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Rhine River through the city of Dusseldorf

Photo from the Rhine River through the city of Dusseldorf in Germany


The Rhine is a river of Central and Western Europe, 1,233 km long. It is the backbone of Rhenish Europe, the most dynamic economic area in Europe and one of the world's great powerhouses. Its 198 000 km2 watershed comprises most of Switzerland, part of Austria and all of Liechtenstein, large parts of Germany and the Netherlands, part of France and Belgium, most of Luxembourg, and even a small part of Italy. It is the longest river flowing into the North Sea and one of the busiest waterways in the world. It provides drinking water to more than 30 million people. It gives its name to the Rhineland, a region of western Germany, to two länder of Germany - North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen) and Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) - and to the two French departments of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin. Among the largest and most important cities on the Rhine are Cologne, Dusseldorf, Rotterdam, Strasbourg and Basel. © Photo of Emmanuel Buchot

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