The river Danube is the second largest in Europe after the Volga. Crosses neither more nor less than ten countries: Germany , Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine . What’s more, its basin extends through Italy, Poland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania. This gives us an approximation of its length: 2,888 km, from birth in Germany’s Black Forest to death in the Black Sea in Romania. In this final section, is formed the Danube Delta comprises a region of marshes and swamps with small populations but high ecological value. Broadly speaking, these are the places through which the river Danube.
A truly international river, which receives different names according to the country where its waters run. Thus, the Danube is known as Donau in Germany, Dunaj in Slovakia; Duna in Hungary, Romania Dunarea, Dunai in the Czech Republic; Дунай in Ukraine, and Dunav in Bosnia, Serbia and Bulgaria. All this nomenclature comes possibly from a Celtic word, “Danu”, meaning “fly”. While there are other hypotheses that suggest that the root of many derivations of the name of the river is in the Iranian language, with which it has been baptized other rivers that flow into the Dead Sea , such as Don The Donest, the Dnieper and the Dniester. Both hypotheses could be true, but in any case the importance of the whole matter lies in the international character of the Danube.
Its importance is unquestioned in historical terms, this river has been featured in ancient deeds relating to natural history, ecological, political, economic and cultural. In antiquity, the Danube and played a key role and served to the development of cultures as Vucedol and Vinka. Later in the year 200 AD was part of the natural boundaries of the Roman Empire, along with other rivers like the Rhine and some fortifications. They used various Germanic tribes attacked Rome. And served as a way for the Crusades, to quickly reach the Holy Land. Undoubtedly, like these, numerous waves of both nomadic and sedentary peoples, and campaigns of many armies, from the smallest to the feudal imperial invasions, wars and battles, along with many other historical turbulent processes have been very frequent, across the Danube basin. Also equally true that much of its popularity is due also to the famous waltz composed by Johann Strauss in 1867, a waltz, of course, bears his name: ” Blue Danube “.
Today, the Danube flows through four capital cities, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade, and its watershed covers an area of about 725,985 km ² and an average flow at the mouth of 6,500 m3 per second. Born from the union of two German rivers, Brigach and Breg, at the height of the people Donauestchingen. In fact, from the Black Forest of Germany and is known as the Danube and from there, begins his journey, visiting many countries of Central and Eastern Europe to abocar in the Black Sea through the Danube Delta said, shared by Romania and Ukraine. This delta has a high ecological value because it is used by many migratory birds from late spring to early fall. In fact, it was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1990.
Cities by the Danube passes are many and some of them important in a quick list, may be mentioned the German cities of Ulm, Ingolstadt and Regensburg, the cities of Linz and Vienna autríacas; also Bratislava in Slovakia, Galati in Romania and Novi Sad and Belgrade in Serbia. A must not Budapest, where the famous Chain Bridge across the Danube connecting Buda and Pest, Hungary. Although the Danube is still an important route for Central and Eastern Europe, trafficking is less important than other rivers like the Rhine This is because it has lower population density of the basin, less industrialization of the same and especially is due to the extremely heterogeneous social, economic, political, cultural and linguistic diversity of countries spanning the Danube. These obstacles could be overwhelmed with European integration and the establishment of agreements that facilitate free trade of commodities.
In 1998, he was born the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube, which is the same: the ICPD. Its purpose was to protect, promote and coordinate sustainable and equitable water management, as well as conserve, enhance and use it rationally for the benefit of the countries washed by the river Danube. The direct cause of the birth of this organization was precisely in the modern era disputes between countries, whose greed made them each as owners imposed the river. These attempts have been steadily avoided domain thanks to some agreements signed by member countries of the ICPD . However, the treaties they have preserved the integrity of the river back to the Treaty of Paris of 1856, the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, and some other historical and watched over their safety.
What more to say on the Danube is not known? The river is also a source of drinking water for about ten million people, in addition to functioning as a commercial transport route of the European Union. Having said that, the Danube is certainly a route must for tourists visiting the continent.