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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.

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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. These locks have larger dimensions.

Tracking Down Serbia's Danube River Pirates

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.


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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. 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.

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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. 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. Especially the parts through Germany and Austria are very popular, which makes it one of the 10 most popular bike trails in Germany.

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 the Donausteig , a hiking trail from Passau to Grein , was opened. 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.

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. 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 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.

Pirates of the Danube

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". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. River in Central Europe. This article is about the river. For other uses, see Danube disambiguation. Danube summary route map. Rhine—Main—Danube Canal. Germany Austria. Austria Slovakia.

Pirate Ball on the Danube

Slovakia Hungary. Hungary Croatia. Hungary Serbia. Danube—Tisa—Danube Canal. Croatia Serbia. Serbia Romania. Serbia Bulgaria.

Pirates on the Danube - Alastair Humphreys

Bulgaria Romania. Romania Moldova. Moldova Ukraine. Main article: List of tributaries of the Danube. Further information: List of islands in the Danube.


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