mohács * **Vukovar **Ilok * **Apatin **Bačka Palanka **Čerević **Futog **Veternik **Novi Sad **Sremski Karlovci **Zemun **
Belgrade Belgrade ( ; sr-cyr, Београд, Beograd, lit='White City', ; Names of European cities in different languages: B, names in other languages) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Serbia, largest city of Serbia. It is located ...

Belgrade
 – capital of
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
**Pančevo **Smederevo **Kovin **Veliko Gradište **Golubac **Donji Milanovac **Kladovo * **Vidin **Lom, Bulgaria, Lom **Kozloduy **Oryahovo **Nikopol, Bulgaria, Nikopol **Belene **Svishtov **Ruse, Bulgaria, Ruse **Tutrakan **Silistra * **Moldova Nouă **Orșova **Drobeta-Turnu Severin **Calafat **Bechet **Dăbuleni **Corabia **Turnu Măgurele **Zimnicea **Giurgiu **Oltenița **Călărași **Fetești **Cernavodă **Hârșova **Brăila – limit of the maritime sector of the Danube **Galați – largest port on the Danube **Isaccea **Tulcea **Sulina – last city through which it flows * **Giurgiulești * **Reni, Ukraine, Reni **Izmail **Kiliya **Vylkovo, Vylkove


Islands

*Ada Kaleh Island *Ostrovul Mare, Gogoșu, Mehedinți, Gogoșu *Balta Ialomiței *Belene Island *Csepel Island *Donauinsel *Great Brăila Island *Great War Island *Island of Mohács *Kozloduy Island *Margaret Island *Ostrovo (Kostolac) *Ostrovul Ciocănești *Ostrovul Mare, Islaz *Ribarsko Ostrvo, Novi Sad *Island of Šarengrad *Szigetköz *Island of Szentendre *Vardim Island *Island of Vukovar *Žitný ostrov


Sectioning

*Upper Section: From spring to
Devín Gate Devín Gate, Hainburger Gate or Hungarian Gates ( sk, Devínska brána, ; german: Hainburger Pforte) is a natural gate in the Danube valley at the border of Slovakia and Austria. It is one out of four geomorphological areas of the Devín Carpathian ...
, at the border of Austria and Slovakia. Danube remains a characteristic mountain river until Passau, with average bottom gradient 0.0012% (12 ppm), from Passau to Devín Gate the gradient lessens to 0.0006% (6 ppm). *Middle Section: From Devín Gate to Iron Gate (Danube), Iron Gate, at the border of Serbia and Romania. The riverbed widens and the average bottom gradient becomes only 0.00006% (0.6 ppm). *Lower Section: From Iron Gate to Sulina, with average gradient as little as 0.00003% (0.3 ppm).


Modern navigation

The Danube is navigable by ocean ships from the Black Sea to Brăila in Romania (the maritime river sector), and further on by river ships to
Kelheim Kelheim () is a town and municipality in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the Kelheim (district), district Kelheim and is situated at the confluence of the rivers Altmühl and Danube. Kelheim has a population of around 15,750. History K ...

Kelheim
, Bavaria, Germany; smaller craft can navigate further upstream to Ulm, Württemberg, Germany. About 60 of its tributaries are also navigable. Since the completion of the German Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, Rhine–Main–Danube Canal in 1992, the river has been part of a trans-European waterway from Rotterdam on the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
to Sulina on the Black Sea, a distance of . In 1994 the Danube was declared one of ten Pan-European corridors, Pan-European transport corridors, routes in Central and Eastern Europe that required major investment over the following ten to fifteen years. The amount of goods transported on the Danube increased to about 100 million tons in 1987. In 1999, transport on the river was made difficult by the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, NATO bombing of three bridges in Serbia during the Kosovo War. Clearance of the resulting debris was completed in 2002, and a temporary pontoon bridge that hampered navigation was removed in 2005. At the Iron Gate (Danube), Iron Gate, the Danube flows through a Canyon, gorge that forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania; it contains the Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station dam, followed at about downstream (outside the gorge) by the Iron Gate II Hydroelectric Power Station. On 13 April 2006, a record peak discharge at Iron Gate Dam reached . There are three artificial waterways built on the Danube: the Danube-Tisa-Danube Canal (DTD) in the Banat and Bačka regions (Vojvodina, northern province of Serbia); the Danube-Black Sea Canal, between Cernavodă and Constanța (Romania) finished in 1984, shortens the distance to the Black Sea by ; the
Rhine–Main–Danube Canal The Rhine–Main–Danube Canal (German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citi ...
is about , finished in 1992, linking the North Sea to the Black Sea.


Piracy

In 2010–12, shipping companies (especially from Ukraine) claimed that their vessels suffered from "regular piracy, pirate attacks", on the Serbian and Romanian stretches of the Danube. However, these transgressions may not be considered acts of piracy, as defined according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, but rather instances of "river robbery". On the other hand, media reports say the crews on transport ships often steal and sell their own cargo and then blame the plundering on "pirates", and the alleged attacks are not piracy but small-time contraband theft that is taking place along the river. The trading practices were legal along the river since Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 and Romania became European border with Ukraine and Serbia. "Vamesi" the Romanian Border Officers, were confused with the new trading rules and new borders along the river as long as most of the southern Danube border is shared with Bulgaria.


Danube Delta

The Danube Delta ( ro, Delta Dunării ; uk, Дельта Дунаю, translit=Del'ta Dunayu) is the largest river delta in the European Union. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania (Tulcea county), while its northern part, on the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine (Odessa Oblast). The approximate surface is , of which are in Romania. If one includes the lagoons of Lake Razelm, Razim-Sinoe ( of which water surface), which are located south of the delta proper, but are related to it geologically and ecologically (their combined territory is part of the World Heritage Site), the total area of the Danube Delta reaches . The Danube Delta is also the best-preserved river delta in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1991) and a Ramsar Convention, Ramsar Site. Its lakes and marshes support 45 freshwater fish species. Its wetlands support vast flocks of migratory birds of over 300 species, including the endangered pygmy cormorant (''Phalacrocorax pygmaeus''). These are threatened by rival canalization and drainage schemes such as the Bystroye Canal.


International cooperation


Ecology and environment

The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is an organization that consists of 14 member states (Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Montenegro, and Ukraine) and the European Union. The commission, established in 1998, deals with the whole Danube river basin, which includes tributaries and groundwater resources. Its goal is to implement the Danube River Protection Convention by promoting and coordinating sustainable and equitable water management, including conservation, improvement, and rational use of waters and the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and the Danube Strategy.


Navigation

The Danube Commission is concerned with the maintenance and improvement of the river's navigation conditions. It was established in 1948 by seven countries bordering the river. Members include representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Serbia, It meets regularly twice a year. It also convenes groups of experts to consider items provided for in the commission's working plans. The commission dates to the Paris Conferences of 1856 and 1921, which established for the first time an international regime to safeguard free navigation on the Danube. Today the Commission include riparian and non-riparian states.


Geology

Although ths of the Danube are relatively small today, geologically, the Danube is much older than the
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

Rhine
, with which its catchment area competes in today's southern Germany. This has a few interesting geological complications. Since the Rhine is the only river rising in the Alps mountains which flows north towards the North Sea, an invisible line beginning at Piz Lunghin divides large parts of southern Germany, which is sometimes referred to as the European Watershed. Before the last ice age in the Pleistocene, the Rhine started at the southwestern tip of the Black Forest, while the waters from the Alps that today feed the Rhine were carried east by the so-called ''Urdonau'' (original Danube). Parts of this ancient river's bed, which was much larger than today's Danube, can still be seen in (now waterless) canyons in today's landscape of the Swabian Alb. After the Upper Rhine valley had been eroded, most waters from the Alps changed their direction and began feeding the Rhine. Today's upper Danube is but a meek reflection of the ancient one. Since the Swabian Alb is largely shaped of porous limestone, and since the Rhine's level is much lower than the Danube's, today subsurface rivers carry much water from the Danube to the Rhine. On many days in the summer, when the Danube carries little water, it completely oozes away noisily into these underground channels at two locations in the Swabian Alb, which are referred to as the Donauversickerung (Danube Sinkhole, Danube Sink). Most of this water resurfaces only south at the Aachtopf, Germany's wellspring with the highest flow, an average of , north of Lake Constance—thus feeding the Rhine. The European Water Divide applies only for those waters that pass beyond this point, and only during the days of the year when the Danube carries enough water to survive the sinkholes in the Donauversickerung. Since such large volumes of underground water erode much of the surrounding limestone, it is estimated that the Danube upper course will one day disappear entirely in favor of the Rhine, an event called Stream capture, stream capturing. The hydrological parameters of Danube are regularly monitored in Croatia at Batina, Dalj, Vukovar and Ilok.


History

The Danube basin was the site of some of the earliest human cultures. The Danubian culture, Danubian Neolithic cultures include the Linear Pottery cultures of the mid-Danube basin. Many sites of the sixth-to-third millennium BCE Vinča culture, (Vinča, Serbia) are sited along the Danube. The third millennium BCE Vučedol culture (from the Vučedol site near Vukovar,
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
) is famous for its ceramics. Darius the Great, Achaemenid Empire, king of Persia, crossed the river in the late 6th century BCE to European Scythian campaign of Darius I, invade European Scythia and to subdue the Scythians. Alexander the Great defeated the Triballian king Syrmus and the northern barbarian Thracian and Illyrian tribes by advancing from Macedonia as far as the Danube in 336 BCE. Under the Romans, the Danube formed the border of the Empire with the tribes to the north almost from its source to its mouth. At the same time, it was a route for the transport of troops and the supply of settlements downstream. From 37 CE to the reign of the Emperor Valentinian I (364–375) the Danubian Limes was the northeastern border of the Empire, with occasional interruptions such as the fall of the Danubian Limes in 259. The crossing of the Danube into Roman Dacia, Dacia was achieved by the ''Imperium Romanum'', first in two battles in 102 and then in 106 after the construction of a bridge in 101 near the garrison town of Drobeta Turnu Severin, Drobeta at the Iron Gate. This victory over Dacia under Decebalus enabled the Province of Dacia (province), Dacia to be created, but in 271 it was lost again. Avar Khaganate, Avars used the river as their southeastern border in the 6th century. File:Trajan's Bridge Across the Danube, Modern Reconstruction.jpg, Trajan's Bridge, The oldest bridge across the Danube, constructed by Apollodorus of Damascus between 103 and 105 Common Era, CE, directed by Trajan, modern
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
. File:Mária Valéria´s bridge.jpg, At Esztergom and Štúrovo, the Danube separates
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
from
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...

Slovakia
File:Vena 06.jpg, The Danube in
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
File:Danube at belene.jpg, The Danube between Belene and Belene Island, Bulgaria File:Frozen Danube Reichsbrücke.JPG, A look upstream from the Donauinsel in Vienna,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
during an unusually cold winter (February 2006). A frozen Danube usually occurs just once or twice in a lifetime. File:Bratislavaminorflood.jpg,
Bratislava Bratislava (, also ; ; formerly ; hu, Pozsony) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Slovakia. Officially, the population of the city is about 430,000; however, it is estimated to be more than 660,000 - approximately 150% of the off ...

Bratislava
does not usually suffer major floods, but the Danube sometimes overflows its right bank File:Guerre d'orient, combat sur le Danube.jpg, Combat between Russian and Turkish forces on the Danube in 1854, during the Crimean War (1853–1856)


Ancient cultural perspectives of the lower Danube

Part of the rivers Danubius or Istros was also known as (together with the Black Sea) the ''Okeanos'' in ancient times, being called the ''Okeanos Potamos'' (Okeanos River). The lower Danube was also called the ''Keras Okeanoio'' (Gulf or Horn of Okeanos) in the ''Argonautica'' by Apollonius Rhodos (Argon. IV. 282). At the end of the ''Okeanos Potamos'', is the holy island of Alba (Leuke, Pytho Nisi, Isle of Snakes), sacred to the Pelasgian (and later, Greek) Apollo, greeting the sun rising in the east. Hecateus Abderitas refers to Apollo's island from the region of the Hyperboreans, in the Okeanos. It was on Leuke, in one version of his legend, that the hero Achilles was buried (to this day, one of the mouths of the Danube is called Chilia). Old Romanian folk songs recount a white monastery on a white island with nine priests.''Dacia Preistorica''
, Nicolae Densusianu (1913).


Rivalry along the Danube

Between the late 14th and late 19th centuries, the Ottoman Empire competed first with the Kingdom of Serbia (medieval), Kingdom of Serbia, Second Bulgarian Empire, Kingdom of Hungary, Principality of Wallachia, Principality of Moldavia and later with the House of Habsburg, Austrian Habsburgs, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Russian Empire for controlling the Danube (''Tuna'' in Turkish language, Turkish), which became the northern border of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. Many of the Ottoman–Hungarian Wars (1366–1526) and Ottoman–Habsburg wars (1526–1791) were fought along the river. The most important Ottoman wars in Europe, wars of the Ottoman Empire along the Danube include the Battle of Nicopolis (1396), the Siege of Belgrade (1456), the Battle of Mohács (1526), the first Turkish Siege of Vienna (1529), Siege of Vienna (1529), the Siege of Esztergom (1543), the Long War (Ottoman wars), Long War (1591–1606), the Battle of Vienna (1683), the Great Turkish War (1683–1699), the Crimean War (1853–1856) and the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878).


Economics


Drinking water

Along its course, the Danube is a source of drinking water for about 20 million people. In Baden-Württemberg, Germany, almost 30 percent (as of 2004) of the water for the area between Stuttgart, Bad Mergentheim, Aalen and Alb-Donau (district) comes from purified water of the Danube. Other cities such as Ulm and Passau also use some water from the Danube. In Austria and Hungary, most water is drawn from ground and spring sources, and only in rare cases is water from the Danube used. Most states also find it too difficult to clean the water because of extensive pollution; only parts of Romania where the water is cleaner still obtain drinking water from the Danube on a regular basis.


Navigation and transport

In the 19th century, the Danube was an important waterway but was, as ''The Times'' of London put it, "annually swept by ice that will lift a large ship out of the water or cut her in two as if she were a carrot." Today, as Pan-European corridors, "Corridor VII" of the European Union, the Danube is an important transport route. Since the opening of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal, Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, the river connects the Port of Rotterdam and the industrial centers of Western Europe with the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
and, also, through the Danube – Black Sea Canal, with the Port of Constanța. The waterway is designed for large-scale inland vessels () but it can carry much larger vessels on most of its course. The Danube has been partly canalized in Germany (5 locks) and Austria (10 locks). Proposals to build a number of new locks to improve navigation have not progressed, due in part to environmental concerns. Downstream from the Freudenau locks in Vienna, canalization of the Danube was limited to the Gabčíkovo - Nagymaros Dams, Gabčíkovo dam and locks near Bratislava and the two double Iron Gates, Iron Gate locks in the border stretch of the Danube between Serbia and Romania. These locks have larger dimensions. Downstream of the Iron Gate, the river is free flowing all the way to the Black Sea, a distance of more than . The Danube connects with the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal at
Kelheim Kelheim () is a town and municipality in Bavaria, Germany. It is the capital of the Kelheim (district), district Kelheim and is situated at the confluence of the rivers Altmühl and Danube. Kelheim has a population of around 15,750. History K ...

Kelheim
, with the Donaukanal in Vienna, and with the Danube–Black Sea Canal at Cernavodă. Apart from a couple of secondary navigable branches, the only major navigable rivers linked to the Danube are the Drava, Sava and Tisza, Tisa. In Serbia, a canal network also connects to the river; the network, known as the Danube–Tisa–Danube Canals, links sections downstream. In the Austrian and German sections of the Danube, a type of flat-bottomed boat called a Zille (boat), Zille was developed for use along the river. Zillen are still used today for fishing, ferrying, and other transport of goods and people in this area.


Fishing

The importance of fishing on the Danube, which was critical in the Middle Ages, has declined dramatically. Some fishermen are still active at certain points on the river, and the
Danube Delta The Danube Delta ( ro, Delta Dunării, ; uk, Дельта Дунаю, Deľta Dunaju, ) is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in R ...
still has an important industry. However, some of the river's resources have been managed in an environmentally unsustainable manner in the past, leading to damage by pollution, alterations to the channel, and major infrastructure development, including large hydropower dams. The
sturgeon Sturgeon is the common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It is s ...

sturgeon
stocks associated with the Danube River basin have, over the centuries, formed the basis of a large and significant commercial fishery, renowned throughout the world. The construction of the dams, besides overfishing and river pollution, has a significant role in sturgeon population decline because it creates a barrier for fish migratory species that usually spawn in the upper parts of the river. The spawning areas of migratory fishes species has been dramatically reduced by the construction of hydropower and navigation systems at Iron Gates I (1974) and Iron Gates II (1984) The initial design of these dams has not included any fish passage facility. The possibility of building a man-made fish pass enabling migration for fish species including the sturgeon, is currently under review by projects such as We Pass. The Upper Danube ecoregion alone has about 60 fish species and the Lower Danube–Dniester ecoregion has about twice as many.Hales, J. (2013).
Upper Danube
'. Freshwater Ecoregions of the World. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
Among these are an exceptionally high diversity of sturgeon, a total of six species (Beluga (sturgeon), beluga, Russian sturgeon, bastard sturgeon, sterlet, starry sturgeon and European sea sturgeon), but these are all threatened and have largely–or entirely in the case of the European sea sturgeon–disappeared from the river. The
huchen The huchen () or Danube salmon (''Hucho hucho'') is a large species of freshwater fish are common freshwater fish throughout temperate Eurasia. Freshwater fish are those that spend some or all of their lives in fresh water, such as river ...
, one of the largest species of salmon, is Endemism, endemic to the Danube basin, but has been Introduced species, introduced elsewhere by humans.


Tourism

Important tourist and natural spots along the Danube include the Wachau Valley, the Nationalpark Donau-Auen in Austria, Gemenc in Hungary, the Naturpark Obere Donau in Germany, Kopački rit in Croatia, Iron Gate (Danube), Iron Gate in Serbia and Romania, the
Danube Delta The Danube Delta ( ro, Delta Dunării, ; uk, Дельта Дунаю, Deľta Dunaju, ) is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in R ...
in Romania, and the Srebarna Nature Reserve in Bulgaria. Also, leisure and travel cruises on the river are of significance. Besides the often frequented route between Vienna and Budapest, some ships even go from Passau in Germany to the Danube Delta and back. During the peak season, more than 70 cruise liners are in use on the river, while the traffic-free upper parts can only be discovered with canoes or boats. The Danube region is not only culturally and historically of importance, but also due to its fascinating landmarks and sights important for the regional tourism industry. With its well established infrastructure regarding cycling, hiking, and travel possibilities, the region along the Danube attracts every year an international clientele. In Austria alone, there are more than 14 million overnight stays and about 6.5 million arrivals per year. The Danube Banks in
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
are a part of Unesco World Heritage sites, they can be viewed from a number of sightseeing cruises offered in the city. The Danube Bend is also a popular tourist destination.


Danube Bike Trail

The Donauradweg, Danube Bike Trail (also called Danube Cycle Path or the ''Donauradweg'') is a bicycle trail along the river. Especially the parts through Germany and Austria are very popular, which makes it one of the 10 most popular bike trails in Germany. The Danube Bike Trail starts at the origin of the Danube and ends where the river flows into the Black Sea. It is divided into four sections: #
Donaueschingen Donaueschingen is a Germany, German town in the Black Forest in the southwest of the States of Germany, federal state of Baden-Württemberg in the Schwarzwald-Baar Districts of Germany, ''Kreis''. It stands near the confluence of the two sources ...

Donaueschingen
–Passau (559 km) #Passau–
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
(340 km) #
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
(306 km) #
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
(1670 km)


Sultans Trail

The Sultans Trail is a hiking trail that runs along the river between
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
and Smederevo in Serbia. From there the Sultans Trail leaves the Danube, terminating in Istanbul. Sections along the river are as follows. #
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
(323 km) #
Budapest Budapest (, ) is the capital and the List of cities and towns of Hungary, most populous city of Hungary, and the Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits, ninth-largest city in the European Union by population with ...

Budapest
–Smederevo (595 km)


Donausteig

In 2010 the Donausteig (Danube Trail), Donausteig, a hiking trail from Passau to Grein, Austria, Grein, was opened. It is long and it is divided into 23 stages. The route passes five Bavarian and 40 Austrian communities. An impressive landscape and beautiful viewpoints, which are along the river, are the highlights of the ''Donausteig''.


The Route of Emperors and Kings

The Route of Emperors and Kings is an international touristic route leading from Regensburg to Budapest, calling in Passau, Linz and Vienna. The international consortium ''ARGE Die Donau-Straße der Kaiser und Könige'', comprising ten tourism organisations, shipping companies, and cities, strives for the conservation and touristic development of the Danube region. In medieval Regensburg, with its maintained old town, Stone Bridge (Regensburg), stone bridge and Regensburg Cathedral, cathedral, the Route of Emperors and Kings begins. It continues to Engelhartszell an der Donau, Engelhartszell, with the only Engelszell Abbey, Trappist monastery in Austria. Further highlight-stops along the Danube, include the "Schlögener Schlinge", the city of Linz, which was European Capital of Culture in 2009 with its contemporary art richness, the Melk Abbey, the university city of Krems an der Donau, Krems and the cosmopolitan city of Vienna. Before the Route of Emperors and Kings ends, you pass Bratislava and Budapest, the latter of which was seen as the twin town of Vienna during the times of the Austria-Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire. Since Ancient Rome, ancient Roman times, famous emperors and their retinue traveled on and along the Danube and used the river for travel and transportation. While traveling on the mainland was quite exhausting, most people preferred to travel by ship on the Danube. So the Route of Emperors and Kings was the setting for many important historical events, which characterize the Danube up until today. The route got its name from the Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I of Barbarossa and the Crusades, crusaders as well as from Richard I of England who had been jailed in the Burgruine Dürnstein, Dürnstein Castle, which is situated above the Danube. The most imperial journeys throughout time were those of the Habsburg Monarchy, Habsburg family. Once crowned in Frankfurt, the emperors ruled from Vienna and also held in Regensburg the Perpetual Diet of Regensburg. Many famous castles, palaces, residences, and state-run convents were built by the Habsburger along the river. Nowadays they still remind us of the bold architecture of the "Donaubarock". Today, people can not only travel by boat on the Danube but also by train, by bike on the Danube Bike Trail or walk on the "Donausteig" and visit the World Heritage Site, UNESCO World Heritage cities of Regensburg, Wachau and Vienna.


Important national parks

* Naturpark Obere Donau (Germany) * Donauauen zwischen Neuburg und Ingolstadt (Germany)
map
* Nature protection area Donauleiten (Germany) * Nationalpark Donau Auen (Austria)
map
* Chránená krajinná oblasť Dunajské luhy (Slovakia)
map
* Danube-Ipoly National Park (Hungary)
map
* Danube-Drava National Park (Hungary)
map
* Naturalpark Kopački Rit (Croatia)
map
* Gornje Podunavlje Nature Reserve (Serbia)
map
* Fruška Gora National Park (Serbia) * Koviljsko-petrovaradinski rit Nature Reserve (Serbia) * Great War Island Nature Reserve (Serbia) * Đerdap National park (Serbia) * Iron Gates Natural Park (Romania) * Persina Nature Park (Bulgaria)
map
* Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Site (Bulgaria)
map
* Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgaria)
map
* Măcin Mountains Natural Park (Romania) * Balta Mică a Brăilei Natural Park (Romania) *
Danube Delta The Danube Delta ( ro, Delta Dunării, ; uk, Дельта Дунаю, Deľta Dunaju, ) is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in R ...
Biosphere Reserve (Romania)
map
* Danube Biosphere Reserve in Ukraine File:Gornje Podunavlje.jpg, Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve in
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
. File:Golubaccas.jpg, Golubac Fortress in Đerdap National park, Serbia.


In popular culture

* The Danube is mentioned in the title of a famous waltz by Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, Johann Strauss, ''The Blue Danube Waltz'' (''On the Beautiful Blue Danube''). This piece is well known across the world and is also used widely as a lullaby. ''The Waves of the Danube'' ( ro, Valurile Dunării) is a waltz by the Romanian composer Iosif Ivanovici (1845–1902); as the Anniversary Song, Anniversary Song, it has been performed by many vocalists, such as Al Jolson, Rosemary Clooney, Vera Lynn, Tom Jones (singer), Tom Jones, and countless others. [It is most commonly known as the Anniversary Waltz, Anniversary Waltz, though that is actually a different song and melody.] Joe Zawinul wrote a symphony about the Danube called ''Stories of the Danube''. It was performed for the first time at the 1993 Anton Bruckner, Bruckner festival, at Linz. * The Danube figures prominently in the Mila Rodino, Bulgarian National Anthem, as a symbolic representation of the country's natural beauty. In Lithuanian folklore songs, the appearance of Danube (Dunojus, Dunojėlis) is more common than the appearance of the longest Lithuanian river Neman. * The German tradition of landscape painting, the Danube school, was developed in the Danube valley in the 16th century. * One of Claudio Magris's masterpieces is called ''Danube'' (). The book, published in 1986, is a large cultural-historical essay, in which Magris travels the Danube from the first sources to the delta, tracing the rich European ethnic and cultural heritage, literary and ideological past and present along the way. * Jules Verne's ''The Danube Pilot'' (1908) (''Le Pilote du Danube'') depicts the adventures of fisherman Serge Ladko as he travels down the river. * In the ''Star Trek'' universe, the Danube class starship, ''Danube''-class runabout is a type of starship used by the United Federation of Planets, Federation Starfleet, most notably in the ''Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Deep Space Nine'' series. * Miklós Jancsó's film the ''Blue Danube Waltz'' (1992) * The Hungarian sweet specialty Duna kavics ("Danube pebbles") is named after the river. * A Hungarian folk ensemble, the Danube Folk Ensemble (Duna Művészegyüttes), is named after the river. The group is made up of 30 dancers and musicians. During their performances, they show the Hungarian folk music, dance and costumes. * There are Hasidic Judaism, Hasidic (Chabad Nigunnim) songs called "dunai", dating from around 1800. They are often lullabies and are named after the ''river Dunay''. Farmers around the river used to come to it and sing spiritual songs to thank God for the great beauty which they saw every day. *Algernon Blackwood's short story "The Willows (story), The Willows" mostly takes place on the river.


See also

* Danube Monarchy * Danubian Principalities * 2006 European floods * ''Between the Woods and the Water'', a travel book telling of a Danubian journey in 1934 * ''The Ister (film), The Ister'', 2004 film * Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River * List of crossings of the Danube * Steamboats on the Danube *Black Sea drainage basin


References


External links

*
Danube watershed map and information from the World Resources Institute

Danube Panorama Project

сайт о Дунае

Danube and the sport of rowing

Danube image pool on Flickr

Danube Tourist Commission

danubemap.eu – The Tourist Map of the Danubearchive

International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River

Bridges of Budapest over the Danube river

Description of the Danube estuary in June 1877, ''The Times'' of LondonOld maps of the Danube
Eran Laor Cartographic Collection, The National Library of Israel {{Authority control Danube, Danube basin, * International rivers of Europe Geography of Central Europe Geography of Eastern Europe Geography of Southeastern Europe Rivers of Bavaria Rivers of Bulgaria Rivers of Croatia Rivers of Hungary Rivers of Moldova Rivers of Romania Rivers of Serbia Rivers of Slovakia Rivers of Odessa Oblast Rivers of Baden-Württemberg Rivers of Upper Austria Rivers of Lower Austria Rivers of Vienna Bačka Banat Geography of Bács-Kiskun County Geography of Vojvodina Syrmia Border rivers Bulgaria–Romania border Croatia–Serbia border Hungary–Slovakia border Romania–Ukraine border Romania–Serbia border Federal waterways in Germany Articles containing video clips Rivers of Austria Rivers of Germany