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Danube River Lock
Danube River Lock - Engelhartszell, Austria by Lynne Damianos.

Danube River Lock

The Danube (known by various names in other languages) is Europe's second-longest river, after the Volga River. The Danube was once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire, and today flows through 10 countries, more than any other river in the world.

Classified as an international waterway, the Danube originates in Germany and flows southeast for 1,780 miles, passing through or touching the border of Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine before emptying into the Black Sea. Its drainage basin extends into nine more countries. Today, as "Corridor VII" of the European Union, the Danube is an important transport route, and has been partly canalized in Germany (five locks) and Austria (10 locks). Since the completion of the German Rhine–Main–Danube Canal in 1992, the river has been part of a trans-European waterway from Rotterdam on the North Sea to Sulina on the Black Sea, a distance of 2,200 miles.

This past summer, I was fortunate to spend two weeks traveling the Danube by riverboat, and a half-day along the river via bicycle. On that day, I created the photograph above from the top of the lock looking from Engelhartszell, Austria toward Germany.

And no, the Danube is not blue. It earned that reputation from the song “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II.

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