The Danube River Basin District
Robinson, Christopher T.
Book part (Published version)
© 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
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It was July 10 in 1648 when Pope Innocent X approved the construction of the ‘Four-Rivers-Fountain’ at the Piazza Navona, probably the most beautiful square in Rome. He asked the famous sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini to finish the fountain by 1650, a Holy Year. The four rivers were the Nile of Africa, the Ganges of Asia, the Rio del la Plata of the Americas and the Danube of Europe (Weithmann 2000). The Danube is the European river par excellence; a river that most effectively defines and integrates Europe. It links more countries than any other river in the world. The Danube River Basin (DRB) collects waters from the territories of 19 nations and it forms the international boundaries for eight of these (Figure 3.1). The river’s largely eastward course has served as a corridor for both migration and trade, and a boundary strongly guarded for thousands of years. The river’s name changes from west to east from Donau, Dunaj, Duna, Dunav, Duna˘rea, to Dunay, respectively. The names of the river (Danube, as well as Don, Dnjeper and Dnjester) most likely originate from the Persian or Celtic word Danu, which literally means flowing. It also may stem from the Celtic ‘Don, Na,’ or ‘two rivers,’ because the Celts could not agree on the source of the Danube (cited in Wohl in press). In this chapter, we provide an overview of the DRB, including the three main sections (Upper, Middle, Lower Danube), the delta and 11 major tributaries (Figures 3.1 and 3.2, Table 3.1). This chapter builds upon several textbooks on the Danube, including Liepolt (1967) and Kinzelbach (1994) and, among many other sources, on information derived from the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR).
In: Tockner K, Uehlinger U, Robinson CT, editors. Rivers of Europe. Londres: Academic Press; 2009. p. 59–112.
ISBN: 978-0-12-369449-2[ Google Scholar ]