The Danube River

The Danube River

The Danube River is the second longest river in Europe where it is one of the major methods of transportation. One reason for this is the fact that it is the only major European river to flow west to east. The source of the river is located in the Black Forest area of Germany. From there, it flows about 1,770 miles to the east. The mouth of the river forms a delta on the Romanian coastline of the Black Sea. The Danube River has been used as an important means of transportation of soldiers for nearly 2,000 years. In the 200s, the river was the northern border of the Roman Empire, and Roman soldiers no doubt used the river. Years later, the Goths, Slavs, Huns, and other Germanic tribes used the Danube to cross into the Roman Empire. Later, the Danube was used to gain access to Constantinople. The Crusaders used the Danube to travel faster on their quest to regain the Holy Land. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the Ottoman Turks used the Danube for easier advancement into western and central Europe. Both the commercial and military value of the Danube are still recognized today. Many treaties have been signed to try to keep one country from having too much control of it. In the early part of the 19th century, the Danube served as a link between the industrial area of Germany and farmland of the Balkans. At this time, the Ottoman Empire was weakening, but the Russian Empire was near the height of its power. Austria and other powerful European nations recognized this threat to the area and were able to prevent Russia from gaining the Danube delta.

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