51 Rhine River Facts: Learn About The Major European River! | Kidadl


51 Rhine River Facts: Learn About The Major European River!

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Known by many names across the world like in German Rhein, French Rhin, Celtic Renos, Dutch Rijn, and Latin Rhenus, the Rhine River is one of the longest and most crucial rivers in Europe.

One of the most important rivers, the Rhine River runs for more than 766 mi (1232 km) and starts at the source in Lake Toma, in the Swiss Alps. The Rhine River is known to flow through six different countries - Switzerland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, France, and the Netherlands and then joins the North Sea at Rotterdam.

Only beginning as a small stream in the Swiss Alps, the Rhine River soon gets its speed and size on its path to Lake Constance. Lake Constance is a source of drinking water for most parts of southern Germany. The Rhine River then continues on its path to the North Sea as it flows over the popular Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen and then passes through Basel, the industrial town. The Rhine River then turns into a wide river helping the whole of Europe for transportation and travel. The river becomes a major transportation route and has helped the world since the beginning.

When the Rhine River enters Germany, it becomes a border between France and Germany. As the river flows through Germany, the landscape changes as the river become narrow again. There's a steep-sided valley filled with castles and vineyards overlooking the Rhine River. Rhine River then reaches the Netherlands as the Rhine joins many other rivers to follow to the North Sea and Rotterdam. The Netherlands is a completely flat country, so there are often many rivers flowing through it.

A few years ago, the Rhine River was considered the most polluted river in Europe. A chemical factory fire in 1986 polluted the Rhine a lot and within just 10 days the pollution reached the North Sea. After this pollution problem in 1986, the Rhine Action Programme (RAP) was developed. RAP was adopted by all the countries where the Rhine followed like Germany, France, Netherlands, and the others. The program wanted to bring back the river species that were lost and also safeguard the use of drinking water from the river.

Fun Facts About The Rhine River

Europe has an abundance of rivers and among them is one of the longest rivers on the continent called the Rhine River. From Iceland to Russia, there are hundreds of rivers and here we will talk about one of the most important ones.

Even when the Rhine River is one of the longest rivers in Europe, there is only one lake on its path. There is no other trace of any lakes along the way from the Alps to the bay. The only lake is called Lake Constance. Lake Constance is situated at the border of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria and is actually made up of two different water bodies, the Untersee and Obersee. It is one of the largest lakes in Europe with an area of 218 sq mi (564 sq km).

A part of the Northern Rhine actually acts as an international border. The Rhine has been used as a line to divide France and Germany for a very long time now. The Rhine also is known to separate Switzerland and Liechtenstein (this is a small country sharing its borders with Switzerland).

The Rhine is so old that it has seen many historical events, wars, the rise and fall of kings and civilizations, and of the world in general. There are also historical treasures spread across the area covered by the Rhine River. The Upper Middle Rhine Valley area which stretches for about 40 mi (65 km) has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The stretch of the Rhine River has many castles, historic towns, and vineyards to catch everyone's attention. The Upper Middle Rhine Valley stretch is known by the locals as the Rhine Gorge.

The Rhine has been used as an important waterway for a long time now. There is a lot of shipping traffic with exports and imports from all over the world using this waterway to reach Germany, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands. From there, even Austria can be reached through Lake Constance with which borders are shared.

You can choose to go for a day river cruise at the Rhine River for a lot of adventures and fun. There are even world tour cruises that will take you all the way to all the ports in the continents from Asia, Antarctica, Europe, South America, North America, and Latin America.

Geographical Facts About The Rhine River

The geography of the river is quite simple as it touches almost all the major European countries.

The Rhine starts from the mountain brooks of the Swiss Alps, travel through Basel, becomes a border for France and Germany, becomes narrower to accommodate the Upper Middle Rhine Valley area, travels to the Netherlands border, splits into many tributaries to cross an elongated delta, and then empties into the North Sea. The river flows through the countries of Switzerland, Austria, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.

Some of the shipping ports along the route of the Rhine region are Port of Ludwigshafen, Port of Mannheim, Port of Mainz, Port of Koblenz, Port of Cologne, and many others.

Some main cities that the Rhine passes through are Amsterdam, Maastricht, Antwerp, Brussels, Cologne, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Lucerne, and Basel in Switzerland.

Rhine River's Ecosystem

There are hundreds of plants and animal species in different habitats along the Rhine and the tributaries.

There were many species of fish and invertebrates like snails and mussels that were thought to be extinct in the region are now found. Due to the improvement in the quality of water, species' numbers have increased. 71 fish species are found in the Rhine. Migratory fish species like salmon, lamprey, and sea trout are also found now. There are also numerous birds found in the valley area, some all around the year and others migratory.

history of Rhine begins with Roman empire

Historical Facts About the Rhine river

The Rhine River has always been a link between southern and northern Europe since Roman times.

The history of the Rhine begins with the Roman empire. The Rhine was seen as the outermost border of civilization then. The people who lived outside the border (Celts on the upper Rhine and Germans on the lower Rhine) were considered wild by the Romans. Romans were the ones who made the river a major shipping route.

Many castles were built in and around the middle Rhine. The river has served as the natural political border since then between France and Germany (between the late 1700s and early 1800s).

During the Second World War, the river served as an important border for Germany. It was a defensive border to the Allied troops. There was a lot of destruction of bridges and ships in the area during the war, making the site a historical area now.

When the Celts lived in this region a long time ago, they named the river with the name Rhine. The word Rhine is derived from the word Renos which actually has a meaning of 'that which flow.' This meaning is accurate due to the turbulent waters of the mighty Rhine River.

The Rhineland is also the birthplace of the Ashkenaz, a Jewish culture. The name was applied to the jews in the Middle Ages. It referred to the people living along the river in northern France and western Germany.

Written By
Ritwik Bhuyan

<p>A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.</p>

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