It´s also called the Amazon of Europe, Danube is a river with an astonishing variety that stretches over a distance of 3,000 kilometers, starting in the Black Forest of Germany and ending at the Black Sea.

The Danube is a river that crosses most countries in the world: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Republic of Moldova and Ucraine. Crossing ten countries and four capital cities, the Danube is the world’s most prominent river with international character which have an paramount importance for wildlife in Europe, the river passes through a series of spectacular landscapes.

The Danube, the second largest river in Europe, after the Volga, it is originates in the town of Donaueschingen, situated in the Black Forest Mountains of Germany, at the confluence of the rivers Brigach and Breg. Both, Brigach and Breg mix their waters in Fürstenberg Castle Park, from the east, in a long and adventurous journey of about 2860 km to the Black Sea. At the point source of the river, there is a complex of statues, representing two womens, a mother, symbolizing Europe, which shows  her daughter, Danube, the way she should go.

The place where two small rivers (Breg and Brigach) unite to form the Danube in Donaueschingen, Germany.

The place where two small rivers (Breg and Brigach) unite to form the Danube in Donaueschingen, Germany.

A complex of statues, representing two womens, a mother, symbolizing Europe, which shows  her daughter, Danube, the way she should go.

A complex of statues, representing two womens, a mother, symbolizing Europe, which shows her daughter, Danube, the way she should go.

Map of Danube river across Europe

Map of Danube river across Europe

The Danube crosses important cities and capitals with a formidable cultural and historical heritage.

1. Sigmaringen Castle

Was the princely castle and seat of government for the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, this castle dominates the skyline of the town of Sigmaringen. The castle was rebuilt following a fire in 1893, and only the towers of the earlier medieval fortress remain. The Hohenzollern castle was built below the narrow Danube river valley in the modern Upper Danube Nature Park.

Sigmaringen Castle and The Danube

Sigmaringen Castle and The Danube

2. City of Ulm

Ulm is a university town, the city have a Gothic church. The church tower has an height of 161.53 m, is the highest church tower in the world. In historical documents the city is mentioned for the first time on July 22, 854 as royal palatinate.

Ulm

Ulm

 3. Ingolstadt

Ingolstadt is mentioned in the novel Frankenstein City (1818) by Mary Shelley, the birthplace of Victor Frankenstein, the created monster.

Ingolstadt

Ingolstadt

 4. Regensburg 

The city of south Danube was in Roman times Castrum name Regina (fort on the river Regen – name of the city). The Danube was at that time the northern border of the Roman Empire. Old historic center were entered in 2006 to the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Romantic Sunset over Regensburg with the Danube

Romantic Sunset over Regensburg with the Danube

 5. Passau

The Danube in Passau

The Danube in Passau

 6. Linz, Austria

In Linz, the Danube curves and changes direction.”Lentos” and “Lentia” are the Celtic and Roman names for Linz. Both refer to the river’s change of course, also tell the story of Linz’s transformations. For the moment, the last of these is that of the booming industrial city to the European Capital of Culture.

Especially in Austria, the Danube is far more than the fascinatingly beautiful river landscape that stretches from the bend known as the Schlögener Schlinge to Grein, via the Linz Basin and the picturesque Strudengau region. The churches, castles, fortresses and bridges on the Danube are steel and stone witnesses to better, eventful and also more terrible times.

In Linz, the experience of the Danube fits into the wonderful resolution of numerous centuries-old conflicts. Here, the fascination that is Europe lives on, through the tolerant acceptance of cultural differences. People are highly valued in Linz and also in the successful economy, which concerns itself not only with satisfactory profits and capital, but also with the human aspect. Linz demonstrates to the rest of Europe that the Danube stands for dynamism and contact in culture and the economy.

Linz, Danube panorama

Linz, Danube panorama

6. Vienna

Vienna is the capital city of Austria, and the first capital across by Danube.

For many centuries, Vienna was the center of classical music and opera. Christoph Willibald Gluck, Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner and others, worked in Vienna, and Antonio Vivaldi died here. Johann Strauss waltzes and his family created in Vienna, and the city became the home of so-called “Second Viennese School” with Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg and Anton Webern all being born here. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and address.

Vienna is notable for the architecture, there are numerous baroque buildings, but are represented all other the styles. Summer palace of kings, Schönbrunn Palace, was designed as a rival Versailles, but although huge and ornate, never became as big. Schönbrunn Zoo is in the palace. St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom), built in the twelfth century is also of great value. Friedensreich Hundertwasser modern architect built several buildings in the city in his idiosyncratic style, the historic center of Vienna is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.

Vienna, Danube

Vienna, Danube

 7. Bratislava

Capital of Slovakia, the historic center has many baroque palaces. Grassalkovich Palace, built around 1760, is now the residence of the Slovak president, other smaller houses are historically significant; composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel was born in a house in the eighteenth century, in Old Town. Notable cathedrals and churches include St. Martin Gothic Cathedral, built between centuries XIII and XVI, which served as the coronation church of the Kingdom of Hungary between 1563 and 1830. Franciscan Church, dating from the XIII, was a knight of ceremonies. Church of St. Elizabeth, better known as Blue Church, is built entirely according to Art Nouveau.

Bratislava castle, cathedral and Danube

Bratislava castle, cathedral and Danube

 8. Budapest

Is the capital of Hungary. The city is situated on both banks of the Danube. In the eastern part of the Danube is Pest, occupying two thirds of the area and on the west side is Buda, the other third of the city. Castle Hill and the banks of the Danube in Budapest was inscribed in 1987 on UNESCO World Heritage list.

Danube in Budapest

Danube in Budapest

 9. Novi Sad

Novi Sad is a city in Serbia, it is the capital of the province of Vojvodina and a large industrial and cultural center, the city is known as Serbian Athens, since it was founded in 1694, Novi Sad became the center of Serbian culture, today Novi Sad is a large industrial and financial center of the serbian economy.

Novi Sad

Novi Sad

10. Belgrade

Belgrade, is the fourth and the last capital acrossed by the Danube. The city is situated at the confluence of the Sava and Danube, two international waterways, where the Pannonian Plain meets the Balkans.

As one of the oldest cities in Europe, with archaeological evidence of settlements from the fifth millennium BC. Belgrade’s wider city area was the birthplace of the Vinca culture,  most European prehistoric culture. The location was discovered by the Greeks, and the Celts built it and called the White City, the Romans have granted city rights before being inhabited by Serbs completely white. The city was the battlefield of over 115 wars and was knocked down 44 times  since ancient times by numerous armies of the East and West.

Belgrad panorama

Belgrade panorama

11. The Iron Gates of the Danube

It is a gorge on the River Danube. It forms a part of the boundary between Serbia and Romania. 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. At this point, 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.

The Great Kazan is the most famous and the most narrow gorge of the whole route: the river here narrows to 150 m and reaches a depth of up to 53 m (174 ft). East of this site the Roman emperor Trajan had built the legendary bridge erected by Apollodorus of Damascus. Construction of the bridge ran from 103 through 105, preceding Trajan’s final conquest of Dacia. On the right (Serbian) bank a Roman plaque commemorates him. On the Romanian bank, at the Small Kazan, the likeness of Trajan’s Dacian opponent Decebalus was carved in rock from 1994 through 2004.

Rock sculpture of King Decebal

Rock sculpture of King Decebalus

Iron gates of Danube

Iron gates of Danube

12. Danube Delta

Is the second largest river delta in Europe, after Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania (Tulcea county), the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine (Odessa Oblast). The approximate surface area is around 4,152  km², in which 3,446 km² are in Romania. With the lagoons of Razim-Sinoe (1,015 km² with 865 km² water surface), located in south of the main delta, the total area of the Danube Delta reaches 5,165 km². The Razim – Sinoe lagoon complex is geologically and ecologically related to the delta proper and their combined territory is part of the World Heritage Sites.

The Danube Delta falls within Pannonian steppe ecosystem of eastern Europe, with Mediterranean influences. As a young region in full process of consolidation, the Danube Delta represents a very favourable place for the development of highly diverse flora and fauna, unique in Europe, with numerous rare species. It hosts 23 natural ecosystems, but due to the extent of wetlands the aquatic environment is prevalent; the terrestrial environment is also present on the higher grounds of the continental levees, where xerophile ecosystems have developed. Between the aquatic and terrestrial environments, is interposed a swampy, easily flooded strip of original flora and fauna, with means of adaptation for water or land, depending on the season or the hydrological regime. At the contact between freshwater and sea water, some special physical, chemical and biological processes take place, which have led biologists to consider this area as a very different ecosystem called beforedelta. Musura Gulf, north of Sulina, and Saint George Gulf are considered the most representative for this type of ecosystem.

Situated on major migratory routes, and providing adequate conditions for nesting and hatching, the Danube Delta is a magnet for birds from six major eco-regions of the world, including the Mongolian, Arctic and Siberian. There are over 320 species of birds found in the delta during summer, of which 166 are hatching species and 159 are migratory. Over one million individuals (swans, wild ducks, bald coots, etc.) winter here.

Map of Danube Delta

Map of Danube Delta

Danube Delta

Danube Delta

Pelicans from Danube Delta

Pelicans from Danube Delta

delta-dunarii(1)

Danube Delta birds

Danube Delta birds

Danube Delta birds

13. Documentary Videos