The subject of our current report is about the longest river in the European Union and the 10 longest rivers in the continent of Europe, where Rivers play a pivotal role in the economies and cultures of the societies that live along their banks.

Rivers serve as a medium for trade and transportation, whether it be for goods and products or art and ideas.

People travel to Europe not only for the Eiffel Tower or the amazing views, but also for the beautiful river system.

There are more than 150 rivers that cross the borders of the European Union.

The longest river in the European Union

The longest river in the European Union

Danube River)

The Danube is the longest river in the European Union. Its source is Donaueschingen in the Black Forest in Germany, and the Danube River passes through nine European countries before merging with the Black Sea.

The Danube was a source of inspiration for musicians, artists, engineers, and those with political and military power.

The Danube is explored as a boundary and link, a space for artists and as a traffic route. Of course, it is also about natural disasters and natural areas that deserve protection.

Descriptions of the Danube region may have changed over time. But over the centuries, the river and its surrounding landscape have always constituted a unique space of longing, forever held by artists and composers as the “Beautiful Blue Danube”.

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Danube River through time

In Piazza Navona in Rome there is a wonderful fountain designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini: the Fountain of the Four Rivers. Its four statues represent river deities that personify the main rivers symbolizing the continents: the Nile represents Africa, the Ganges represents Asia, the Río de la Plata represents the Americas, and the Danube represents Europe.

Its length is 2888 km and flows from west to east and unites its huge drainage basin.

The Danube is the European river. Today, ten countries – Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine – and four capitals – Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade – lie on the Danube.

It is the longest river in the European Union and the second longest in Europe after the Volga. The opening of the main Danube Canal in 1992 created a waterway between the North Sea and the Black Sea.

Rivers have always served as communication routes and areas of settlement, but they have also served as barriers and boundaries.

The best and cheapest means of transportation for people and goods

For centuries, waterways have been the best and cheapest mode of transportation for people and goods, as well as providing mental stimulation.

Where fishing, shipbuilding, trade, transportation, process production, drinking water, and running ship and ferry mills meant that for many people, the waters of the Danube were vital or at least a source of income.

The history of the Danube region throughout modern times has been determined by disputes over territory and dominance, and the changing influence of great powers such as the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg monarchy, and Russia.

Until the nineteenth century, the Danube and its banks formed a natural zone shaped by the dynamics of the river, the change of seasons, floods, and low water, to which people had to adapt. Due to its different geographical and cultural conditions, voyages along the river were a difficult task for travelers and were usually only possible along certain parts of the river.

Taming the river was one of the most important projects of the nineteenth century, thus creating a huge economic and cultural area. The Danube has been systematically organized and at the same time romanticized as a natural paradise.

Danube International

The longest river in the European Union

Over the centuries, the banks of the Danube have formed a large area of ​​settlement. Cities, markets, monasteries, churches, castles, and palaces along the Danube all bear witness to bourgeois diligence, noble representation, and ecclesiastical victories.

But castles and many memorials also speak of war, hardships, brutal persecution of Protestants, expulsion and murder of Jews, Roma, Sinti, poverty, persecution, war and political struggles.

The conflicts between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans lasted for nearly two centuries. Many of their battle sites and fortresses lie along the Danube: Vienna (besieged in 1529 and 1683),

Komorn/Komarom/Komarno, Rab/Gyor, Gran/Estrum, Visegrad, Witzen/Vac, Budapest, Newsatz/Novi Sad, Petrovardin/Petrovaradin, Slankamen, Semlin, Belgrade, Semendria and Ursova.

A journey into the past along the Danube also reminds us that a peaceful present and Europe as a continent of peace is not self-evident, but an achievement that required many sacrifices.

It can only be guaranteed after many devastating wars through diplomatic negotiations and through international treaties.

The imposing Peterwarden Castle (today in Serbia) was built from 1692 as a Habsburg fortress against the Ottomans in the middle of the Danube. It reminds us of the conflicts between two great European empires

For supremacy in the Danube, which broke out repeatedly. However, in its lower course the Danube also became a contested area of ​​contention for several centuries.

The question of spheres of influence in the Danube basin, especially in the lower Danube and the straits (Bosphorus and Dardanelles), was of central importance to each of the neighboring states.

(especially Austria) the Ottoman and Russian empires, as well as England and France.

Free navigation on the Danube was established in 1815, when the Congress of Vienna passed a resolution that international rivers should be open to all nations for commercial shipping.

But the Danube was not truly open to international shipping until the European powers gave guarantees in the Peace Treaty of Paris, which ended the Crimean War in 1856.

In the same year, the European Danube Commission was created. Based at Solina in the Danube Delta (in what is now Romania), it was the transnational authority to regulate shipping on the river.

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danube river engineering

The longest river in the European Union

From its formation due to the folding of the Alps and the deposition of the Pannonian Plain until the nineteenth century, the course of the Danube has been constantly changing – through natural processes and human engineering.

The engineering of the Danube began in the 19th century and has been systematically implemented ever since. The most important measure was the Vienna Danube Regulations, a program of large-scale flood control engineering.

The Leopoldsberg panorama gives an idea of ​​the extent shaped by the Danube with its many arms, islands and sandbanks, as well as the regular flooding of Vienna.

Floods of varying intensity – often due to melting snow, snowfall or heavy rainfall – occur several times a year, constantly changing the course of the river along the Danube.

Regulatory measures have been proposed to provide effective flood protection. At the same time, such measures would keep the river, which over time turned to the northeast, close to the city.

Although plans were made frequently and individual measures taken, the Danube remained unregulated in the Vienna region until 1870.

After the disastrous floods of 1830, 1849 and 1850, the Danube Regulatory Commission was established. Most of the members favored the creation of a new riverbed closer to the city—but the commission could not reach an agreement.

After another serious flood disaster in 1862, a second commission was appointed. In 1868, a project to construct a new man-made riverbed was finally approved.

The successful construction of the Suez Canal during the 1860s also contributed to the implementation of this “radical” solution.

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The longest rivers in the European Union

Here is a list of the 10 longest rivers in Europe:

  • Danube River )
  • Ural River
  • The Dnieper River
  • Pechora River
  • The Kama River
  • Oka River
  • Belaya River
  • The Dniester River
  • Rhine River


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