Danube
The Danube in Budapest
Map
Course of the Danube
Native name
Location
Countries
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Slovakia
  • Hungary
  • Croatia
  • Serbia
  • Bulgaria
  • Romania
  • Moldova
  • Ukraine
Cities
Physical characteristics
SourceBreg
 • locationFurtwangen im Schwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
 • coordinates48°05′44″N 08°09′18″E / 48.09556°N 8.15500°E / 48.09556; 8.15500
 • elevation1,078 m (3,537 ft)
2nd sourceBrigach
 • locationSt. Georgen im Schwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
 • coordinates48°06′24″N 08°16′51″E / 48.10667°N 8.28083°E / 48.10667; 8.28083
 • elevation940 m (3,080 ft)
Source confluence 
 • locationDonaueschingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
 • coordinates47°57′03″N 08°31′13″E / 47.95083°N 8.52028°E / 47.95083; 8.52028
MouthDanube Delta
 • location
Romania
 • coordinates
45°13′3″N 29°45′41″E / 45.21750°N 29.76139°E / 45.21750; 29.76139
Length2,850 km (1,770 mi)[1]
Basin size801,463 km2 (309,447 sq mi)[2]
Width 
 • minimumMiddle Danube (Iron Gates) 150 m (490 ft); Lower Danube (Brăila) 400 m (1,300 ft)[3]
 • averageUpper Danube 300 m (980 ft); Middle Danube 400 m (1,300 ft) to 800 m (2,600 ft); Lower Danube 900 m (3,000 ft) to 1,000 m (3,300 ft)[4][3][2]
 • maximumMiddle Danube 1,500 m (4,900 ft); Lower Danube 1,700 m (5,600 ft)[2][3]
Depth 
 • minimum1 m (3 ft 3 in) (Upper Danube)[2]
 • averageUpper Danube 8 m (26 ft); Middle Danube 6 m (20 ft) to 10 m (33 ft), 53 m (174 ft) (Iron Gates); Lower Danube 9 m (30 ft)[4][3][2][5]
 • maximumMiddle Danube (Iron Gates) 90 m (300 ft); Lower Danube 34 m (112 ft)[3]
Discharge 
 • locationBefore the Danube Delta
 • average(Period: 1999–2023) 6,484.3 m3/s (228,990 cu ft/s)[7][2]

(Period: 1840–2006) 6,471 m3/s (228,500 cu ft/s)[4] (Period: 1931–2010) 6,510 m3/s (230,000 cu ft/s)[6]

(Period: 1970–2015) 6,546 m3/s (231,200 cu ft/s)[8]
 • minimum1,790 m3/s (63,000 cu ft/s)[6]
 • maximum15,900 m3/s (560,000 cu ft/s)[6]
Discharge 
 • locationBelgrade, Serbia
 • average5,600 m3/s (200,000 cu ft/s)
Discharge 
 • locationBudapest, Hungary
 • average2,350 m3/s (83,000 cu ft/s)
Discharge 
 • locationVienna, Austria
 • average1,900 m3/s (67,000 cu ft/s)
Discharge 
 • locationPassau, Bavaria, Germany
30 km (19 mi) before town
 • average580 m3/s (20,000 cu ft/s)

The Danube (/ˈdæn.jb/ DAN-yoob; see also other names) is the second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Russia. It flows through Central and Southeastern Europe, from the Black Forest south into the Black Sea. A large and historically important river, it was once a frontier of the Roman Empire. In the 21st century, it connects ten European countries, running through their territories or marking a border. Originating in Germany, the Danube flows southeast for 2,850 km (1,770 mi), passing through or bordering Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine. Among the many cities on the river are four national capitals: Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Belgrade. Its drainage basin amounts to 817,000 km2 (315,000 sq mi) and extends into nine more countries.

The Danube's longest headstream Breg rises in Furtwangen im Schwarzwald, while the river carries its name from its source confluence in the palace park in Donaueschingen onwards. Since ancient times, the Danube has been a traditional trade route in Europe. Today, 2,415 km (1,501 mi) of its total length are navigable. The Danube is linked to the North Sea via the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, connecting the Danube at Kelheim with the Main at Bamberg. The river is also an important source of hydropower and drinking water.

The Danube river basin is home to such fish species as pike, zander, huchen, Wels catfish, burbot and tench. It is also home to numerous diverse carp and sturgeon, as well as salmon and trout. A few species of euryhaline fish, such as European seabass, mullet, and eel, inhabit the Danube Delta and the lower portion of the river.

Names and etymology

Name history

..."The Istros river arises among the Celts and the polis of Pyrene, cutting Europe across the middle" — Herodotus (c.484–c.425 BC).[a]

Today the river carries its name from its source confluence in Donaueschingen, Germany, to its discharge into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.

The river was known to the ancient Greeks as the Istros (Ἴστρος)[10] from a root possibly also encountered in the ancient name of the Dniester (Danaster in Latin, Tiras in Greek) and akin to Iranic turos 'swift' and Sanskrit iṣiras (इषिरस्) 'swift', from the PIE *isro-, *sreu 'to flow'.[11]

In the Middle Ages, the Greek Tiras was borrowed into Italian as Tyrlo and into Turkic languages as Tyrla; the latter was further borrowed into Romanian as a regionalism (Turlă).[11]

The Thraco-Phrygian name was Matoas,[12] "the bringer of luck".[13]

The Middle Mongolian name for the Danube was transliterated as Tho-na in 1829 by Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat.[14]

See also Wiktionary:

  1. Latin: Danubius, Dānuvius; Ister.
  2. English: Danube.

Modern name

The modern languages spoken in the Danube basin all use names related to Latin: Danubius:

Language and name Flow
seq.[b]
Sortable
name
Pronunciation
IPA
Name root:
Latin: Danubius, Dānuvius
null Danubius
German: Donau 1 Germany
2 Austria
Donau IPA: [ˈdoːnaʊ]
Bavarian: Doana null Doana
Silesian: Dōnaj null Dōnaj
Upper Sorbian: Dunaj null Dunaj IPA: [ˈdunaj]
Czech: Dunaj null Dunaj IPA: [ˈdunaj]
Slovak: Dunaj 3 Slovakia Dunaj IPA: [ˈdunaj]
Polish: Dunaj null Dunaj IPA: [ˈdunaj]
Hungarian: Duna 4 Hungary Duna IPA: [ˈdunɒ]
Slovene: Donava null Donava IPA: [ˈdóːnaʋa]
Serbo-Croatian: Dunav / Дунав 5 Croatia
6 Serbia
Dunav IPA: [dǔna(ː)ʋ]
Romanian: Dunăre 7 Romania
9 Moldova
Dunăre IPA: [ˈdunəre̯a][15]
Bulgarian: Дунав, romanizedDúnav 8 Bulgaria Дунав IPA: [ˈdunɐf]
Ukrainian: Дунай, romanizedDunáj 10 Ukraine Дунай IPA: [dʊˈnɑj]
Greek: Δούναβης null Δούναβης IPA: [ˈðunavis]
Italian: Danubio null Danubio IPA: [daˈnuːbjo]
Spanish: Danubio null Danubio IPA: [daˈnuβjo]
Bosnian: Dunav null Dunav
Turkish: Tuna null Tuna
Romansh: Danubi null Danubi
Albanian: Danub null Danub
Albanian definite form: Danubi.[16] null Danubi

Etymology

Danube is an Old European river name derived from the Celtic 'danu' or 'don'[17] (both Celtic gods), which itself derived from the Proto-Indo-European *deh₂nu. Other European river names from the same root include the Dunaj, Dzvina/Daugava, Don, Donets, Dnieper, Dniestr, Dysna and Tana/Deatnu. In Rigvedic Sanskrit, danu (दनु) means "fluid, dewdrop" and danuja (दनु-ज) means "born from danu" or "born from dew-drops". In Avestan, the same word means "river". The Finnish word for Danube is Tonava, which is most likely derived from the name of the river in German, Donau. Its Sámi name Deatnu means "Great River". It is possible that dānu in Scythian as in Avestan was a generic word for "river": Dnieper and Dniestr, from Danapris and Danastius, are presumed to continue Scythian *dānu apara "far river" and *dānu nazdya- "near river", respectively.[18]

In Latin, the Danube was variously known as Danubius, Danuvius, Ister[19] or Hister. The Latin name is masculine, as are all its Slavic names, except Slovene (the name of the Rhine is also masculine in Latin, most of the Slavic languages, as well as in German). The German Donau (Early Modern German Donaw, Tonaw,[20] Middle High German Tuonowe)[21] is feminine, as it has been re-interpreted as containing the suffix -ouwe "wetland".

Romanian differs from other surrounding languages in designating the river with a feminine term, Dunărea (IPA: [ˈdunəre̯a]).[11] This form was not inherited from Latin, although Romanian is a Romance language.[15] To explain the loss of the Latin name, scholars who suppose that Romanian developed near the large river propose[15] that the Romanian name descends from a hypothetical Thracian *Donaris. The Proto-Indo-European root of this presumed name is related to the Iranic word "don-"/"dan-", while the supposed suffix -aris is encountered in the ancient name of the Ialomița River, Naparis, and in the unidentified Miliare river mentioned by Jordanes in his Getica.[11] Gábor Vékony says that this hypothesis is not plausible, because the Greeks borrowed the Istros form from the native Thracians.[15] He proposes that the Romanian name is a loanword from a Turkic language (Cuman or Pecheneg).[15]

Association with deities

The naming of rivers using the underlying PIE divinity word has been described as:[22]

..."a diagnostically Celtic cultural phenomenon"...(G. R. Isaac).

Helmet of Coțofenești – found in Romania.

List of deities

List of deities that may be associated with the Danube:[d]

Name Terminology Etymology
Anaw,
Ana,
Anu.
Celtic goddess associated
with wealth and riches.[e][f]
Celtic (an- + -awes):
Gaulish anawes ("prosperity").
Old Irish anai ("wealth, riches").
Dé,
Deo,
Deiwo.
Title for a god, goddess, deity. From PIE deywós ("Sky God").[g]

Gaulish Deo ("god").[d][h]
Latin deus ("god, deity")
Old Irish ("god")
Scottish Gaelic dia ("god, deity")
Welsh duw ("god")

Tiw, Tyr. God of war. From Proto-Germanic Tīw
Dānu,
Dana
Celtic mother goddess – possibly
an early iteration of Dôn – known
only from place-names.[i]
Deo + Anu = Dānu.
Deo + Ana = Dana.[f]
Dôn Celtic mother goddess.[j] Deo + Ana = Dôn.[h][k]

Goddess of wealth, prosperity

Archaeological excavations around the upper Danube basin suggest that this was a wealthy and prosperous region – from the Bronze Age – to the Late Iron Age:

  1. Upper Danube basin:
    1. Heuneburg – possibly the polis of Pyrene mentioned by Herodotus.
    2. Hallstatt culture – Early Iron Age.
    3. La Tène culture – Late Iron Age.
  2. Lower Danube basin:
    1. Helmet of Coțofenești.
Gold artefacts from a Heuneburg burial.
Gold and iron artefacts from a Heuneburg burial.

Examples of names for the Danube that may derive from the Celtic goddess Anaw (wealth, prosperity):

Language Name #1 #2 Etymology
Latin Dānuvius D ānu Deo + Anu
Bavarian Doana Do ana Deo + Ana
Early Modern German Donaw D onaw Deo + Anaw
Early Modern German Tonaw T onaw Tiw + Anaw
Middle High German Tuonowe Tu onowe Tiw + Anaw
Modern German Donau D onau Deo + Anaw

Other examples (British Isles)

Examples of river names in the British Isles that may share a common etymology:[m]

Name Region Name history Etymology
River Don Aberdeenshire Dēouana (Ptolemy).[n] Deo + Ana.
River Dee Aberdeenshire Dēoua (Ptolemy). Deo.[h]
River Don Yorkshire Danu Deo + Anu.[k]

Geography

The Danube basin
The hydrogeographical source of the Danube at St. Martin's Chapel in Furtwangen im Schwarzwald: the Bregquelle, the source of the Danube's longest headstream, the Breg, where the Danube is symbolized by the Roman allegory for the river, Danuvius.
The symbolical source of the Danube in Donaueschingen: the source of the Donaubach (Danube Brook), which flows into the Brigach.

Classified as an international waterway, it originates in the town of Donaueschingen, in the Black Forest of Germany, at the confluence of the rivers Brigach and Breg. The Danube then flows southeast for about 2,730 km (1,700 mi), passing through four capital cities (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, and Belgrade) before emptying into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.

International status

Once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire, the river passes through or touches the borders of 10 countries. Its drainage basin extends into nine more (ten if Kosovo is included).[29]

Flow
seq.
Country Basin
area[29]
Local
name
Points of interest
1 Germany 7.0% Donau Donaueschingen – source
2 Austria 10.0% Donau Vienna – capital
3 Slovakia 5.9% Dunaj Bratislava – capital
4 Hungary 11.6% Duna Budapest – capital
5 Croatia 4.4% Dunav
6 Serbia 10.2% Dunav Belgrade – capital
7 Romania 29.0% Dunărea Danube DeltaBlack Sea
8 Bulgaria[o] 5.9% Dunav
9 Moldova 1.6% Dunărea
10 Ukraine 3.8% Дунай Danube DeltaBlack Sea

Drainage basin

In addition to the bordering countries (see above), the drainage basin includes parts of nine more countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.6% of the basin area), the Czech Republic (2.9%), Slovenia (2.0%), Montenegro (0.9%), Switzerland (0.2%), Italy (<0.15%), Poland (<0.1%), North Macedonia (<0.1%) and Albania (<0.1%).[29] The total drainage basin is 801,463 km2 (309,447 sq mi) in area,[30][31] and is home to 83 million people.[32] The highest point of the drainage basin is the summit of Piz Bernina at the Italy–Switzerland border, at 4,049 m (13,284 ft).[33] The Danube River Basin is divided into three main parts, separated by "gates" where the river is forced to cut through mountainous sections:[32]

Discharge

Mean annual discharge on the hydrological stations (period from 2000 to 2023); 1 - Reni, Isaccea; 2 - Silistra; 3 - Pristol; 4 - Batina, Bezdan; 5 - Nagymaros, Szob; 6 - Bratislava, Wolfsthal; 7 - Untergriesbach[2][34][7]

Year Mean annual discharge in m3/s (cu ft/s)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2000 6,580.6 (232,390) 6,198.1 (218,880) 5,585.9 (197,260) 2,669.4 (94,270) 2,627.2 (92,780) 2,337.9 (82,560) 1,667.2 (58,880)
2001 6,304.3 (222,630) 5,919.4 (209,040) 5,421.8 (191,470) 2,432.5 (85,900) 2,382.3 (84,130) 2,231.3 (78,800) 1,627.6 (57,480)
2002 6,837.1 (241,450) 6,100.1 (215,420) 5,392 (190,400) 2,824.9 (99,760) 2,855.6 (100,840) 2,683 (94,700) 1,803.9 (63,700)
2003 5,021 (177,300) 4,571 (161,400) 3,825 (135,100) 1,786 (63,100) 1,722 (60,800) 1,647 (58,200) 1,153 (40,700)
2004 6,524 (230,400) 6,088 (215,000) 5,233 (184,800) 2,025 (71,500) 2,013 (71,100) 1,852 (65,400) 1,213 (42,800)
2005 8,711 (307,600) 7,659 (270,500) 6,396 (225,900) 2,420 (85,000) 2,329 (82,200) 2,115 (74,700) 1,359 (48,000)
2006 8,428 (297,600) 7,370 (260,000) 6,616 (233,600) 2,110 (75,000) 2,503 (88,400) 2,186 (77,200) 1,396 (49,300)
2007 5,626 (198,700) 5,195 (183,500) 4,512 (159,300) 2,182 (77,100) 2,136 (75,400) 1,916 (67,700) 1,287 (45,400)
2008 5,909 (208,700) 5,358 (189,200) 4,736 (167,300) 2,163 (76,400) 2,079 (73,400) 1,876 (66,300) 1,339 (47,300)
2009 6,492 (229,300) 5,990 (212,000) 5,412 (191,100) 2,607 (92,100) 2,441 (86,200) 2,186 (77,200) 1,433 (50,600)
2010 9,598 (339,000) 8,515 (300,700) 7,424 (262,200) 2,879 (101,700) 2,615 (92,300) 2,130 (75,000) 1,420 (50,000)
2011 5,303 (187,300) 2,000 (71,000)
2012 5,053 (178,400) 2,240 (79,000)
2013 7,164 (253,000) 6,558 (231,600) 5,946 (210,000) 2,863 (101,100) 2,684 (94,800) 2,417 (85,400) 1,671 (59,000)
2014 7,446 (263,000) 6,901 (243,700) 5,756 (203,300) 2,198 (77,600) 2,036 (71,900) 1,788 (63,100) 1,237 (43,700)
2015 6,138 (216,800) 5,722 (202,100) 4,971 (175,500) 2,030 (72,000) 1,903 (67,200) 1,629 (57,500) 1,240 (44,000)
2016 6,465 (228,300) 5,993 (211,600) 5,339 (188,500) 2,261 (79,800) 2,196 (77,600) 1,944 (68,700) 1,412 (49,900)
2017 5,202 (183,700) 4,813 (170,000) 4,270 (151,000) 2,143 (75,700) 2,041 (72,100) 1,844 (65,100) 1,307 (46,200)
2018 6,487.8 (229,110) 5,875.5 (207,490) 4,891 (172,700) 1,906.3 (67,320) 1,808.1 (63,850) 1,644.1 (58,060) 1,227.8 (43,360)
2019 5,579 (197,000) 5,168 (182,500) 4,593 (162,200) 2,253 (79,600) 2,114 (74,700) 1,962 (69,300) 1,446 (51,100)
2020 4,893.5 (172,810) 4,659 (164,500) 4,095 (144,600) 2,215 (78,200) 2,026 (71,500) 1,841 (65,000) 1,285 (45,400)
2021 5,998 (211,800) 5,505 (194,400) 4,696 (165,800) 2,178 (76,900) 2,028 (71,600) 1,838 (64,900) 1,304 (46,100)
2022 5,753 (203,200) 2,180 (77,000)
2023 6,623.8 (233,920)

Multiannual average, minimum and maximum discharge (water period from 1876 to 2010)[35]

Station Discharge (m3/s) Discharge (cu ft/s)
Min Mean Max Min Mean Max
Ceatal Izmail 1,889 6,489 14,673 66,700 229,200 518,200
Reni, Isaccea 1,805 6,564 14,820 63,700 231,800 523,000
Zimnicea, Svishtov 1,411 6,018 14,510 49,800 212,500 512,000
Orșova 1,672 5,572 13,324 59,000 196,800 470,500
Veliko Gradište 1,461 5,550 14,152 51,600 196,000 499,800
Pančevo 1,454 5,310 13,080 51,300 188,000 462,000
Bogojevo 959 2,889 8,153 33,900 102,000 287,900
Bezdan, Batina 749 2,353 7,043 26,500 83,100 248,700
Mohács 667 2,336 7,227 23,600 82,500 255,200
Nagymaros, Szob 628 2,333 7,057 22,200 82,400 249,200
Bratislava 633 2,059 7,324 22,400 72,700 258,600
Vienna 506 1,917 6,062 17,900 67,700 214,100
Krems an der Donau 596 1,845 5,986 21,000 65,200 211,400
Linz 468 1,451 4,783 16,500 51,200 168,900
Hofkirchen 211 638 1,943 7,500 22,500 68,600
Regensburg 128 444 1,330 4,500 15,700 47,000
Ingolstadt 83 312 965 2,900 11,000 34,100
Ulm 6 38 153 210 1,300 5,400

Simulated water and suspended sediment results from climate-driven decadal study (with STD through specific decade):[36]

P – Simulated average precipitation in the Danube basin; T – Simulated average temperature in the Danube basin; Q – Simulated average discharge in the Danube River at delta; S – Simulated sediment load in the Danube River at delta;

Period (CE) Scenario P T Q S
mm in °C °F m3/s cu ft/s metric tons
(millions)
short tons
(millions)
LIA
1530–1540 Cool/wet 794 31.3 9.0 48.2 6,207 219,200 72.9 80.4
1650–1660 Cool/dry 885 34.8 8.4 47.1 7,929 280,000 67.3 74.2
1709–1719 Warm/wet 861 33.9 8.3 46.9 7,616 269,000 52.9 58.3
1770–1780 Warm/dry 865 34.1 8.9 48.0 7,728 272,900 74.1 81.7
Modern
1940–1950 Cool/dry 778 30.6 8.9 48.0 7,209 254,600 55.0 60.6
1960–1970 Cool/wet 850 33 8.8 47.8 7,399 261,300 73.0 80.5
1975–1985 Warm/wet 818 32.2 9.0 48.2 7,186 253,800 77.8 85.8
1990–2000 Warm/dry 790 31 9.5 49.1 5,068 179,000 73.8 81.4

Discharge chronology

Historical average flow to the present day; Measured and reconstructed average water flows from 1742. The reconstructed and observed streamflow (Q – m3/s) at Ceatal Izmail for the 1742 to 2022:[37][38][39][40][41]

Year m3/s cu ft/s Year m3/s cu ft/s Year m3/s cu ft/s Year m3/s cu ft/s Year m3/s cu ft/s Year m3/s cu ft/s
Reconstructed
1742 5,780 204,000 1751 6,760 239,000 1761 6,470 228,000 1771 9,700 340,000 1781 5,830 206,000 1791 5,540 196,000
1743 5,355 189,100 1752 7,090 250,000 1762 6,510 230,000 1772 6,050 214,000 1782 6,470 228,000 1792 6,930 245,000
1744 5,370 190,000 1753 4,980 176,000 1763 5,950 210,000 1773 4,600 160,000 1783 7,930 280,000 1793 7,800 280,000
1745 4,940 174,000 1754 6,330 224,000 1764 6,280 222,000 1774 6,150 217,000 1784 8,400 300,000 1794 5,230 185,000
1746 7,140 252,000 1755 6,840 242,000 1765 6,130 216,000 1775 6,060 214,000 1785 7,610 269,000 1795 6,530 231,000
1747 5,850 207,000 1756 6,370 225,000 1766 8,530 301,000 1776 6,320 223,000 1786 6,570 232,000 1796 6,460 228,000
1748 6,840 242,000 1757 6,830 241,000 1767 6,850 242,000 1777 5,530 195,000 1787 6,980 246,000 1797 6,700 240,000
1749 6,690 236,000 1758 8,410 297,000 1768 8,400 300,000 1778 7,470 264,000 1788 5,860 207,000 1798 6,560 232,000
1750 5,180 183,000 1759 5,520 195,000 1769 5,720 202,000 1779 6,600 230,000 1789 7,190 254,000 1799 9,590 339,000
1760 6,840 242,000 1770 10,700 380,000 1780 6,990 247,000 1790 6,940 245,000 1800 6,150 217,000
5,905 (208,500) 6,597 (233,000) 7,154 (252,600) 6,547 (231,200) 6,978 (246,400) 6,749 (238,300)
1801 7,310 258,000 1811 8,220 290,000 1821 6,390 226,000 1831 6,670 236,000 1841 6,210 219,000 1851 7,350 260,000
1802 6,590 233,000 1812 5,230 185,000 1822 5,700 200,000 1832 4,820 170,000 1842 5,340 189,000 1852 6,550 231,000
1803 6,870 243,000 1813 6,680 236,000 1823 6,520 230,000 1833 5,350 189,000 1843 6,710 237,000 1853 7,800 280,000
1804 6,220 220,000 1814 7,290 257,000 1824 6,420 227,000 1834 6,470 228,000 1844 6,960 246,000 1854 5,060 179,000
1805 7,010 248,000 1815 6,640 234,000 1825 8,040 284,000 1835 7,040 249,000 1845 7,440 263,000 1855 7,020 248,000
1806 6,830 241,000 1816 8,090 286,000 1826 5,800 200,000 1836 9,740 344,000 1846 6,750 238,000 1856 5,390 190,000
1807 7,000 250,000 1817 8,650 305,000 1827 6,650 235,000 1837 6,770 239,000 1847 7,070 250,000 1857 4,880 172,000
1808 5,600 200,000 1818 6,920 244,000 1828 8,140 287,000 1838 10,440 369,000 1848 5,620 198,000 1858 5,580 197,000
1809 7,150 252,000 1819 6,470 228,000 1829 8,280 292,000 1839 9,960 352,000 1849 5,360 189,000 1859 5,630 199,000
1810 8,430 298,000 1820 6,560 232,000 1830 7,790 275,000 1840 5,560 196,000 1850 7,360 260,000 1860 7,220 255,000
6,901 (243,700) 7,075 (249,900) 6,973 (246,200) 7,282 (257,200) 6,482 (228,900) 6,248 (220,600)
1861 5,980 211,000 1871 8,860 313,000 1881 8,320 294,000 1891 5,440 192,000 1901 5,570 197,000 1911 5,120 181,000
1862 5,040 178,000 1872 5,970 211,000 1882 5,130 181,000 1892 5,620 198,000 1902 5,650 200,000 1912 6,940 245,000
1863 3,340 118,000 1873 5,150 182,000 1883 7,590 268,000 1893 5,710 202,000 1903 5,490 194,000 1913 6,410 226,000
1864 6,150 217,000 1874 4,680 165,000 1884 5,250 185,000 1894 4,770 168,000 1904 4,940 174,000 1914 6,560 232,000
1865 5,690 201,000 1875 5,360 189,000 1885 5,430 192,000 1895 6,240 220,000 1905 6,100 220,000 1915 9,540 337,000
1866 3,780 133,000 1876 7,520 266,000 1886 5,660 200,000 1896 6,470 228,000 1906 6,190 219,000 1916 7,550 267,000
1867 6,350 224,000 1877 6,660 235,000 1887 5,340 189,000 1897 7,700 270,000 1907 6,770 239,000 1917 6,410 226,000
1868 5,660 200,000 1878 7,040 249,000 1888 6,800 240,000 1898 4,550 161,000 1908 4,400 160,000 1918 4,300 150,000
1869 5,370 190,000 1879 8,300 290,000 1889 6,530 231,000 1899 4,500 160,000 1909 5,590 197,000 1919 7,410 262,000
1870 7,470 264,000 1880 5,660 200,000 1890 4,650 164,000 1900 6,900 240,000 1910 7,450 263,000 1920 6,720 237,000
5,483 (193,600) 6,520 (230,000) 6,070 (214,000) 5,790 (204,000) 5,815 (205,400) 6,770 (239,000)
Observed
1921 3,906 137,900 1931 6,706 236,800 1941 9,916 350,200 1951 6,368 224,900 1961 5,860 207,000 1971 5,272 186,200
1922 6,530 231,000 1932 6,181 218,300 1942 7,266 256,600 1952 5,850 207,000 1962 6,628 234,100 1972 6,160 218,000
1923 6,430 227,000 1933 6,344 224,000 1943 4,308 152,100 1953 6,117 216,000 1963 6,047 213,500 1973 5,766 203,600
1924 6,700 240,000 1934 5,644 199,300 1944 7,190 254,000 1954 6,168 217,800 1964 5,259 185,700 1974 7,258 256,300
1925 5,255 185,600 1935 5,718 201,900 1945 5,870 207,000 1955 8,834 312,000 1965 8,400 300,000 1975 7,190 254,000
1926 8,144 287,600 1936 6,392 225,700 1946 4,684 165,400 1956 7,100 250,000 1966 7,954 280,900 1976 6,567 231,900
1927 5,990 212,000 1937 8,325 294,000 1947 5,418 191,300 1957 6,254 220,900 1967 7,500 260,000 1977 7,073 249,800
1928 5,005 176,700 1938 6,867 242,500 1948 6,357 224,500 1958 6,340 224,000 1968 5,660 200,000 1978 7,120 251,000
1929 5,330 188,000 1939 6,310 223,000 1949 4,301 151,900 1959 5,375 189,800 1969 7,710 272,000 1979 7,747 273,600
1930 5,197 183,500 1940 9,533 336,700 1950 5,130 181,000 1960 6,514 230,000 1970 9,602 339,100 1980 8,767 309,600
5,888 (207,900) 6,802 (240,200) 6,044 (213,400) 6,492 (229,300) 7,062 (249,400) 6,892 (243,400)
1981 8,172 288,600 1991 6,274 221,600 2001 6,304.3 222,630 2011 5,303 187,300 2021 6,018 212,500
1982 6,700 240,000 1992 5,710.8 201,670 2002 6,837.1 241,450 2012 5,053 178,400 2022 5,753 203,200
1983 5,543 195,700 1993 4,873 172,100 2003 5,021 177,300 2013 7,164 253,000 2023 6,623.8 233,920
1984 6,325 223,400 1994 6,031.8 213,010 2004 6,524 230,400 2014 7,446 263,000 2024
1985 6,449 227,700 1995 6,223.7 219,790 2005 8,711 307,600 2015 6,138 216,800 2025
1986 6,257 221,000 1996 7,035.8 248,470 2006 8,428 297,600 2016 6,465 228,300 2026
1987 6,619 233,700 1997 6,684.2 236,050 2007 5,626 198,700 2017 5,202 183,700 2027
1988 6,383 225,400 1998 6,804.6 240,300 2008 5,909 208,700 2018 6,487.8 229,110 2028
1989 5,448 192,400 1999 7,951.5 280,800 2009 6,492 229,300 2019 5,579 197,000 2029
1990 4,194 148,100 2000 6,580.6 232,390 2010 9,598 339,000 2020 4,893.5 172,810 2030
6,209 (219,300) 6,417 (226,600) 6,945 (245,300) 5,973 (210,900) 6,131.6 (216,540)
Multiannual average discharge 1742 to 2022: ~ 6,500 m3/s (230,000 cu ft/s)

Tributaries

The Tisza is the longest tributary of the Danube.

Main article: List of tributaries of the Danube

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):

  1. Iller (entering at Ulm)
  2. Lech
  3. Altmühl (entering at Kelheim)
  4. Naab (entering at Regensburg)
  5. Regen (entering at Regensburg)
  6. Isar
  7. Inn (entering at Passau)
  8. Ilz (entering at Passau)
  9. Enns
  10. Morava (entering near Devín Castle)
  11. Rába (entering at Győr)
  12. Váh (entering at Komárno)
  13. Hron (entering at Štúrovo)
  14. Ipeľ
  15. Sió
  16. Drava (entering near Osijek)
  17. Vuka (entering at Vukovar)

18. Tisza (entering near Titel)
19. Sava (entering at Belgrade)
20. Timiș (river) (entering at Pančevo)
21. Great Morava (entering near Smederevo)
22. Mlava (entering near Kostolac)
23. Karaš (entering near Banatska Palanka)
24. Jiu (entering at Bechet)
25. Iskar (entering near Gigen)
26. Olt (entering at Turnu Măgurele)
27. Osam (entering near Nikopol, Bulgaria)
28. Yantra (entering near Svishtov)
29. Argeș (entering at Oltenița)
30. Ialomița
31. Siret (entering near Galați)
32. Prut (entering near Galați)

Cities and towns

3-color confluence of (from left to right) Inn, Danube, and Ilz in Passau

Main article: List of cities and towns on the Danube river

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:

Danube in Linz, Austria
The Danube in Bratislava, Slovakia
Basilica of Esztergom, Hungary
Petrovaradin Fortress overlooking the Danube and Novi Sad, regional capital of Vojvodina in Serbia
Confluence of river Sava into the Danube beneath Fortress in Belgrade, capital of Serbia
Danube at Nikopol, Bulgaria in winter
The Danube in Sulina, Romania
Panorama of the Danube in Vienna
The Danube Bend is a curve of the Danube in Hungary, near the city of Visegrád. The Transdanubian Mountains lie on the right bank (left side of the picture), while the North Hungarian Mountains on the left bank (right side of the picture).
Panorama of the Danube in Budapest with the Hungarian Parliament (left)
Budapest at night
Panorama of the Danube in Novi Sad from Petrovaradin Fortress, Serbia
The confluence of the Sava into the Danube at Belgrade. Pictured from Belgrade Fortress, Serbia
Panoramic image of the Danube and Sava river from Kalemegdan, Belgrade Serbia.
The Danube entering the Iron Gate at the South-Western end of the Carpathian Mountains. Romania on the left side, Golubac Fortress and Serbia on the right side.

Islands

Further information: List of islands in the Danube

Aerial view of Margaret Island, Budapest, Hungary. There are 15 bridges over the Danube in Budapest.
Great War Island in Belgrade, Serbia. It is located at the confluence of the Sava and Danube.
The Ada Kaleh island in the Danube was forgotten during the peace talks at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, which allowed it to remain a de jure Turkish territory and the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II's private possession until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 (de facto until Romania unilaterally declared its sovereignty on the island in 1919 and further strengthened it with the Treaty of Trianon in 1920).[42][43] The island was submerged during the construction of the Iron Gates hydroelectric plant in 1970.

Sectioning

Modern navigation

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The Danube in Budapest
Fisherman in the Danube Delta
Freight ship on the Danube near Vienna

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, 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 in 1992, the river has been part of a trans-European waterway from Rotterdam on the North Sea to Sulina on the Black Sea, a distance of 3,500 km (2,200 mi). In 1994 the Danube was declared one of ten Pan-European transport corridors, routes in Central and Eastern Europe that required major investment over the following ten to fifteen years.[citation needed] 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 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.[citation needed]

At the Iron Gate, the Danube flows through a gorge that forms part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania; it contains the Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station dam, followed at about 60 km (37 mi) 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 15,400 m3/s (540,000 cu ft/s).

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 64 km (40 mi) Danube-Black Sea Canal, between Cernavodă and Constanța (Romania) finished in 1984, shortens the distance to the Black Sea by 400 km (250 mi); the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal is about 171 km (106 mi), finished in 1992, linking the North Sea to the Black Sea.[44] A Danube-Aegean canal has been proposed.[45]

Danube River cruise for sightseeing is popular, especially between Passau, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary.[46]

Piracy

In 2010–12, shipping companies, especially from Ukraine, claimed that their vessels suffered from "regular pirate attacks" on the Serbian and the Romanian stretches of the Danube.[47][48][49] However, the 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".[50]

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 along the river.[51]

Danube Delta

Main article: Danube Delta

Russian-speaking Lipovans in the Danube Delta

The Danube Delta (Romanian: Delta Dunării pronounced [ˈdelta ˈdunərij]; Ukrainian: Дельта Дунаю, romanizedDel'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 (Odesa Oblast). The approximate surface is 4,152 km2 (1,603 sq mi), of which 3,446 km2 (1,331 sq mi) are in Romania. If one includes the lagoons of Razim-Sinoe (1,015 km2 (392 sq mi) of which 865 km2 (334 sq mi) 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 5,165 km2 (1,994 sq mi).

The Danube Delta is also the best-preserved river delta in Europe, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1991) and a 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.[52]

2022 heat wave

In 2022, there was a major heat wave in Europe. As a result, there was less water flowing in the rivers. As the water level decreased, a number of ship wrecks from World War II emerged in the Danube River. Many of the ships were from Nazi Germany's Black Sea Fleet and had been scuttled to stop them from falling into enemy hands.[53]

International cooperation

Ecology and environment

Main article: International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River

Pelicans in the Danube Delta, Romania

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

Main article: Danube Commission

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

Iron Gates, Serbia-Romania border
Iron Gate II Hydroelectric Power Station, Romania-Serbia

Although the headwaters of the Danube are relatively small today, geologically, the Danube is much older than the 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 thus an underfit stream.

The Iron Gate, on the Serbian-Romanian border (Iron Gates natural park and Đerdap national park)

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 Sink). Most of this water resurfaces only 12 km (7.5 mi) south at the Aachtopf, Germany's wellspring with the highest flow, an average of 8,500 L/s (300 cu ft/s), 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 capturing.

The hydrological parameters of Danube are regularly monitored in Croatia at Batina, Dalj, Vukovar and Ilok.[54]

History

Combat between Russian and Turkish forces on the Danube in 1854, during the Crimean War (1853–1856)

The Danube basin was the site of some of the earliest human cultures. The 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) is famous for its ceramics.

Darius the Great, king of Persia, crossed the river in the late 6th century BCE to 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 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 at the Iron Gate. This victory over Dacia under Decebalus enabled the Province of Dacia to be created, but in 271 it was abandoned by emperor Aurelian.

Avars used the river as their southeastern border in the 6th century.

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.[55]

Rivalry along the Danube

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The Holy League took Ottoman-held Buda after a long siege in 1686

Between the late 14th and late 19th centuries, the Ottoman Empire competed first with the Kingdom of Serbia, Second Bulgarian Empire, Kingdom of Hungary, Principality of Wallachia, Principality of Moldavia and later with the Habsburg monarchy, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Russian Empire for controlling the Danube (Tuna in 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 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), the Siege of Esztergom (1543), the 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).

Second World War

During the 2011 renovation of the Margaret Bridge, Budapest, human remains were discovered. The mostly Jewish remains were victims of the far-right Arrow Cross Party, who briefly governed Hungary from 1944.[56]

Economics

Drinking water

Along its course, the Danube is a source of drinking water for about 20 million people.[57][58] 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.[59]

Navigation and transport

Fishing from a Zille on the Danube in Lower Austria, 1982

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."[60]

Today, as "Corridor VII" of the European Union, the Danube is an important transport route. Since the opening of the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal, the river connects the Port of Rotterdam and the industrial centers of Western Europe with the Black Sea and, also, through the Danube – Black Sea Canal, with the Port of Constanța.

The waterway is designed for large-scale inland vessels (110 × 11.45 m) 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 dam and locks near Bratislava and the two double 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 860 kilometres (530 mi).

The Danube connects with the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal at 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 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 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 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.[61]

The 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.[62] 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).[63] The initial design of these dams has not included any fish passage facility.[64] The possibility of building a human-made fish pass enabling migration for fish species including the sturgeon, is currently under review by projects such as We Pass.[65]

The Upper Danube ecoregion alone has about 60 fish species and the Lower Danube–Dniester ecoregion has about twice as many.[66] Among these are an exceptionally high diversity of sturgeon, a total of six species (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.[66] The huchen, one of the largest species of salmon, is endemic to the Danube basin, but has been introduced elsewhere by humans.[67]

Tourism

The ruins of Aggstein Castle above the Danube
Wachau Valley near Spitz, Austria

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 in Serbia and Romania, the Danube Delta 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 important for the regional tourism industry due to its fascinating landmarks and sights. 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.[68]

The Danube Banks in 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 Danube Bike Trail running along the Schlögener Schlinge
The Danube Bike Trail leading through the city of Linz

The 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.[69]

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:

  1. DonaueschingenPassau (559 km or 347 mi)
  2. PassauVienna (340 km or 210 mi)
  3. ViennaBudapest (306 km or 190 mi)
  4. BudapestBlack Sea (1,670 km or 1,040 mi)

Sultans Trail

The Sultans Trail is a hiking trail that runs along the river between Vienna and Smederevo in Serbia. From there the Sultans Trail leaves the Danube, terminating in Istanbul. Sections along the river are as follows.

  1. ViennaBudapest (323 km or 201 mi)
  2. BudapestSmederevo (595 km or 370 mi)

Donausteig

Resting area along the Donausteig hiking trail near Bad Kreuzen

In 2010, the Donausteig, a hiking trail from Passau to Grein, was opened. It is 450 km (280 mi) long and it is divided into 23 stages. The route passes through five Bavarian and 40 Austrian communities. A landscape and viewpoints, which are along the river, are the highlights of the Donausteig.[70]

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.[71] 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.[68]

In medieval Regensburg, with its maintained old town, stone bridge and cathedral, the Route of Emperors and Kings begins. It continues to Engelhartszell, with the only 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 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 Austro-Hungarian Empire. Since 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 Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I of Barbarossa and the crusaders as well as from Richard I of England who had been jailed in the Dürnstein Castle, which is situated above the Danube. The most imperial journeys throughout time were those of the 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 UNESCO World Heritage cities of Regensburg, Wachau and Vienna.[72]

Important national parks

In popular culture

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16th-century Danube landscape near Regensburg, by Albrecht Altdorfer – a member of the Danube school

See also

Further reading


References

  1. ^ "Danube River". Encyclopædia Britannica (Online ed.). Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "ICPDR".
  3. ^ a b c d e "Long-term Morphological Development of the Danube in Relation to the Sediment Balance".
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Notes

  1. ^ Extract from Histories — Herodotus (c.484–c.425 BC).[9]
  2. ^ Flow sequence from the source confluence in Germany to final discharge into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.
    See also Contents > Geography.
  3. ^ See also: La Tène culture ...Centered on ancient Gaul...
  4. ^ a b The native language for the upper Danube basin during the Late Iron Age was Gaulish.[c]
  5. ^ SPNS – Brittonic Language...
    Anaw (f)..."Anaw/Ana/Anu was more or less identified with Dǭn/Danu
    1. Gaulish anawes
    2. Old Irish anae
    ..."all nouns meaning "riches, prosperity"...[23]
  6. ^ a b MacKillop – ...Celtic Mythology
    Ana, Anu, Anann (Irish "wealth", "abundance") ..."The principal goddess of pre-Christian Ireland, the mother...of the Tuatha Dé Danann...[24]
  7. ^ See also:
    1. *Dyēus ("Sky God").
    2. (Sanskrit) Dyaus ("God of the Sky")
  8. ^ a b c SPNS – Brittonic Language...
    dẹ:w (m or f)..."The basic Indo-European word for ‘god’...associated with brightness, light...[25]
    1. Gaulish Deo-.
    2. Latin deus.
  9. ^ MacKillop – ...Celtic Mythology
    Danu, Dana ..."Speculative name for the mother goddess of the Continental Celt's based on the evidence of place-names, e.g. Danube...
    ..."also a variant for the Irish Ana...and linked to the Welsh Dôn...[26]
  10. ^ MacKillop – ...Celtic Mythology
    Dôn ..."Welsh name for the Celtic mother goddess whose name in Continental Europe may have been Danu; counterpart of the Irish Ana, goddess of the Tuatha Dé Danann ...[27]
  11. ^ a b SPNS – Brittonic Language...
    dǭn (f)..."A river-name of great antiquity
    ..."Watson...derived river-names of the ‘Don’ type from *deiw- + -onā-.
    ..."However, the Don YWR was certainly Danu
    ..."The identity of Dānu is further complicated by intertwining with that of Ana, Anu ...[28]
  12. ^ See also: Vacomagi > Ptolemy's map.
  13. ^ River names in North Britain were influenced by the Roman legions who were stationed there during the Roman occupation. Many of those originated from Gaul and Hispania Tarraconensis and spoke Gaulish.[l]
  14. ^ Noble and Evans – The Picts...
    ..."The two largest Aberdeenshire rivers, the Don and Dee, both appear in Ptolemy's Geography...as dēouana and dēoua ...[22]
  15. ^ Note that the port city of Vidin in Bulgaria is downstream from the town of Moldova Nouă in Romania.

Sources