The Danube is the second river in Europe by its length (after the Volga flowing entirely in Russia). It originates in the Black Forest in Germany when two rivers, Brigach and Breg, meet at Donaueschingen where the river takes the name of Danube.
The length of the Danube depends on the point of departure considered: 2,852 km for the confluence of Donaueschingen but 3,019 km from the source of the Breg. It flows east and bathes several capitals of central, eastern and southern Europe: Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade. The Danube Delta opens on the Black Sea: shared between Romania and Ukraine, it is protected by a biosphere reserve and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Danube has been an important river route for centuries. Known in Antiquity as the northern border of the Roman Empire, the river runs through ten countries: Germany (7.5%), Austria (10.3%), Slovakia (5.8%) , Hungary (11.7%), Croatia (4.5%), Serbia (9.4%), Bulgaria (5.2%), Romania (28.9%), Moldova (1 , 7%) and Ukraine (3.8%).
Its watershed covers nine other countries: Italy (0.15%), Poland (0.09%), Switzerland (0.32%), the Czech Republic (2.6%), Slovenia (2.2%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.8%), Montenegro, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania (0.03%). © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot
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