The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe, after the Volga in Europe. It originates in the Black Forest mountains of western Germany. It flows from west to east through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and finally into the Black Sea.
The Danube is the river that flows through most countries in the world. Its main trunk runs from the source to Vienna as the upper reaches, from Vienna to the Iron Gate as the middle reaches, and after the Iron Gate as the lower reaches.
The Danube has developed shipping, and there are more than 100 docks along the coast, which is the main transportation artery of the countries along the coast. Many canals have been dug successively on the Danube over the decades to connect other waterways. For example, Germany built the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal to connect the two major water systems of the Danube and the Rhine.
Danube River Introduction
The Danube flows through 10 countries. Its tributaries extend to 6 countries, including Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czech Republic, and Slovenia, and finally injected into the Black Sea in Sulina, eastern Romania. The waterway has inspired countless musicians and artists through the centuries. It was immortalized in the famous waltz, "The Blue Danube," composed by Austrian Johann Strauss on a cruise down the river.
The Danube played an extremely important role in colonization and political change in Central and Southeastern Europe. The castles and fortresses lining its banks formed the frontiers between great empires; its waterways acted as trade routes between nations. The Danube has a dense network with numerous tributaries, including more than 300 large and small tributaries, of which 192 are over 20 kilometers long and 34 are navigable.
With a total length of 2,850 kilometers (1,770 miles), the Danube River has become the second-longest river in Europe. It has an average annual runoff of 203 billion cubic meters and an average annual flow of 6,430 kilometers at the estuary. The different natural characteristics of river basins affect the volume of water flow in the upper, middle, and lower reaches.
The Danube River basin has a vast area, about 817,000 square kilometers. The delta area is more than 5640km². One-third of the Danube's total length is in Hungary; Hungary's capital, Budapest, is often called "the Queen of the Danube." From the water on a cruise, the city is spectacular at night, with lights illuminating Budapest's Chain Bridge, Parliament Building, and other famous structures.
Climate And Hydrology
The Danube River basin transitions from a temperate oceanic to a mild continental climate. As far as the whole basin is concerned, most precipitation occurs from June to September, and snow falls in winter in the alpine areas. Snowfall accounts for 10%-30% of the annual precipitation. Rainfall distribution in the basin is uneven. The Austrian Alps have the most rainfall, with an average annual rainfall of more than 2510 mm; the areas with the least rainfall are the lower parts of the Great Hungarian Low Plain and the Morava Valley of Slovakia, and the lower regions. Danube floods are formed by heavy or long-term continuous rains in summer and autumn, alpine snow melting in spring. But most floods are limited to local sections.
The Danube River is much older than the Rhine. Its basin is considered the site of some of the earliest human cultures. It remains one of Europe's most important and historic waterways and a popular river cruise destination. It has been harnessed for hydroelectric power, particularly in upper courses. Today, the Danube provides drinking water for about 10 million people in addition to navigation and transport. Danube cruise travelers will see not only a beautiful river but a working one.