The Danube was once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire, and today flows through 10 countries, more than any other river in the world. 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 before draining into the Black Sea. Its drainage basin extends into nine more countries.
The Danube river basin is home to fish species such as pike, zander, huchen, Wels catfish, burbot and tench. It is also home to a large diversity of 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.
Since ancient times, the Danube has become a traditional trade route in Europe, nowadays 2,415 km (1,501 mi) of its total length being navigable. The river is also an important source of energy and drinking water.
The Danube in Vienna
Course of the Danube, marked in red
|Country||Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine|
|Cities||Ulm, Ingolstadt, Regensburg, Linz, Vienna, Bratislava, Győr, Budapest, Dunaújváros, Vukovar, Novi Sad, Zemun, Belgrade, Pančevo, Smederevo, Drobeta Turnu-Severin, Galați, Izmail|
|⁃ location||Martinskapelle, Black Forest, Germany|
|⁃ elevation||1,078 m (3,537 ft)|
|⁃ location||St. Georgen, Black Forest, Germany|
|⁃ elevation||940 m (3,080 ft)|
|Length||2,850 km (1,770 mi)|
|Basin size||801,463 km2 (309,447 sq mi)|
|⁃ location||before delta|
|⁃ average||7,000 m3/s (250,000 cu ft/s)|
30km before town
|⁃ average||580 m3/s (20,000 cu ft/s)|
|⁃ average||1,900 m3/s (67,000 cu ft/s)|
|⁃ average||2,350 m3/s (83,000 cu ft/s)|
|⁃ average||5,600 m3/s (200,000 cu ft/s)|
Danube is an Old European river name derived from a Proto-Indo-European *dānu. Other river names from the same root include the Dunaj, Dzvina/Daugava, Don, Donets, Dnieper, Dniestr, Dysna, Tana/Deatnu and Tuoni. In Rigvedic Sanskrit, dānu means "fluid, drop", and in Avestan, the same word means "river". In the Rigveda, Dānu once appears as the mother of Vrtra, "a dragon blocking the course of the rivers". The Finnish word for Danube is Tonava, which is most likely derived from the word for the river in Swedish and 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.
The river was known to the ancient Greeks as the Istros (Ἴστρος) a borrowing from a Daco-Thracian name meaning 'strong, swift', 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'. In the Middle Ages, the Greek Tiras was borrowed into Italian as Tyrlo and into Turkic languages as Tyrla, the latter further borrowed into Romanian as a regionalism (Turlă).
In Latin, the Danube was variously known as Danubius, Danuvius or as Ister.  The Latin name is masculine, as are all its Slavic names, except Slovenian (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, Middle High German Tuonowe) 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. 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 hypotetical Thracian *Donaris that shares the same PIE root with the Iranic don-/dan-, with the suffix -aris also encountered in the ancient name of the Ialomița River, Naparis, and in the unidentified Miliare river mentioned by Jordanes in his Getica. 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 loanword from a Turkic language.
The modern languages spoken in the Danube basin all use names related to Dānuvius: German: Donau (IPA: [ˈdoːnaʊ]); Austro-Bavarian: Doana; Silesian: Důnaj; Upper Sorbian: Dunaj; Czech: Dunaj (IPA: [ˈdunaj]); Slovak: Dunaj (IPA: [ˈdunaj]); Polish: Dunaj (IPA: [ˈdunaj]); Hungarian: Duna (IPA: [ˈdunɒ]); Slovene: Donava (IPA: [ˈdóːnaʋa]); Serbo-Croatian: Dunav / Дунав (IPA: [dǔnaʋ] or [dǔnaːʋ]); Romanian: Dunărea (IPA: [ˈdunəre̯a]); Bulgarian: Дунав, romanized: Dunav (IPA: [ˈdunɐf]); Ukrainian: Дунай, romanized: Dunai (IPA: [duˈnɑj]); Portuguese: Danúbio (IPA: [dɐˈnubju]); French: Danube (IPA: [danyb]); Greek: Δούναβης (IPA: [ˈðunavis]); Italian: Danubio (IPA: [daˈnuːbjo]); Spanish: Danubio (IPA: [daˈnuβjo]); Romansh: Danubi; Albanian: Tunë, definite Albanian form: Tuna.
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.
Once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire, the river passes through or touches the borders of 10 countries: Romania (29.0% of basin area), Hungary (11.6%), Serbia (10.2%), Austria (10.0%), Germany (7.0%), Bulgaria (5.9%), Slovakia (5.9%), Croatia (4.4%), Ukraine (3.8%), and Moldova (1.6%). Its drainage basin extends into nine more (ten if Kosovo is included).
In addition to the bordering countries (see above), the drainage basin includes parts of nine more countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.6%), the Czech Republic (2.9%), Slovenia (2.0%), Montenegro (0.9%), Switzerland (0.2%), Italy (<0.1%), Poland (<0.1%), North Macedonia (<0.1%) and Albania (<0.1%). Its total drainage basin is 801,463 km2 (309,447 sq mi). The highest point of the drainage basin is the summit of Piz Bernina at the Italy–Switzerland border, at 4,049 metres (13,284 ft).
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 (in order that they enter):
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:
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. 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.
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.
In 2010–12, shipping companies (especially from Ukraine) claimed that their vessels suffered from "regular 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 Danube Delta (Romanian: Delta Dunării pronounced [ˈdelta ˈdunərij]; Ukrainian: Дельта Дунаю, romanized: Del'ta Dunaju) 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 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.
The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is an organization consisting 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 the 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.
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.
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 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 Sink). Most of this water resurfaces only 12 kilometres (7 mi) south at the Aachtopf, Germany's wellspring with the highest flow, an average of 8,500 litres per second (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 sink holes 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 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 BC Vinča culture, (Vinča, Serbia) are sited along the Danube. The third millennium BC Vučedol culture (from the Vučedol site near Vukovar, Croatia) is famous for its ceramics.
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 AD 37 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 lost again.
Avars used the river as their southeastern border in the 6th century.
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.
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 Austrian Habsburgs, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Russian Empire for controlling the Danube (Turks call it Tuna), 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).
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.
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 "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 centres 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).
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.
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.
The Upper Danube ecoregion alone has about 60 fish species and the Lower Danube–Dniester ecoregion has about twice as many. 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. The huchen, one of the largest species of salmon, is endemic to the Danube basin, but has been introduced elsewhere by humans.
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 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 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.
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.
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:
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.
In 2010 the Donausteig, a hiking trail from Passau to Grein, was opened. It is 450 kilometres (280 mi) 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 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 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 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 travelled on and along the Danube and used the river for travel and transportation. While travelling 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 where 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.
Tunë-a lumi i Danubit
Bratislava (, also US: , Slovak: [ˈbracislaʋa] (listen); German: Preßburg or Pressburg [ˈprɛsbʊrk] (listen); Hungarian: Pozsony) is the capital of Slovakia. With a population of about 430,000, it is one of the smaller capitals of Europe but still the country's largest city. The greater metropolitan area is home to more than 650,000 people. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia, occupying both banks of the River Danube and the left bank of the River Morava. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two sovereign states.The city's history has been influenced by people of many nations and religions, including Austrians, Bulgarians, Croats, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Jews, Serbs and Slovaks. It was the coronation site and legislative center of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1536 to 1783, and has been home to many Slovak, Hungarian and German historical figures.
Bratislava is the political, cultural and economic centre of Slovakia. It is the seat of the Slovak president, the parliament and the Slovak Executive. It has several universities, and many museums, theatres, galleries and other cultural and educational institutions. Many of Slovakia's large businesses and financial institutions have headquarters there.
In 2017, Bratislava was ranked as the third richest region of the European Union by GDP (PPP) per capita (after Hamburg and Luxembourg City). GDP at purchasing power parity is about three times higher than in other Slovak regions. Bratislava receives around 1 million tourists every year.Budapest
Budapest (, Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈbudɒpɛʃt]) is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, and the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city has an estimated population of 1,752,286 over a land area of about 525 square kilometres (203 square miles). Budapest is both a city and county, and forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres (2,944 square miles) and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33% of the population of Hungary.The history of Budapest began when an early Celtic settlement transformed into the Roman town of Aquincum, the capital of Lower Pannonia. The Hungarians arrived in the territory in the late 9th century. The area was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241. Buda, the settlements on the west bank of the river, became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture by the 15th century.
The Battle of Mohács, in 1526, was followed by nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule. After the reconquest of Buda in 1686, the region entered a new age of prosperity. Pest-Buda became a global city with the unification of Buda, Óbuda, and Pest on 17 November 1873, with the name 'Budapest' given to the new capital. Budapest also became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I. The city was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Battle of Budapest in 1945, and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.Budapest is an Alpha − global city with strengths in commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. It is Hungary's financial centre and was ranked as the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe. Budapest is the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the European Police College and the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency. Over 40 colleges and universities are located in Budapest, including the Eötvös Loránd University, the Semmelweis University and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Opened in 1896, the city's subway system, the Budapest Metro, serves 1.27 million, while the Budapest Tram Network serves 1.08 million passengers daily.Among Budapest's important museums and cultural institutions is the Museum of Fine Arts. Further famous cultural institutions are the Hungarian National Museum, House of Terror, Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Hungarian State Opera House and National Széchényi Library. The central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has several notable monuments, including the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Fisherman's Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church and the Liberty Statue. Other famous landmarks include Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen's Basilica, Heroes' Square, the Great Market Hall, the Nyugati Railway Station built by the Eiffel Company of Paris in 1877 and the second-oldest metro line in the world, the Millennium Underground Railway. The city also has around 80 geothermal springs, the largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building in the world. Budapest attracts 4.4 million international tourists per year, making it a popular destination in Europe.Danube Delta
The Danube Delta (Romanian: Delta Dunării pronounced [ˈdelta ˈdunərij] (listen); Ukrainian: Дельта Дунаю, Deľta Dunayu, Ukrainian pronunciation: [dɛlʲˈtɑ dunɑˈju]) 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 Romania (Tulcea County), with a small part in Ukraine (Odessa Oblast). Its approximate surface area is 4,152 km2 (1,603 sq mi), of which 3,446 km2 (1,331 sq mi) is in Romania. With the lagoons of Razim–Sinoe (1,015 km2 (392 sq mi) with 865 km2 (334 sq mi) water surface), located south of the main delta, the total area of the Danube Delta is 5,165 km2 (1,994 sq mi). The Razim–Sinoe lagoon complex is geologically and ecologically related to the delta proper and the combined territory is listed as a World Heritage Site.Danube Swabians
The Danube Swabians (German: Donauschwaben ) is a collective term for the German-speaking population who lived in various countries of southeastern Europe, especially in the Danube River valley. Most were descended from 18th-century immigrants recruited as colonists to repopulate the area after the expulsion of the Ottoman Empire.
The Danube Swabians are the most recently formed distinct line of ethnic German people. They are made up of ethnic Germans from many former and present-day countries: Germans of Hungary; Satu Mare Swabians; the Banat Swabians; and the Vojvodina Germans in Serbia's Vojvodina, and Croatia's Slavonia (especially in the Osijek region). They called themselves Schwowe in a Germanized spelling or "Shwoveh" in an English spelling; in the singular first person, they identified as a Schwob or a Shwobe. The Carpathian Germans and Transylvanian Saxons are not included within the Danube Swabian group.
After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following World War I, the settlement areas of the Danube Swabians were divided into three parts by the Allied Powers. One part remained with Hungary, the second part was allocated to Romania, and the third part fell to the newly established state of Yugoslavia. In this atmosphere of ethnic nationalism, the Danube Swabians had to fight for legal equality as citizens and for the preservation of their cultural traditions. These circumstances were used by the German Reich to promote National Socialist ideas to the Danube Swabians.The Danube Swabians faced particular challenges in World War II, when the Axis powers, including Nazi Germany, overran many of the nations where they lived. While they were initially favored by the occupiers, some were moved from their homes, and as the war progressed and Nazi Germany needed more soldiers, the men were conscripted. Many atrocities took place during and after the war, as a result of the complicated allegiances and the brutality of the Nazis.
Toward the end of the Second World War, tens of thousands of Danube Swabians fled ahead of the advancing Soviet army. After the war, the remaining Danube Swabians were disfranchised, their property seized, and many were deported to labor camps in the Soviet Union. In Hungary, half of the Hungarian Germans were expelled. In Yugoslavia, the local "ethnic German" communities were collectively blamed for the actions of Nazi Germany and branded as war criminals. Immediately after the end of the war, Yugoslav Danube Swabians civilians faced mass executions by Partisan troops, and were later placed in labor and internment camps by the Yugoslavian authorities. Following the dissolution of the camps, the majority of the remaining Yugoslav Danube Swabians left the country.
Of the 1.4 to 1.5 million pre-war population of Danube Swabians, the overwhelming majority of the survivors resettled in German-speaking countries: about 660,000 in Germany and about 150,000 in Austria. Danube Swabians also resettled to the United States, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, and Australia. Diaspora Danube Swabians maintain their language and customs in numerous societies and clubs, although the number of organizations is shrinking as the generations that lived in the Danube Swabian homeland die off.Danube school
The Danube School or Donau School (German: Donauschule or Donaustil) was a circle of painters of the first third of the 16th century in Bavaria and Austria (mainly along the Danube valley). Many were also innovative printmakers, usually in etching. They were among the first painters to regularly use pure landscape painting, and their figures, influenced by Matthias Grünewald, are often highly expressive, if not expressionist. They show little Italian influence and represent a decisive break with the high finish of Northern Renaissance painting, using a more painterly style that was in many ways ahead of its time. According to Alfred Stange, Albrecht Altdorfer and Wolfgang Huber were two of the central most figures within the Danube School. Altdofer was the artist that created most of the artworks associated with the Danube School. The term "Danube School" was most likely not what these groups of artist called themselves but a name that derived hundreds of years after a man by the name of Theodore von Frimmel was observing a painting in 1892 in the Danube region around Regensburg, Germany. When artist Lucas Cranach's art work was recognized to have stylistic elements of the "Danube" the name "The Danube School" began to take a deeper meaning. "The river valleys of Austria and western Bavaria have often been praised as the land of the 'Beautiful Danube' and not in just song but in the pictorial arts as well." (Snyder, James)Danubian Principalities
Danubian Principalities (Romanian: Principatele Dunărene, Serbian: Дунавске кнежевине, romanized: Dunavske kneževine) was a conventional name given to the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, which emerged in the early 14th century. The term was coined in the Habsburg Monarchy after the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774) in order to designate an area on the lower Danube with a common geopolitical situation. The term was largely used then by foreign political circles and public opinion until the union of the two Principalities (1859). Alongside Transylvania, the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia became the basis for the Kingdom of Romania, and by extension the modern Romanian nation-state.In a wider context, the concept may also apply to the Principality of Serbia as one of The Principalities of the Danube which came under the suzerainty (alongside Wallachia and Moldavia) of the Porte from 1817.First Bulgarian Empire
The First Bulgarian Empire (Old Bulgarian: ц︢рьство бл︢гарское, ts'rstvo bl'garskoe) was a medieval Bulgarian state that existed in Southeastern Europe between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was founded in 681 when Bulgar tribes led by Asparuh moved to the northeastern Balkans. There they secured Byzantine recognition of their right to settle south of the Danube by defeating – possibly with the help of local South Slavic tribes – the Byzantine army led by Constantine IV. At the height of its power, Bulgaria spread from the Danube Bend to the Black Sea and from the Dnieper River to the Adriatic Sea.
As the state solidified its position in the Balkans, it entered into a centuries-long interaction, sometimes friendly and sometimes hostile, with the Byzantine Empire. Bulgaria emerged as Byzantium's chief antagonist to its north, resulting in several wars. The two powers also enjoyed periods of peace and alliance, most notably during the Second Arab siege of Constantinople, where the Bulgarian army broke the siege and destroyed the Arab army, thus preventing an Arab invasion of Southeastern Europe. Byzantium had a strong cultural influence on Bulgaria, which also led to the eventual adoption of Christianity in 864. After the disintegration of the Avar Khaganate, the country expanded its territory northwest to the Pannonian Plain. Later the Bulgarians confronted the advance of the Pechenegs and Cumans, and achieved a decisive victory over the Magyars, forcing them to establish themselves permanently in Pannonia.
During the late 9th and early 10th centuries, Simeon I achieved a string of victories over the Byzantines. Thereafter, he was recognized with the title of Emperor, and proceeded to expand the state to its greatest extent. After the annihilation of the Byzantine army in the battle of Anchialus in 917, the Bulgarians laid siege to Constantinople in 923 and 924. The Byzantines, however, eventually recovered, and in 1014, under Basil II, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Bulgarians at the Battle of Kleidion. By 1018, the last Bulgarian strongholds had surrendered to the Byzantine Empire, and the First Bulgarian Empire had ceased to exist. It was succeeded by the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1185.
After the adoption of Christianity, Bulgaria became the cultural center of Slavic Europe. Its leading cultural position was further consolidated with the invention of the Glagolitic and Early Cyrillic alphabets shortly after in the capital Preslav, and literature produced in Old Bulgarian soon began spreading north. Old Bulgarian became the lingua franca of much of Eastern Europe and it came to be known as Old Church Slavonic. In 927, the fully independent Bulgarian Patriarchate was officially recognized.
The ruling Bulgars and other non-Slavic tribes in the empire gradually mixed and adopted the prevailing Slavic language, thus gradually forming the Bulgarian nation from the 7th century to the 9th century. Since the late 9th century, the names Bulgarians and Bulgarian gained prevalence and became permanent designations for the local population, both in literature and in common parlance. The development of Old Church Slavonic literacy had the effect of preventing the assimilation of the South Slavs into neighbouring cultures, while stimulating the formation of a distinct Bulgarian identity.Galați
Galați (UK: , US: , Romanian: [ɡaˈlatsʲ] (listen); also known by other alternative names) is the capital city of Galați County, in the historical region of Moldavia, eastern Romania. Galați is a port town on the Danube River. In 2011, the Romanian census recorded 249,432 residents, making it the 8th most populous city in Romania. Galați is an economic centre based around the port of Galați and the naval shipyard.Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy (German: Habsburgermonarchie), also Austrian Monarchy or Danube Monarchy, is an unofficial umbrella term among historians for the kingdoms and countries in personal union with the Habsburg Archduchy of Austria between 1526 and 1804, when it was succeeded by the Austrian Empire. The Monarchy was a composite state of territories within and outside the Holy Roman Empire, and was united only in the person of the monarch. The dynastic capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague. From 1804 to 1867 the Habsburg Monarchy was formally unified as the Austrian Empire, and from 1867 to 1918 as the Austro-Hungarian Empire.The head of the Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg was often elected Holy Roman Emperor: from 1452 until the Empire's dissolution in 1806, Charles VII of Bavaria (1742–1745) was the only Holy Roman Emperor who was not Habsburg ruler of Austria. The two entities were never coterminous, as the Habsburg Monarchy covered many lands beyond the Holy Roman Empire, and most of the Empire was ruled by other dynasties.
The Habsburg Monarchy must not be confused with the Habsburg Empire, another unofficial umbrella term for all the territories of the House of Habsburg, divided in 1556 between this Austrian branch and a Spanish branch after the abdication of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.Inn (river)
The Inn (Latin: Aenus; Romansh: En) is a river in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. It is a right tributary of the Danube and is 518 kilometres (322 mi) long. The highest point of its drainage basin is the summit of Piz Bernina, at 4,049 metres (13,284 ft). The Engadine, the valley of the En, is the only Swiss valley whose waters end up in the Black Sea (via the Danube).Iron Gates
The Iron Gates (Romanian: Porțile de Fier, Serbian: Ђердапска клисура / Đerdapska klisura or Гвоздена врата / Gvozdena vrata, Bulgarian: Железни врата, German: Eisernes Tor, Hungarian: Vaskapu) is a gorge on the river Danube. It forms part of the boundary between Serbia (to the south) and Romania (north). In the broad sense it encompasses a route of 134 km (83 mi); in the narrow sense it only encompasses the last barrier on this route, just beyond the Romanian city of Orșova, that contains two hydroelectric dams, with two power stations, Iron Gate I Hydroelectric Power Station and Iron Gate II Hydroelectric Power Station.
At this point in the Danube, the river separates the southern Carpathian Mountains from the northwestern foothills of the Balkan Mountains. The Romanian side of the gorge constitutes the Iron Gates natural park, whereas the Serbian part constitutes the Đerdap national park.
Archaeologists have named the Iron Gates mesolithic culture, of the central Danube region circa 13,000 to 5,000 years ago, after the gorge.Limes Moesiae
The Moesian Limes or Limes Moesiae is the modern term given to a collection of Roman fortifications between the Black Sea shore and Pannonia, present-day Hungary, consisting primarily of forts along the Danube (so-called Danubian Limes) to protect the Roman provinces of Upper and Lower Moesia south of the river.
In addition the term Limes Moesiae may be used to include many other linked lines of defence were established in the region in different periods and later abandoned in favour of others depending on the military situation.Novi Sad
Novi Sad (Serbian Cyrillic: Нови Сад, pronounced [nôʋiː sâːd] (listen); Hungarian: Újvidék [ˈuːjvideːk]; see below for other names) is the second largest city in Serbia, the capital of the autonomous province of Vojvodina and the administrative centre of the South Bačka District. It is located in the southern portion of the Pannonian Plain on the border of the Bačka and Srem geographical regions. Lying on the banks of the Danube river, the city faces the northern slopes of Fruška Gora.
According to the 2011 census, Novi Sad proper has a population of 250,439, while the entire urban area of Novi Sad (with the adjacent urban settlements of Petrovaradin and Sremska Kamenica) comprises 277,522 inhabitants. The population of the administrative area of the city, which includes its suburbs, totals 341,625 people.Novi Sad was founded in 1694 when Serb merchants formed a colony across the Danube from the Petrovaradin Fortress, a strategic Habsburg military post. In the following centuries, it transformed into an important trading and manufacturing centre as well as a centre of Serbian culture, earning it the nickname Serbian Athens. The city was heavily devastated in the 1848 Revolution, but was subsequently rebuilt and restored. Today, along with the Serbian capital city of Belgrade, Novi Sad is an industrial and financial centre important to the Serbian economy.
Novi Sad was selected to be a European Capital of Culture for the year 2021.Shoes on the Danube Bank
The Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial in Budapest, Hungary. Conceived by film director Can Togay, he created it on the east bank of the Danube River with sculptor Gyula Pauer to honour the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. They were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. It represents their shoes left behind on the bank.The Blue Danube
"The Blue Danube" is the common English title of "An der schönen blauen Donau", Op. 314 (German for "By the Beautiful Blue Danube"), a waltz by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866. Originally performed on 15 February 1867 at a concert of the Wiener Männergesangsverein (Vienna Men's Choral Association), it has been one of the most consistently popular pieces of music in the classical repertoire. Its initial performance was considered only a mild success, however, and Strauss is reputed to have said, "The devil take the waltz, my only regret is for the coda—I wish that had been a success!"After the original music was written, the words were added by the Choral Association's poet, Joseph Weyl. Strauss later added more music, and Weyl needed to change some of the words. Strauss adapted it into a purely orchestral version for the 1867 Paris World's Fair, and it became a great success in this form. The instrumental version is by far the most commonly performed today. An alternate text was written by Franz von Gernerth, "Donau so blau" (Danube so blue). "The Blue Danube" premiered in the United States in its instrumental version on 1 July 1867 in New York, and in Great Britain in its choral version on 21 September 1867 in London at the promenade concerts at Covent Garden.When Strauss's stepdaughter, Alice von Meyszner-Strauss, asked the composer Johannes Brahms to sign her autograph-fan, he wrote down the first bars of The Blue Danube, but adding "Leider nicht von Johannes Brahms" ("Alas! not by Johannes Brahms").Timiș (river)
The Timiș or Tamiš (Romanian: Timiș, Serbian: Тамиш / Tamiš, German: Temesch, Hungarian: Temes) is a 359 km (223 mi) long river originating from the Semenic Mountains (1,410 m (4,630 ft)), southern Carpathian Mountains, Caraș-Severin County, Romania. It flows through the Banat region and flows into the Danube near Pančevo, in northern Serbia. Due to its position in the region, it has been labeled as the 'spine of the Banat".Trajan's Bridge
Trajan's Bridge (Romanian: Podul lui Traian; Serbian: Трајанов мост / Trajanov most), also called Bridge of Apollodorus over the Danube, was a Roman segmental arch bridge, the first bridge to be built over the lower Danube and one of the greatest achievements in Roman architecture. Though it was only functional for a few decades, for more than 1,000 years it was the longest arch bridge in both total and span length.The bridge was constructed in 105 AD by instruction of Emperor Trajan by Greek architect Apollodorus of Damascus before his Second Dacian War to allow Roman troops to cross the river.Yugoslav monitor Vardar
Vardar was a Sava-class river monitor built for the Austro-Hungarian Navy as SMS Bosna, but was renamed SMS Temes (II) before she went into service. During World War I, she was the flagship of the Danube Flotilla, and fought the Serbian Army, the Romanian Navy and Army, and the French Army. She reverted to the name Bosna in May 1917, after the original SMS Temes was raised and returned to service. After brief service with the Hungarian People's Republic at the end of the war, she was transferred to the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia), and renamed Vardar. She remained in service throughout the interwar period, although budget restrictions meant she was not always in full commission.
During the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, she was the flagship of the 1st Monitor Division, and along with her fellow monitor Sava, she laid mines in the Danube near the Romanian border during the first few days of the invasion. The two monitors fought off several attacks by the Luftwaffe, but were forced to withdraw to Belgrade. Due to high river levels and low bridges, the monitors' navigation was difficult, and they were scuttled by their crews on 11 April. Some of her crew may have been killed when a demolished bridge collapsed onto a tugboat after they abandoned ship. Some tried to escape cross-country towards the southern Adriatic coast, but most surrendered to the Germans at Sarajevo on 14 April. The remainder made their way to the Bay of Kotor, where they were captured by the Italian XVII Corps on 17 April.Zusam
The Zusam is a river in Bavaria, Germany and a right tributary of the Danube. Its source is just north of the village of Könghausen, in the Unterallgäu district of Bavaria. It flows north for approximately 97 km, before converging into the Danube near the town of Donauwörth.
Towns and villages along the Zusam include Obergessertshausen, Memmenhausen, Muttershofen, Ziemetshausen, Dinkelscherben, Fleinhausen, Zusmarshausen, Zusamzell, Wertingen, Frauenstetten, and Buttenwiesen.
Danube summary route map
Distances are in kilometers, rounded to the nearest kilometer.
Waterway distances are shown, not towpath distances.
Country capitals are shown in bold.
Hydrography of Croatia
|Valleys, estuaries, |