The Rhine

Friday, 7 October 2011 - 01:03 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Distance marks along the Rhine indicate distances from this bridge in the City of Constance © Achim Lehle

Distance marks along the Rhine indicate distances from this bridge in the City of Constance © Achim Lehle

The Rhine flows from Grisons in the eastern Swiss Alps to the North Sea coast in the Netherlands and is one of the longest and most important rivers in Europe, at about 1,233 km (766 mi), with an average discharge of more than 2,000 m3/s (71,000 cu ft/s).

The Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire and, since those days, the Rhine has been a vital and navigable waterway carrying trade and goods deep inland. It has also served as a defensive feature and has been the basis for regional and international borders. The many castles and prehistoric fortifications along the Rhine testify to its importance as a waterway. River traffic could be stopped at these locations, usually for the purpose of collecting tolls, by the state that controlled that portion of the river.

Until 1932 the generally accepted length of the Rhine was 1,230 kilometres (764 miles). In 1932, however, the German encyclopedia Knaurs Lexikon stated the length as 1,300 kilometres (810 miles), presumably a typographical transposition error. After this number was placed into the authoritative Brockhaus Enzyklopädie, it became generally accepted and found its way into numerous textbooks and official publications. The error was discovered in 2010, and the Dutch Rijkswaterstaat confirms the length as 1,233 kilometres (766 miles).

Koblenz with Deutsches Eck, seen from Fortress Ehrenbreitstein © Holger Weinandt Rhine Falls - Schaffhausen © Phter Rhine at the UNESCO World Heritage 'Upper Middle Rhine Valley' and view on Katz_Castle, seen from Patersberg © Felix Koenig Düsseldorf © T.A. City of Boppard © Reinhard Hunscher View on Bacharach © Frila Strasbourg - Palais du Rhin - Rhine Shipping Administration © Szeder László Loreley, seen from Spitznack © Luidger Loreley Rock, seen from Urbar © Felix Koenig Cologne © Neuwieser City of Boppard © Tk Basle © Norbert Aepli Alpine Rhine delta at Lake Constance © Matthias Kabel Rhine map © Daniel Ullrich Distance marks along the Rhine indicate distances from this bridge in the City of Constance © Achim Lehle
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Rhine at the UNESCO World Heritage 'Upper Middle Rhine Valley' and view on Katz_Castle, seen from Patersberg © Felix Koenig
The Rhine is called that name from the confluence of the Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein, near Reichenau in the canton of Grisons. The initial source of the river is known to all people and pupils in Grisons and Switzerland as lying north of Lai da Tuma (Tomasee) on Vorderrhein, although some people nowadays do claim that its southern tributary Rein da Medel is actually longer before its confluence with the Vorderrhein near Disentis.

The Rhine is the longest river in Germany. It is here that the Rhine encounters some of its main tributaries, such as the Neckar, the Main and, later, the Moselle, which contributes an average discharge of more than 300 m3/s (11,000 cu ft/s). Northeastern France drains to the Rhine via the Moselle; smaller rivers drain the Vosges and Jura Mountains, uplands. Most of Luxembourg and a very small part of Belgium also drain to the Rhine via the Moselle. As it approaches the Dutch border, the Rhine has an annual mean discharge of 2,290 m3/s (81,000 cu ft/s) and an average width of 400 m (1,300 ft). Between Bingen and Bonn, the Middle Rhine flows through the Rhine Gorge, a formation which was created by erosion. The rate of erosion equalled the uplift in the region, such that the river was left at about its original level while the surrounding lands raised. The gorge is quite deep and is the stretch of the river which is known for its many castles and vineyards. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2002) and known as “the Romantic Rhine”, with more than 40 castles and fortresses from the Middle Ages and many quaint and lovely country villages.

The Dutch word for “Rhine” is “Rijn”. The Rhine turns west and enters the Netherlands, where, together with the rivers Meuse and Scheldt, it forms the extensive Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta, one of the larger river deltas in western Europe. Crossing the border into the Netherlands at Spijk, close to Nijmegen and Arnhem, the Rhine is at its widest, although the river then splits into three main distributaries: the Waal River, Nederrijn (“Lower Rhine”) and IJssel.

Read more on Romantic Rhine, Rhine-Nahe-Tourism, Rhine Falls und Wikipedia Rhein. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.


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