> Under construction ΣΤΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ
Common name
Local name
German: Donau; Hung.: Duna; Slovak: Dunaj; Croatian, Serbian, Bulg.: Dunav; Romanian: Dunărea; Ukrainian: Dunai
Navigable Waterway.
The Danube, Donau in German, originates in the town of Donaueschingen in the Black Forest, in the State of Baden-Württemberg of Germany, at the confluence of the rivers Brigach and Breg. From Donauzusammenfluss, the point where the two rivers join to form the Danube, the young river flows northeastward towards Bavaria.
Catchment area
817,000 sq. km / 315,445 sq. mi
The river passes through (or touches the borders) of ten countries: Romania (29.0% of basin area), Hungary (11.6%), Serbia (10.2%), Austria (10.0%), Germany (7.0%), Slovakia (5.9%), Bulgaria (5.9%), Croatia (4.4%), Ukraine (3.8%), and Moldova (1.6%).
Its drainage basin extends into nine more countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina (4.6%), the Czech Republic (2.9%), Slovenia (2.0%), Montenegro (0.9%), Switzerland (0.2%), Italy (0.1%), Poland (0.1%), the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia / FYROM (0.1%) and Albania (0.1%).
Useful information
The River Danube, the second largest European river (after the Volga), is an international waterway 2,860 kilometres / 1,777 miles long and navigable almost throughout its length. Depth: 54 m / 177 ft. Maximum depth: 178 m / 584 ft.
From its source in the Black Forest (Germany) it crosses Central and Central-Eastern Europe, and, continuing eastward toward the Black Sea, it forms the natural limit between the Balkan Peninsula / South-Eastern Europe and the North, e.g. a great part of Romania and Eastern Europe.
It flows through ten states and four capitals (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade), defining borders – separating many peoples of the same nation or the same religion or who speak the same language – and receiving waters from a wide catchment basin with hundreds of small streams and large rivers until it forms an extremely wide delta and debouches into the northwest of the Black Sea.
The Danube Delta, together with the surrounding lagoons, covers 5,640 square kilometres.
Because of the diversity of terrain in the regions the river crosses, this great waterway is divided into:
The Upper and Middle Danube (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, N Serbia), which flows into the Straits (NE Serbia – SW Romania), and
the Lower Danube (E Serbia, Romania, and the borders between Romania and Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova, and Romania and the Ukraine), which flows into the Black Sea approximately 1,000 kilometres east of the Iron Gates, the narrowest part of the Straits.
You can find detailed information about the Lower Danube and the Delta by looking their separate identities in the Geographical Entities.
THE STRAITS. At the point where the Danube bifurcates into its middle and lower reaches, it passes through an impressive gorge. This is a difficult passageway 160 kilometres long, dominated by crags and steep banks along both sides (Romania on the left, Serbia on the right), rocky shallows, eerie mist and the closed horizon.
There is a tremendous increase in the water's volume and speed (138% between Budapest and the Iron Gates), and the powerful flow has carved dangerous bends as it nears the old cataracts, the narrowest section of the Straits. This section is the three kilometre gorge only 162-150 metres wide at its narrowest part known as the Iron Gates.
See Accompanying Material: Southeastern Europe / the Balkan Peninsula: geopolitical map.
Related main units
Black Sea
Danube Delta
Lower Danube
Key words
Danube / Ister.
Environmental disasters.
Euxine Pontus / Black Sea.
Iron Gates.
Prehistoric settlement.
River navigation.
Roman Empire, East.
Roman Empire, West.
Romania / Rumania.