The Rhine River is the main water artery of Germany and the valley which it forms attracts thousands of tourists from around the world. Tourists also go there to enjoy the medieval castles, historic and cultural monuments which also abound along the land of the Rhine River. The Rhine flows from the Alps, and is joined to the North Sea.
In addition the Rhine River is crucial to the scale of Europe as it one of the most important rivers of the Old Continent. The river is a key waterway to transport goods right from the time of the Roman Empire.
The Rhine River rises in the Swiss Alps from the 3353 m high glacier, Rheinwaldhorn Glacier. The Rhine passes through six countries - Switzerland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, France and the Netherlands before it joins the North Sea in the great sea-river port of Rotterdam.
The Swiss Alps is where the Rhine starts as a small stream from there it gains speed and volume of water as it is on its way to Lake Constance and has since become the source of drinking water for much of southern Germany.
In its course, the Rhine passes through the famous region of the Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen and in the large industrial city of Basel. It is from there that the river Rhine has become an important transport channel, as it has transported many goods and materials through the vessel.
When the river Rhine enters the boundaries of Germany, it becomes practically the border between Germany and France.
Over the Rhine Gourge and its surroundings, the river landscape is changing dramatically, forming a valley with steep slopes on which queue one after another, sometimes vines and sometimes beautiful old castles.
Finally, the river Rhine runs up to the Netherlands, where it passes through the completely flat area where it joins several other rivers in the road to its final destination - Rotterdam.
The Rhine River even gave the name to a medieval castle in Germany. Rheinfels Castle was once the largest and most impressive castles on the river Rhine. Today it remains are unfortunately only the ruins of the past of its glory. The castle is located in St. Goar town in Germany among the mountain area surrounding both sides of river.
A curious fact recently subjected researchers to doubt the actual length of the river Rhine. According to Germany's Bruno Kremer scientists from the University of Cologne, the Rhine is shorter by 90 km than what its length was originally considered. According to the scientists the Rhine River is 1230 km long, rather than 1320 km, as recorded in all atlases.
The Dutch government agencies that are responsible for the water resources also support the contention of Kremer. According to the Dutch the river is 1232 km long.
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